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Tomlinson Insurance Agency Blog

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Business Relationships Require Trust, and Trust Takes Time

The three most important words that I use to describe Tomlinson Insurance Agency are these: “Founded in 1853.” It is on our logo, on all of our literature, and on awards and recognitions hanging throughout our office, but what does it really mean? On the surface, the answer is easy, it means we have been serving our community for 165 years, but there is so much more to it, especially when looked at through the lens of an insurance perspective.

                The cornerstone of a successful insurance agency, or any business for that matter, is establishing trust within the community and with our customers. Insurance, perhaps more so than any other industry, is rooted in forming relationships with a foundation of trust. Our clients trust us to advise them on what risks they have and how to best mitigate these risks. As an Agency, we trust that our clients will keep us up to date on changes in their lives and will always reach out to us with questions or for advice on how best to cover them completely. Most importantly, our customers trust that when the unexpected occurs, we will be there to guide them, make them whole again, and help them recover from whatever tragedy came their way. Our clients need us at their most vulnerable times, and if we fail them just once, the trust we have worked hard to establish is gone……..forever!

                So, let us take a look at those 165 years from this perspective of trust. We have been blessed to serve generations of families in our community. Based on some limited research, a “generation” is roughly a 25 year time period. This means that if a family has been our customer since the beginning, my current client’s great-great-great-great grandparents may have been one of our initial clients. That equates to 6 generations of a family that have placed their trust, their lives, in the hands of our Agency, a fact that we do not take lightly. That longevity is very impressive and a huge source of pride for me and my staff, but it is even more impactful when viewed through “insurance lenses.” As an agent, I can only advise on coverage, I can’t force someone to spend money to cover something they don’t think will ever happen or that they just can’t afford to cover. In the end, the client is the one who makes the decision, based on our recommendation, on what coverage they have. Unfortunately, and more so in these modern times than when the Agency was founded, an agent can only do so much. When disaster strikes, we can only fix what was insured, what is not protected is lost… matter how hard the agent works for the client. Invariably, and I understand it, when a client has a disaster and items aren’t covered and they are not “made whole” the trust is usually broken, even if the agent has done nothing to cause the issue. It only takes one bad moment to lose the trust established over decades, even if the agent’s hands are tied.

                All of this is an immense source of pride for us at Tomlinson Insurance Agency. It is something I speak of often, but I fear it is becoming more a “tag-line” than an impactful fact. This thought prompted me to dig a little deeper and attempt to illustrate just how long 165 years truly is and how hard it is to remain a successful business for that long. Take a journey back with me now to 1853, to better understand just how far we have come.


In 1853:

-Levi Strauss & Co. is founded in March and grows to personify the American work ethic and culture.

-The first practical fire engine (horse drawn of course!) was placed into action…….How are your cherished items protected in the event of a fire? If you aren’t sure, contact our Agency and review your policy.

-The City of Cincinnati became the first U.S. city to pay a salary to firefighters.

-The Transcontinental Railroad Survey was authorized by Congress, paving the way for travel throughout this great nation. Have you updated or reviewed your automobile insurance lately or have your circumstances changed? Please contact one of our agents to review your policy and do a fresh risk assessment, we are always happy to help.

-Harriet Tubman began her efforts to help transport slaves to the freedom of the North by establishing her Underground Railroad system, which was active in our community when Tomlinson Insurance agency was formed, although with much less advertising.

-Elisha Otis sold his first “hoist machine” (later to be called an elevator) complete with a safety stop mechanism that changed the industry. Is your home or business safe? Are you covered for equipment failure that could result in severe damage, injury, or loss of assets? Call us, we will look into everything.

                All of these events really drive home to me where our Agency began and how far we have come, based on the trust we have built with our customers and the ability to adapt to the changing times. I have immense pride in my family, our Agency and the community for trusting us for these 165 years. I love serving my clients and my dream is that, 165 years from now, my great-great-great-great grandchildren will be talking about the changes that I made to adapt to the needs of my times and my community and that they will continue to follow the example set for us by our founding members in 1853, which is also the year that the potato chip was invented!!

                Thank you to those that have given us their trust for all these years, we appreciated every one of our clients and value the relationships that we have formed with them. If you don’t currently have an insurance agent that you truly trust, we ask you to contact us and let us show you why we have been trusted for generations. If you have any questions or concerns, please call us, we will work hard to keep you and your family protected, because we value your trust.

                On a final note, and I include this just because I love it. The most interesting fact I found in my research was this: In October of 1853 John Morrissey won a boxing title when his opponent, Yankee Sullivan, left the ring in the 36th round to beat up some of Morrissey’s fans in the crowd. If you get nothing else from this, please remember these two things: We at Tomlinson Insurance place earning your trust above everything else AND don’t heckle Yankee Sullivan unless you are prepared to back it up……or have really good health insurance coverage!!!!