He knows a thing or two because he’s seen a thing or two.

May’s interview is with Tim Sadusky, of Farmers Insurance. Tim is also one of the founding members of the Elko New Market Chamber of Commerce.

Tim, you’ve been in business for 23 years. Why did you become an “exclusive carrier” of Farmers Insurance?

Sounds morbid, but the main reason is that when I die, my family can continue my agency. Farmers is a company that values client relationships and is well-known across the US.

I was licensed in late June of 1996 and sold my first policy on July 20, 1996 (I still insure that client today). My first month’s check was $22. In the following 23 years, I’ve built a successful, and top-performing agency which serves Minnesota and Wisconsin residents. Our commitment is to be an educational resource for clients and the public. We share what’s not covered in policies and educate options.

My agency primarily offers Auto/Home/Life/Financial Services/Commercial. We are licensed to sell much more; however, it’s important to be above average in the things that you do well. Doing too much can create a poor experience for clients.

The future holds 20+ more years left, and I love it!

How often should someone review their coverage and compare insurance companies?

Review your policy with your agent, at a minimum, every two years. Not all policies are the same, and very few people pick out the details. If you have a great agency that can demonstrate that they know insurance inside out and upside down, that listens to what matters to you, and that addresses concerns in your policy – then why look for a new company?

How will I know if I have the right coverage?

Find an agent you trust, ask many questions and see if the answers change. Look for genuine and candid agents. You will sense the honesty if you’re face-to-face with the person.

How high of a deductible do you recommend?

This is tricky. Many people may be overpaying for insurance by carrying too low of a deductible, but it also needs to be affordable. I’m a big fan of putting money to the side to account for the unexpected. Insurance should be used to pay for things that you can’t afford to replace.

My claim record is for a client who incurred five deductibles in a year – which included two massive hailstorms.  

What’s your best piece of insurance advice?

Bad things happen to good people, so self-insure what you can afford to, then buy the quality of policy you actually need. Find an agency that cares. Buy uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.      

How can I save money on my insurance?

  • Be a good risk. Insurance companies price insurance to attract less risky clients.
  • Keep your finances in good order.
  • Put $1,000 into a savings account to cover a deductible, then raise your deductible and save money on the premium.
  • Find an agency that is picky. You’ll know if an agency is spending time looking for discounts and ways to reduce premiums.
  • Good insurance is not always cheap insurance.
  • Buy a vehicle that costs less to insure. When you buy an Escalade, it’ll cost more than a ‘99 Jeep Wrangler. So, to save money, buy an older Jeep, they cost less to insure. [chuckle]

Should I bundle my car insurance with another policy?

Yes. Yes. Absolutely yes. In almost every situation, you’ll find that discounts will be in your favor. There are, of course, exceptions such as a horrible driving record or a home with numerous losses or in poor condition. However, in my opinion, you are always better off when a company knows more about you.

What are some of the biggest problems in the insurance industry?

Fraud, by far, is the number one problem. Next is distracted driving; technology and repairs – car part costs are increasing at an alarming rate for certain cars, and [a sensitive subject] the large segment of drivers that are baby boomers – their driving skills may be deteriorating.      

As one of the founding members of the ENM Chamber of Commerce, what do you see as the Chamber’s most significant area of impact?

Sharing information with our residents. I enjoy when residents ask me questions about what’s going on in town or when they share feedback about [fill in the blank].  We’ve become a conduit of information to the City and provide input from business owners and residents on what they see is good and bad. The Chamber has done a great job gathering the residents together to support our small-town feel. Let’s face it, most residents work outside of the city. If the Chamber can assist in attracting businesses here, we continue to strengthen our daytime employment. This benefits us all.

Tim Sadusky Agency, Farmers Insurance – 5410 Main Street, Elko New Market