Upon occasion, Weekly Industry News will profile an agency. We’ve recently been in touch with Kaleb Harvey of Harvey Insurance. The firm has offices in both Kennewick and Pasco, Washington.
Kaleb and his family’s agency are members of PIA Washington/Alaska and the PIA Western Alliance. He has a CIC designation and that’s where his story begins.
“The CIC designation means a lot to me. I knocked it out in about a year. I believe in it so much that my account manager also has a CIC designation and our other commercial producer is in the process of obtaining one also,” he said.
With eight years experience in the industry, Kaleb thought he had insurance down. He was comfortable with issuing policies but said he didn’t have the confidence to answer client questions with any kind of authority.
“I learned long ago that people can very easily tell if you are unsure of yourself. Being unsure is not a quality that will get you far as an insurance agent,” he said.
Another benefit of CIC training and the designation is income.
“Statistically you will earn 100% more as a CIC compared to a non-CIC counterpart. I don’t doubt those figures at all. Once I received the tools and skills from the institute, my revenue increased significantly, our E&O exposure decreased, and retention also increased. We will certainly continue to send our agents to the institute,” Kaleb added.
As for the agency, the Harvey Insurance Agency began as a partnership and as he got more confidence as an agent, Kaleb took the plunge into agency ownership.
“Our agency was started with two partners around 1998. My dad Randy Harvey left County Companies at the time and partnered with Mark Monteith. Once succession planning started, it just made better sense to split the partnership up. Harvey Insurance and Monteith insurance became the two new entities. My sister Stacia and I started managing Harvey Insurance Agency alongside my father. We decided last year to buy majority ownership from him. We are now all equal partners in the agency,” he said.
The agency has about 20 employees at any one time.
“Our clientele is split up a little top heavy with personal lines. We have 55% personal insurance, 15% farm, 25% commercial, and 5% benefits. We have a great relationship with local banks and realtors and receive lots of personal referrals and have a good number of personal lines companies in which to broker our clients,” Kaleb said.
Growth — as with any business — is important. Kaleb and the Harvey Insurance Agency continues reaching for new markets.
“I decided to grow our commercial book about seven years ago when I thought direct markets would eventually take over personal insurance. I figured commercial insurance would be the last one to go automated or direct to consumer. That scenario hasn’t played out yet. Our agency still is very healthy and grows by 15% on average every year. From what I gather, at least in our area, people still want an agent and would rather not deal with a call center,” he said.