The power of a personal connection

The power of a personal connection

Some policyholders never need to call on the promise of their insurance policies. No car accidents. No lawsuits. No house fires. But when they do need it, they really need it. 

Tina Stokken, manager of Fergus Farm Mutual Insurance Company in Lewistown, Mont., still remembers getting the call — at home, on a Saturday night — from a policyholder in crisis after a house fire.

“I met them at the office Sunday morning with a $20,000 advance. The family — parents and a small child — were still in their smoky clothes,” said Stokken.

“When something like this happens, there’s so much for a family to focus on. Get the money. Get the necessities. Get a place to stay. That’s where we come in. They were the best, and it felt great to help them through a tough time.”

Personal connections with agents

Stokken values personal connections — not just with her policyholders, but with her staff and her independent agents. It’s one way her company stands out in a crowded insurance marketplace.

“We have tremendous customer service,” said Stokken. “When agents call in and have questions, they know they’re going to get somebody who’s got knowledge and expertise.” 

“Sometimes, agents have risks they struggle with,” said Stokken. “If there’s something we can do to help them out, we do it — provided it’s within our guidelines.”

Occasionally, making personal connections can mean repeating yourself. But that’s a price that Stokken is willing to pay for her customers.

“We’ll continue to answer the same question as many times as it takes. That’s why we’re here.”

Personal connections with Grinnell Mutual

Since becoming a Grinnell Mutual member, Stokken has found a business partner who values personal connections as much as she does. Grinnell Mutual entered Montana as a reinsurer in 2015.

“It’s a totally different world,” said Stokken. “Before, we paid our premiums. We didn’t have the education, the underwriting support, the claims support. We’re just scratching the surface and we are excited to be a part of something this great.”

Stokken expects that the partnership with Grinnell Mutual will allow Fergus Farm Mutual to better serve its customers.

“To have this partnership with Grinnell that something I’m really looking forward to,” said Stokken. “All these things will help us grow into markets.”

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