KFOR Business of the Week: Forsythe Insurance
Understanding insurance needs can be challenge, so finding an agency you trust is important. Forsythe Insurance, our KFOR Business of the Week, has deep roots in Lincoln and has established itself as a leader in the insurance agency market. Forsythe Insurance began conducting business downtown, and has grown along with the community.
"Forsythe Agency was a part of First Federal Lincoln and started sometime in the 20s," General Manager Ken Olsen said. "We were part of the bank originally, and owned separately by Gladys Forsythe, who was the president and chairman of the board of First Federal Lincoln and one of the original founders of that bank."
Ken explained that the agency was originally in-house, to issue insurance policies for the homes financed by First Federal. In 1975, federal regulations required it to separate from the Savings and Loan. They first moved across the street to the Sharp Building, and merged with the C-C-Kimball Agency. Then in 1984, they moved to their current address in the Piedmont Shopping Center. The merger and the separation led to major growth, fueled by strong relationships with long-time customers.
"We have 11 current employees, and six employees have worked for me for over 30 years," Ken said. That kind of longevity helps each agent get to know their customers personally, and identify potential risks they may not realize they face in their every day lives.
"A lot of people out there will serve on a volunteer board like Kiwanis, or a neighborhood association, or the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, and they have an exposure from a directors and officers liability point of view," Ken explained. "Well, that’s covered under an umbrella policy, but only 10-15% of people in America today buy an umbrella, which is very cheap."
Forsythe Insurance also attracts new customers because they're an independent agency, which allows them to shop around for rare or unique types of coverage people need, often involving business ventures.
"Let me give you an example. We just had a client that invented a quilting counter," Ken said. "It’s very difficult to find an insurance market that specializes in quilting counters, but we were able to find a company to write it, and at a reasonable price."
After writing business coverage, individual policies and long term relationships often form. These days, he said, with the additional risks of living and going into business, the most important thing an insurance agent does is ask questions.
"A lot of people want to go online and just buy the cheapest thing they can buy. Well, that isn’t necessarily the best thing to meet their needs, Ken said. "We hope as independent agents, we’re able to find a company and give them good advice as to the product they should buy."
The stability of growing up in Lincoln, experienced employees who know the products they sell, and the genuine desire to protect their customers from the financial risks of modern day life. They all combine to make Forsythe Insurance our KFOR Business of The Week.