Involved in the industry for over 15 years, Cy Young currently owns and runs two agencies and thrives on the freedom of independence. "I tell people all the time, I get to work for my clients instead of working for a company," he says.
Young-Huges Insurance and Haven Insurance Partners
After getting involved in insurance upon graduation in 2004, Young has spent over 15 years within the industry. Moving into the independent agency realm in 2008, he currently owns and runs two agencies.
Young thrives in the independent agent arena where he particularly loves one aspect: freedom. “I tell people all the time, I get to work for my clients instead of working for a company," he says. “If there's a specific carrier that fits a specific client, I can put them together. If a carrier gets out of line with their pricing and their appetite, I've got other options."
Appealing to everyone?
Both of my agencies are completely different. While both agencies are community focused, Young-Hughes Insurance is a small rural agency while Haven Insurance Partners focuses on a more urban environment. For example, Young-Hughes' clientele still includes those that like to make monthly cash payments, while Haven handles no cash at all. There are definitely still people that want to do it the way it's always been done and there's not a problem with that, but you've also got to be able to adapt to different things as well.
The biggest challenge for independent agents is keeping up with current technology. We're at the forefront of a changing environment—it's the biggest change I've witnessed in my career. I try to stay on top of it because that's something that interests me, but without the resources and the knowledge, it can really take its toll on smaller agencies that are unwilling to adapt or just do not understand the technology.
This year I was fortunate enough to be awarded the Arch E. Northington Young Agent of the Year award for my service and involvement in the Insurors of Tennessee Big “I" state association. Named for a former state national director and president of the Insurors of Tennessee, the award is presented to a young agent who has distinguished themselves throughout the year, best exemplifying the qualities of a current and future leader in Tennessee's independent insurance agent community.
As chair of the Young Agents Committee for the Insurors of Tennessee, my advice for insurance professionals would be to get involved with your state association, ask questions and don't be afraid to share your information with them—they'll share information with you and we can all move this industry together.
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.
Photo by Jade McEwan.