Meet Jon Black, Owner of Curtis Black Insurance Associates in Danbury, CT!
How long have you been with your firm and what’s your role there?
I established the firm in 1995 with partner Wayne Curtis. I am the sole owner today, Wayne retired in 2017. We stressed quality, not quantity. There are 2 of us and today Daria and I have a shared office space.
If you have a niche market that you’re involved with, how did you get started in that niche?
We didn’t start out with specialties. Looking at the books today our niche is small and mid-sized contractors as well as real estate risks, strip malls and office buildings.
What is the favorite part about working in the insurance industry?
Helping people protect their personal and business assets. They work hard to build them and it’s devastating when a loss occurs.
What is your proudest moment in serving a client?
Back in 1996 one of my clients woke up one morning to fire alarm systems going off – wasn’t a fire it was the weight of the snow on the roof which had collapsed. He’s still a client today. He paid $6,172 in premiums and the insurance company paid out over $300K in BI and BPP. My client still talks about that today. Such a significant loss and yet he was able to retain his business and employees and continue on. The interesting thing about it is that his insurance company helped him set up his building at another location where he has remained. They had him operating again in 16 days. They helped him negotiate another lease, products, shelving and get running again!
What are key words you’d use to describe what you do?
Protect and replace assets.
How would you describe your productivity before and after using eForms Wizard?
Being such a bad and slow typer, I find that eForms Wizard’s, by linking fields across all ACORD and non-ACORD forms, has helped me complete forms so much faster than ever before. I type it once and it’s duplicated across many fields of the same name.
Another thing that saves me time and typing is the use of copy and paste in free-form fields. I copy it from the source and paste the information into remarks, description and notes fields as needed. The “copy and paste” tip gets especially beneficial when it comes to our construction business. Our lists of Additional Interests can be very long and being able to cut and paste from the document that I receive and paste it into the ACORD form is amazingly efficient for me.
The crux of it is that it’s a time saver!
What is something most people don’t know about you – maybe a unique hobby or interest?
I was brought up overseas. My father was an American businessman and we traveled to South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines. I grew up and went to school in all of these various places. We would come home to the U.S. on his home leave sometimes but we would also travel to a lot of other countries and cultures. Because of all this travel as a young child I got to see a lot of different places and meet a lot of different people.
What does an ideal weekend look like?
Sitting on the beach looking at the water, or in the mountains looking out over the mountains. Oceans and mountains are the extremes on the planet, lows and highs. Beaches are especially great in the fall – just beautiful to look out at.
Who’s your favorite Super Hero, and why?
Not super heroes like you would think or see in the movies. For me it’s super human abilities to help humanity – Ghost Rider (phantom rider) popularized by a movie with Nicholas cage. He sold his soul to the devil to save his father who was terminally ill and ultimately died in a motorcycle accident. He ended up riding through life fighting his demons.
What is your personal theme song?
3 songs in life I really really like and I like them in this order:
- RuPaul – “If I dream” – Dreaming about possibilities that can come true.
- RuPaul – “Champion” – Rising above and not denying yourself the ability to achieve.
- Lady Gaga – “Applause” – It is the 3rd song in my triumvirate – once you have accomplished what you set out to do there is the applause and people’s appreciation for what you are doing.
It’s an eclectic combination, I know.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
My favorite place is Paris. I love the light and color – Paris is the city of light. The history in Paris and Paris itself makes it my favorite. I have been there 4 times and I still haven’t seen it all. There are a lot of places I enjoy but that one sticks out. Bruges is another place I enjoy – especially the Christmas markets in Bruges, Belgium.
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
That’s a good question. There isn’t anything I hate doing. You take the good with the bad and the bad the good. I hate paying the electric bill, so we put solar panels on the roof so now it’s much less of a chore to pay.