EPIC’s Chris Moore shares his knowledge of the financial industry, how he got into farm insurance, and what it takes to create a competitive insurance package for clients.
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Check out Chris Moore, President of EPIC Farm & Ranch at EPIC Insurance Brokers, and Agriculture Power Broker and Rising Star 2022.
Risk & Insurance: Can you share with us how you found yourself working as an agricultural insurance broker? What led you to this role and position?
Chris Moore: I got my property insurance license in the summer of 2009. I started working as a small business and personal assistant for a direct written insurance company.
I left the insurance distribution model in November 2014. Until then, I had never worked with a farm. I didn’t grow up in a farming town or in the countryside. I knew nothing about agriculture. But living in Indiana, I got to know other farmers and my father-in-law was a farmer.
At that time, my first business plan was to target the middle market, the commercial market. And in 2014-15, we had a different insurance market than what we have now. The insurance market was very soft, and I wasn’t winning a lot of business. So, I started talking to a number of prospective farmers and I found out that these people had a lot of insurance coverage but were not well represented.
In short, I found myself working and calling on agricultural clients, because that is the area where I found that I could provide value.
I successfully built this and my personal book from 2015 to 2018. In November 2019, Prime Risk Partners was purchased by EPIC Insurance Brokers. After finding this out, I discussed it with EPIC’s leadership team. They said, “Chris, we want you to lead our special farm and ranch division.”
And that’s how my career evolved into what it is today.
R&I: What are the threats facing the agricultural business?
CM: The types and types of businesses that are at risk are met with incredible, incredible growth. Some of these risks are covered by traditional insurance and personal injury insurance, and some of these risks are not.
Especially in farms – businesses that are growing crops or raising livestock – they control what they can control on their farm. But those businesses are also the biggest part of the world that feeds the world. There are political risks, there are climate risks, there are global trade risks. There are all kinds of dangers.
R&I: What does it take to create a competitive package for a customer? Or, in other words, what is your way of getting customers the best for their needs?
CM: We will have insurance negotiations without having insurance negotiations.
This means, when I sit down and talk with a client or prospect, I talk to them about their business, and I want to know how their business works, how it works and what their goals are.
When I get to know and learn about a client’s or a prospect’s business, I am able to bring in specific ideas and concepts to mitigate risks that could disrupt or seriously harm their business and its goals.
I act as an intermediary between the insurance company and the client or prospect. Also, I am a story teller for the insurance company in terms of my client or prospect.
So, what I do to make this package competitive is I represent my client to the insurance company and I tell them who they are, what their design is, what they are trying to do, what their goals are.
And then, when I go back to the client to submit an insurance claim, I explain it to them and say, “Okay, that’s why this idea looks like this. And that’s because we’re looking to create plans that will be there when you need them most. Our goal is to make sure you are protected and that you have an interest rate to answer when you need it most. We want to protect you from these big losses. “
R&I: What advice do you have for young people entering the insurance industry?
CM: By not settling down to get your license and take the test, you know more about insurance than 99% of the people out there. Now with that said, the last thing you want to do is get in front of a prospect or client and tell them how much you know about insurance.
The key to becoming an insurance broker is sitting down with business owners to find out how you can help them. he talks 80% of the time and we are listening and asking “how” questions.
When I am in a meeting with a prospect or client, I speak 20% of that meeting, because my job is to learn about the client’s business and how they work. when I get that information, then I can begin to develop appropriate solutions to solve their problems and needs.
So, for young insurance or new insurance people, go to any meeting ready to listen and eager to learn how the business works.
I was able to build a small farm and ranch, run a specialty farm and ranch practice for EPIC Insurance Brokers, and I didn’t grow up on a farm. I have no agricultural background. Everything I use today in my business and career is because I ask a lot of questions and listen to what people smarter than me have to say.
R&I: What is your favorite part of insurance?
CM: Anyone who has an insurance license can sell insurance to the buyer. Where I think the magic is really made and what I love the most is the way you become a business consultant through mutual trust and respect.
I love sitting down with the people who run the businesses I work with. I am eager to learn how they build their business. His articles are very good!
In the end, I like insurance. But I like to study business more. I am interested in how businesses work, how businesses succeed, how businesses fail, and how a particular business I am working on got to where it is today.
This is still people’s business. And when losses occur the consequences that come along with those losses are real. I learn about these people, how they built what they built, and where they see their business going. I know that I play a part in making sure that their business continues and their plans remain in place by creating programs that provide them with interest when they need it most. &