Meet Jan Pell, ‘INSURANCE MOTHER!’ of Keating Agency Insurance in West Hartford, CT
How long have you been with your firm and what’s your role there?
I have been at the Keating Agency officially since January 2016. I started my work in the ‘retail insurance side’ in 2001 at a different agency that was purchased by a bigger agency. My past experience also includes 10 years in Surplus lines; along with working for agencies and brokers in NY, NJ and CT. My formal underwriters training was with Travelers working on Fortune 500 accounts. Even before Corona Virus, I was working from my home office in West Simsbury as a Producer/Agent.
If you have a niche market that you’re involved with, how did you get started in that niche?
My background is mostly commercial property/casualty which has gravitated to writing a lot of retail business at the start with Safeco because they offered a great policy but extremely competitive pricing. Eventually Liquor Stores became a target because I could offer extreme coverage including Liquor Liability coverage with great pricing. But with my diverse background I can do a great job for just about anyone with insurance needs, both individuals and businesses of any size.
What is your favorite part about working in the insurance industry?
My favorite part is when I can actually help my insured. Saving money or solving some sort of coverage problem they don’t even know exists. Many customers don’t realize I’ve done something regarding their insurance that made it better for them. I go to bed knowing I’ve done everything I could to improve a customer’s situation whether it’s an individual, family, or business. I know I do way more than just about any other agent out there.
I urge my customers to call me and let me report their claim to their insurance company for them, so I know it’s done completely and thoroughly. I want to make sure the insurance company understands what really happened. Conversely, if there is any doubt, I often feel it is essential to talk with the u/w to make sure my risk gets covered properly and completely.
What are 3 key words you’d use to describe what you do?
Help. Save. Educate
How would you describe your productivity before and after using eForms Wizard?
- As a remote producer, I love how easily accessible the ACORD forms are. I type in their name, type of business, address and contact info and not only do I have access to all/any ACORD applications, but the information will pre-fill automatically. The previously typed information is on the form already!
- I have tried other ACORD form programs, but they were far too complicated – the program was more complicated to use and frequently much more expensive.
- AVYST eForms Wizard enables me to do what I need to do without a lot of frustration. It saves me time and I don’t have to access or learn a complex management system.
What is something most people don’t know about you – maybe a unique hobby or interest?
Most people probably don’t know about the vast amount of knowledge I have because of my background. I was originally trained as an underwriter working on large accounts in my early days. This has helped me to anticipate what an underwriter wants to know and how to discuss the account with underwriters. I actually like and appreciate the ability to talk to underwriters and strive to have a good rapport with them. That’s the reason I put “Insurance Mother” behind my name. I take care of my customers like a mother would. Providing insurance is an important responsibility that I take very seriously.
What does an ideal weekend look like?
I like gardening and tackling all kinds of projects around the house myself. I love having friends and family around and cooking for them. I can’t wait for that to be possible again.
Who’s your favorite Superhero, and why?
At different times in my life the answer to that would have been different; but right now – and this last year – it’s not only the front-line workers who are superheroes in my eyes but all the ordinary people who have been doing their jobs through this COVID pandemic who are my superheroes as well. If they were not as selfless as they are and just kept going to work every day for the benefit of others, so many more of us would be in trouble these days.
Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
My son got married in Napa in August 2019. It was a beautiful place to visit and spend time. A while back I took a few days and revisited Breezy Point, NY. I spent a lot of time there as a teenager with my family and hadn’t been back in a very long time. That was a wonderful personal experience.
What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
While I love my little Shih Tzu (about 13 pounds) and couldn’t live without him, and he goes everywhere with me; I don’t like picking up after him in the yard. However, since I live adjacent to a ‘Bogg walk/Nature trail’ where many people walk their much larger doggies frequently the poop will end up on my property. Not my favorite thing to pick up the bigger size dog poops. 🙂
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