Independent agent Shawn Myers finds that specializing in public entities is a great way to help his community. "There is no better way to serve our community than to help protect the infrastructure that serves us," he says.
Garden City, Kansas
How did you get started at your agency?
I started at Keller Leopold Insurance 10 years ago. I had never really thought about the insurance industry as a career, but it was a wonderful decision that has afforded me more time with my family and the ability to serve my community and region in a unique way. In January 2016, I became a partner in the agency, and my focus now centers on commercial production and carrier relationships.
Why public entities?
Public entities have been a 30-year endeavor for our agency. We find that there is no better way to serve our community than to help protect the infrastructure that serves us. School boards, county commissioners and city council members have one thing in common—the desire to serve their community. That is exactly what we are doing when we work with public entities.
We have been fortunate to have great carrier partners that enable us to write this niche market. Without them, it would be very difficult.
Biggest public entities changes?
The biggest change is in the diversity of services counties, cities and schools are providing. From summer lunch programs and daycare to public transportation and health care, understanding what your community is doing and how to protect them is paramount.
Biggest public entities challenges?
Today, public entities are being held responsible for things they never were 20 years ago. The cost to defend these cases and the time involved can cripple a county, school or city. As an agent, it is so important to continue to help reduce exposures as much as possible.
Future of public entities?
As public entities adopt new technologies to run and facilitate their infrastructures, it will be vital for agents to understand potential risk and how to best transfer it. From cyberattacks to the interruption of vital services, new challenges exist with technology. Our communities need to continue to operate and provide services, and we as agents are a big part of making that happen.
Advice for a fellow public entities agent?
Build relationships. From elected officials to employees, get to know them and ask questions to find out how you can continue to innovate. Be the trusted adviser by communicating your value and providing solutions.
Favorite public entities success story?
We spend a lot of time helping create workplace safety programs designed to keep our clients’ employees safe and working, as well as reduce their experience modification scores to lower their workers compensation expenses. These programs, in conjunction with great carrier loss control specialists, have created safer and more enjoyable workplaces for all employees.
Will Jones is IA assistant editor.