Business Person of the Month: Robert BroussardAugust 18, 2012
Robert Broussard Insurance Agency, LLC
5917 Jones Creek Ste. 200F
Baton Rouge, La. 70817
Baton Rouge: 225-771-8751
New Orleans: 504-314-9251
“Where The Service After The Sale Matters”
Robert Broussard Jr. has been in the insurance business all his life. He grew up in an insurance family where he witnessed his father become a successful agent, serving his clients’ needs for over thirty years. Robert even volunteered in the office his father still runs today. Robert saw his father go to work in a coat and tie every day and he admired that as a child. As Robert grew older he came to respect the insurance business for the living it provided for his parents and himself.
Today, as the owner of Robert Broussard Insurance Agency, Robert brings his knowledge and experience in the industry to clients who seek property and casualty, life, renters, and other types of insurance. Robert not only attends to the immediate insurance needs of his clients, his agency also provides “Service after the sale.”
Robert Broussard Insurance Agency is very customer focused; Robert is available 24/7 for claims and service. As an agent, he is aware that it is because of his customers that he earns a living.
As an independent agent who represents multiple insurance companies, Robert can provide advice and personalized service to meet one’s insurance needs – both now and as their needs change. Unlike captive agents who are tied to one company, independent agents can offer products from a variety of different insurance companies. Independent agents can better serve their customers because they can review multiple policies and pricing options, and then recommend the best combination for each situation. That’s the real value in choosing independent agents – they offer knowledgeable advice and personalized service. Robert has contracts with nine insurance companies; five of these companies he uses for automotive insurance, three for commercial businesses and one company for life insurance.
An independent agent has to be appointed by a company to represent them and sell their policies. You complete an application, talk to their marketing reps, and then are issued a contract to represent the company. It can be a difficult process. You may not know why others are accepted as agents but not you; or the market is extremely competitive (some companies have enough agents or don’t want too many).
Robert is experienced and has the ability to write good policies that address all types of client needs. His Dad often refers people to Robert when he is unable to write the policy on items he does not cover.
Robert decided after earning his bachelor’s degree in Communications from Dillard University in New Orleans to see what life was like outside Louisiana and moved to Philadelphia in 2006. Robert spent the next two years working for AIG in their banking mortgage division. This was during the peak of the real estate crisis when the housing market was bad and it was difficult to close on a loan or get good rates due to credit issues. People owed more on their mortgage than their house was worth. While it was a good time to buy, house prices had fallen and no one could get credit. Soon Robert decided that he wanted to build his career in the insurance business and became a licensed sales producer and agent. Robert’s family was displaced from New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina and chose Baton Rouge as their “go to home”. Robert moved back to Baton Rouge to work for his dad and then opened his own agency in July of 2011.
Robert did not have to jump hurdles to open an agency here in Baton Rouge. Since he was already licensed, it was only a matter of renting space and attracting clients. He opened his agency on Jones Creek in July 2011. Robert sees Baton Rouge as a growing entity. The expanding infrastructure of the interstate from two lanes to four and six shows room for potential growth. This will affect the business climate as it will expand and grow with Baton Rouge. He wants to be a part of this, and to be able to grow his business and give back to the community.
Robert’s philosophy is, “Insurance is something you can’t live with and can’t live without; you need it, but you hope you never have to use it.” For example, life insurance can build cash value and keep dreams and goals alive in times of death and tragedy. No one wants to use it but when you have to, you are glad you have it.
No one wants an accident or disaster to strike, but you need to be ready when it does. People have negative perceptions of insurance companies when they hear a company did not pay on a claim. Agents and agencies have to guard against scams and false claims. These are the ones that make the news and create higher premiums.
Robert recently started a book club with several of his high school friends from New Orleans. They chose Rich Dad, Poor Dad for their first book and met in June to discuss it. Each member will take turns selecting future books to read. His favorite book is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. He enjoys reading and wants to learn something when he reads. He finds it stimulating mentally to read and discuss, to be challenged and dig deep into the book. Robert believes discussion helps you see things you may have missed by reading the book on your own. Robert is a people person and likes to understand how people think. He is always finding ways to learn about dealing with different types of people.
Robert is a member of the Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) organization. Their monthly magazine keeps him abreast of the direction insurance is taking in Louisiana and nationwide. It covers trends in the insurance industry as well as national insurance issues. The magazine also includes local PIA events (such as crawfish boils) where Robert can network with other agents.
His advice to other small business owners is to do your research before you open a business: what will be the start-up cost; do you have capital to carry you through until you show a profit or at least break even; do you have all the permits and licenses you need; do you enjoy what you do? When he was deciding on his particular career path, his mother told him, “You need to like what you are doing so much you would do it for free and the money will soon come”.