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Listen Up: Meet Young Agent Kristin Swanson Scott

"My overall goal is to make our office so appealing to my daughter that when she comes of age, she isn’t running away from it the way I did," says young agent Kristin Swanson Scott. "That means investing in as much technology as we possibly can to streamline things."
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Listen Up: Meet Young Agent Kristin Swanson ScottKristin Swanson Scott

Vice President of Operations

Swanson Insurance Agency

New Orleans

Age: 29

Go-to drink order: French 75

Desired superpower: The ability to multiply and be everywhere at once

Favorite candy: Now and Later

How did you get started in insurance?

My grandfather started our agency back in 1985. It was a big deal because it was one of the few Black-owned agencies at the time. I've worked here since I was 11, starting at the bottom with shredding papers and answering phones.

By the time I got to college, I wanted nothing to do with it. I wanted to be a veterinarian. But when I got to Louisiana State University, it was very rural veterinary medicine. I wanted dogs and cats and they wanted me to deal with cows. I switched to accounting, and it wasn't a good fit either. I called my grandpa and said, “I think I'm ready to come home and work at the agency," and he said, “Come on home. I knew you weren't going to like those cows!"

Best part about being an independent agent?

It's allowed me to live the life I want. We work hard, but it allows me to have flexibility for my family. I'm totally fulfilled in my work because of what we do for people. They think there are no other options, but we have them.

Goals for the future?

My overall goal is to make our office so appealing to my daughter that when she comes of age, she isn't running away from it the way I did. That means investing in as much technology as we possibly can to streamline things. We're reinvesting in our internship program, and we're going to have three interns this year.

Role model or mentor?

Clarissa Preston, the senior state relations executive at National Council on Compensation Insurance, has been a saint in my life. She's done so many things in the industry. It's my first hard market—I've never seen anything quite like this before—but she's always in my ear reminding me that things do get better. She always talks me through how to address these things and has got me involved in the legislation processes so we can better the industry as a whole for our clients.

Work-life balance?

It has to be created. There's always something to do. I used to work like crazy, but now I mandate my weekends for my husband and daughter. You need to create those boundaries, not just with clients but with staff. You need to empower and delegate. It has to be a serious emergency if someone is calling me on a weekend.

What do you love about insurance?

On the commercial side, I can touch so many different industries in one day. I recently got into the medical marijuana space. When you're learning a risk, you need to learn it from top to bottom, which is amazing and really fun. And then I can turn around and talk to somebody about stormwater management, which is booming here.

Biggest industry challenges?

Specifically for south Louisiana, we're in a homeowners insurance crisis—premiums have skyrocketed because the entire state has been slammed over the past three years with CAT 4 and above storms. The biggest challenge is not only addressing climate change and how it's affecting the industry, but how we're going to continue to fortify our homes this far south to make them insurable. The storms are not going away; they're only getting stronger.

AnneMarie McPherson Spears is IA news editor. 

Thursday, June 22, 2023
Perpetuation & Valuation
Digital Edition