"I really enjoy providing my clients with peace of mind," says independent agent Dalton Adams. "I want them to feel comfortable with the coverage they have."
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Gamma Iota Sigma Alumnus
Currently streaming: “Yellowstone"
In your earbuds: Country music
Preferred social media: Snapchat
Why did you choose an insurance career?
Going to Appalachian State's career fairs—where 70% of the companies are insurance companies—and just seeing the vastness of insurance and how much of the business world was made up of it. I didn't know the first thing about insurance until I started in Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) and was exposed to it and found out the job placement rate postgraduation was great. I met Correll Insurance Group's chief growth officer at a career fair in my sophomore year and I stayed in touch.
Where are you taking your career?
I have my own book and I'm trying to specialize and develop a niche. One area I'm looking at is the glamping industry. I'm an outdoorsy guy, so I feel like I connect with it. Another is marine, because I grew up around boats, dredging and people with marine construction businesses. I see a lot of opportunity in certain professional lines—but I'm sure that could change.
Independent agency challenges?
As technology advances, we have to advance with it, which means we have to adapt. However, from a cyber liability standpoint, the internet is a nasty place, especially with data compromises and making wire transactions. I'm pushing cyber on every one of my clients, regardless of whether they're renting on Airbnb or making a major transaction.
What do you enjoy about being an independent agent?
I really enjoy providing my clients with peace of mind. I want them to feel comfortable with the coverage they have. Also, I love risk management, so I enjoy being able to incorporate that into every policy—not necessarily selling, but just making sure they're aware of what they need.
How else has GIS helped your career?
GIS was a big thing for me. I love the relationships that come along with it. I've met people through that organization that, whether they're on the property side or the transportation side, I'm calling them once a week asking if they've got any changes in the markets and what can we write together. They're some of my best friends. I feel like I have endless connections for somebody my age because of GIS.
Best part of being a producer?
I was stuck behind a computer as an underwriting intern. I felt like I was just inputting numbers all day and I never really got to talk to anybody. Being a producer, I have a flexible work schedule where I can make my own appointments. If I'm going to Wilmington one weekend to target marine prospects, I can just set up a list of clients and go and see them. I love the flexibility.
Did you have a role model or a mentor?
Tommy Cook was a big player in how I came to be on the agency side. He mentored me for a year and a half before he retired last year. He was a huge help in introducing me to a lot of other people. But I feel like I don't have just one mentor. I have a plethora of people I could go to for advice, such as the two producers in the office or other people within the Correll Group, like former Big “I" Chairman Jon Jensen.
Future of work?
One of the biggest challenges that our industry faces right now is the workforce, especially on the agency side. A lot of big companies are able to pull in qualified people and will say, “Hey, you can work remotely for more money," whereas agencies want account managers in the office so we can talk to them personally. That type of thing has definitely had some impact on our workforce. To retain people and still work effectively, I think we need a hybrid role.
Will Jones is IA news editor.