"More and more technology is being used by insurance companies for underwriting purposes," says independent agent Ben Hogan. "Whether it's tracking Department of Transportation safety scores, telematics or dash cameras, there are so many ways for insurance companies to evaluate safety before quoting or renewing."
Owner and Agent
TruServe Insurance Group
How did you get started at your agency?
In 2015, I had eight years of experience in the industry and wanted to start my own agency. My wife, Jaci Hogan, and I made the jump and started our own business. Jaci has a degree in accounting along with experience working at a bank, Cuna Mutual, and teaching at our kids' school. She is also very strong in accounting and HR. We bet on ourselves and wanted to create a business we would be proud to work at and our employees and customers would feel the same.
Why trucking insurance?
My dad was a truck driver and I always enjoyed being around him and his buddies. I graduated from college in 2008 and had just finished up an internship with a home and auto agency when I was offered an opportunity to sell truck insurance. I went all in with truck insurance. I loved it from the start because I could relate to the customer and I knew right away it was a long-term career for me.
Challenges in the trucking market?
Finding ways to differentiate yourself from the competition. The buyer is more and more educated about insurance every year. It is a very competitive space, so you have to learn and grow. Also, having access to markets that are able to insure all different kinds of trucking risks can be a challenge.
A lot of trucking companies carry $1 million of auto liability and a lot of shippers and freight brokers are starting to require $2 million auto liability or a $1 million excess policy along with the $1 million auto liability. I see this becoming commonplace in the future. More and more technology is being used by insurance companies for underwriting purposes. Whether it's tracking Department of Transportation safety scores, telematics or dash cameras, there are so many ways for insurance companies to evaluate safety before quoting or renewing.
Advice for a fellow trucking insurance agent?
Find an agency that is 100% committed to you long term. Ask questions, learn from your losses, don't dwell on things that don't go your way, don't get too high or low, and ask for help. Surround yourself with good people and things will go your way. You don't have to know it all, but you better be able to find the answer.
Favorite success story?
In 2022, a 25-year-old family-owned business was being non-renewed because of a safety violation. They weren't a big account, and they were certain they would have to close their business because they couldn't find insurance. We explained the safety violation to our market and what the company did to make sure it wouldn't happen again—and received a competitive quote to solve their problem.
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.