By Matt Luis
Being born and raised in the Central Valley, I’ve been surrounded by farming and production agriculture my entire life. But it wasn’t until a couple of years ago, when I came to Western Growers, that I embarked on a journey that allowed me to truly understand the complexities of an agricultural operation so I could help better protect businesses from potential losses.
I’ve been in the insurance sales industry for nearly a decade now, and over the years I’ve noticed a trend among other insurance providers. The focus is on why the client should work with their office. The salesperson requests a copy of their current policies, with the goal of matching current coverages and beating current pricing. Once they have made their case, they move on to the next opportunity that is most likely in a different industry, not food and agriculture.
That is not my philosophy. Nor is it the philosophy of Western Growers Insurance Services. All we do is Agriculture—working with growers, packers and shippers. I am proud to say that we are one of, if not the only, insurance brokerage out there that truly specializes 100 percent in agriculture. Yes, our primary competitors may have clients in agriculture, but they also focus on a whole host of other industries. Everything we do, every product we’re working on, every carrier we work with is in an effort to become a better solution for the agriculture industry.
One of the things I love most about what I do is having the opportunity to visit a growing operation or tour a packing facility to see, first hand, what our clients do and what value they provide to their customers. The more I understand about what they do, the better I’m able to translate what their needs are and put that into content for insurance solutions—as opposed to simply visiting a company and reviewing their existing insurance policies. I strive to be of value to my current and potential clients and it is important to me to be a part of a team that takes the time to understand what our members really do…to a level that other brokers do not.
We recently rolled out a comprehensive contaminated products program designed to guide food and agriculture companies through managing a contamination-related event and mitigating exposure with the goal of preventing the need for future recalls. This is part of what we refer to as the Western Growers Shield®.
The foundation of this unique program is working with the members to develop a customized solution for their business needs. For example, more than a year ago, we sat down with Harold McClarty and his management team at HMC Farms in Kingsburg, CA, to listen and learn what components of contamination/recall coverage they were looking for. After months of working diligently with the company and the underwriters, the WGIS team presented a solution that was priced competitively and met all the coverage needs of HMC Farms. We all learned from the development of this opportunity, and I am excited to say that Harold and his team still depend on us for their policy needs!
Western Growers Insurance Services is continuing to create and expand these types of comprehensive insurance solutions to ensure that our clients are properly protected. Western Growers Insurance Services is MUCH more than just a healthcare agency; we are a full-service risk management solutions provider and a true resource and viable solution for your commercial or business needs.
Editor’s Note: Matt Luis was a recipient of the 2018 Producer of the Year Award. Dedicated to serving the Central Valley, Luis is a resource to Western Growers members for all their commercial lines and insurance needs. He can be reached at email@example.com or (559) 368-5026.
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Western Growers members care deeply for the food they grow, the land they sustain, the people they employ, and the community in which they live.