A PASSION FOR HELPING PEOPLE
Young pro transitions from a claims adjuster
to an agent to further educate her clients
By Christopher W. Cook
In the insurance industry,
certain dedicated young professionals
stand out among their peers
and are members of an elite squad of
individuals. These are their stories.
Help. Verb—to give assistance or support. Whether it’s providing the appropriate coverages, assisting during a claim, or everything in between, this action is a staple to anyone working in the independent insurance industry. And sometimes, it’s this mere action that draws someone to it.
“I have always had a passion for helping people,” says Jennie Buth, personal lines client executive at Fred C. Church Insurance, an agency that provides risk management services throughout the Greater Boston area with its corporate office in Lowell, Massachusetts, where Buth reports. “My first job out of college was at Sentry Insurance, where I worked as a claims adjuster. I was responsible for investigating claims to determine liability and to review insurance policies to determine coverage. It was from that experience that I realized that most people did not understand their insurance policies and that the majority were underinsured.
“That led me to transition to an agent,” she explains. “Everyone should be aware of their risk exposures, so it became my goal to help my clients understand what insurance policies made sense for them so that I can provide them with proper coverages.”
While insurance wasn’t her focus in school, Buth earned a BS in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2012 before beginning her career in the industry.
“After I received my degree, I moved to North Carolina to be with my now-husband, who was serving in the Air Force,” Buth says. “There, I got my first entry-level claims adjuster position. I became passionate about helping and educating people and, a year later, I transitioned into an agent and worked as an associate agent at North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance.
“After my husband served four years in the Air Force, we moved back home to Massachusetts in 2016,” she adds. “I continued my insurance career at Fred C. Church Insurance and have been with the agency for six years.”
Throughout her career, Buth acknowledges, “everyone I have met and worked with have helped shape me to the person I am today. Feedback from managers and colleagues helped me to identify areas for improvement in my work and to become better at what I do.
“The referrals I receive from my clients encourage me to strive to be the best insurance professional I can,” she adds.
“When you consistently help others, others are more willing to support you when you need it most. It builds great collaboration and inspires positivity in the workplace, which contributes to the overall success of the agency.”
Personal Lines Client Executive
Fred C. Church Insurance
Advice and involvement
While educating clients is an important part of the job, it’s also important to continue one’s own education. Buth has done so in the form of designations.
“I am a member of the AIMS (American Insurance Marketing and Sales) Society and currently hold the CPIA (Certified Professional Insurance Agent) and CPPL (Certified Professional in Personal Lines) designations,” Buth says. “For the CPIA, I participated in a series of three, one-day Insurance Success Seminars that focused on marketing and sales development for insurance professionals.
“The CPPL program consists of five parts—nine days of classes and five exams. The program provides necessary tools and knowledge for the personal lines insurance professional to do their job efficiently and effectively.”
Buth is currently working toward her CISR (Certified Insurance Service Representative) designation, which has a similar setup as the CPPL. “The CISR will ensure that I’m delivering the highest level of customer service to my clients,” Buth says. She encourages young and other new agents to continue their education in the form of earning designations.
“The insurance industry is always changing, so it is important to keep up with the educational offerings and to stay up to date on trends and new innovations,” she says. “Designations are recognized in the insurance industry, and they show your commitment to your career and, most important, your dedication to serving your clients.”
In addition to continuing her education, Buth also stays busy volunteering. “I am proud to work for an agency that is committed to giving back to the communities we live in,” she says. “Some of the organizations we support are the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, The Wish Project, and the Merrimack Valley Food Bank. When we’re not having fun at work, you can find my team delivering packages filled with school supplies or walking to raise awareness for an important cause.
“Volunteering allows me to connect with my community and gain a better perspective of the world,” Buth continues. “It gives me a sense of purpose and provides positive outlook for the community to continue thriving. It’s also fun to meet new people who come together to support a common cause.
“By giving back to the community, I am also setting an example for the younger generation,” she notes.
For young professionals starting out in the industry, Buth recommends establishing productive daily habits. “One example of a habit that I established is to start my day early,” she explains. “It allows me to work out, respond to emails and organize my agenda for the day. Having some quiet time in the beginning of the day helps me focus on work when it’s time to get going. This also promotes a healthy work-life balance. It reduces stress and prevents burnout.
“It’s also important to be helpful and kind to your colleagues,” Buth continues. “I truly believe that every bit of kindness we put out into the world comes back in some way. Offering your support, help and expertise to your colleagues does not go unnoticed. When you consistently help others, others are more willing to support you when you need it most. It builds great collaboration and inspires positivity in the workplace, which contributes to the overall success of the agency.
“Most important, commit to self-improvement,” she advises. “By continuing to learn and grow, you will be mentally flexible and be better able to deal with changes as they come.”
Buth is thankful that her career so far has allowed her to be successful both professionally and personally, where she is able to create a life where family, friends, hobbies and work come together in balance.
“In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my daughter, eating at different restaurants with my husband, traveling, brunch dates with friends, going out for walks, playing video games with my nephews and of course shopping,” she concludes.
While this writer’s free time is preoccupied with the “toddler life” at this time, I definitely miss playing video games. There was nothing better than working on your hand/eye coordination while playing a challenging side-scroller on the Nintendo Entertainment System. And with plenty of your enemies approaching from the air, it was a good idea to “keep watching the skies.”