Robson Interview

Jazz at Joe’s Sponsor Spotlight

                          The Robson Insurance Agency

 

Lisa Dae:  Describe your business?  What do you do?

Scott Robson:  I represent Farmers Insurance.  I’m an independent contractor, which means that I’m self-employed, and our first choice for the market that we write is with Farmers Insurance.  If Farmers does not write your insurance, then we can write it with another carrier.  We write auto insurance, home insurance, and health insurance outside of Farmers.  We do commercial business; we do life insurance; we do Medicare; we do financial planning.  We do bonds and anything that is insurance related, we can write it for you, RV’s, motorhomes, motorcycles, golf carts, whatever you might have.

Lisa Dae:  How long have you been in business?

Scott Robson:  I’ve been a Farmers Insurance agent for 28 years.  I’ve had my Bend agency since 1994.  I started out in Southern California, in the Santa Clarita Valley for five years and then moved to Bend.

Lisa DaeWhat brought you to Bend?

Scott RobsonMy wife and I had gone on an anniversary trip.  We packed up our two dogs and headed out in a 1978 pickup truck and a camper that was falling apart called a Dynacruiser.  We took off for Northern California, and then went up through Oregon and came through Eugene and Springfield and stopped at the McKenzie River; and we said to ourselves, 'This is amazing; it is so beautiful here.'  When we got home, I found out I had earned one of the Farmers clubs called Championship.   I didn’t know it at the time, but I was the top Farmers agent for five years in a row in my district in California.  This made me marketable within the Farmers company...at the time, my wife, Linda, and I wanted a better life for our child.  So, we left L.A., and I started my agency here. 

Lisa DaeTell us a little bit about The Scott Robson Agency?

Scott RobsonI really don’t know the exact numbers, but I think our agency is the largest in Central Oregon, and perhaps fifth in the state overall.  We have really grown a lot.  We are one of five agents in the state of Oregon who have received an award called 'Elite Agent.'  It’s not me, but my staff who has done a phenomenal job.   Since we write a certain amount of business, and we underwrite it properly, ... we get special recognition.  It’s cool.  It’s about doing the right thing.  It’s all about service for me.  I hate bad service.  I think service is why a lot of people stay with us.  Within our industry, most advertising is focused only on price; this is the only thing the customer is being told should matter.  It isn’t!  We understand price has to be of some concern, but more so should be the ability of your company to handle its service and claims obligations.  ‘Flo’ and those gecko commercials talk about price; the insurance industry talks about price.  But once you educate consumers on coverages and gaps of coverages, you’ll find consumers are more concerned about making sure they are covered than a low price.  Because if you say, 'Here’s the low price,' then they may not get the coverage they need. 

It happened in the Skeleton Fire (in 1996.) One of my customers lost their home in a fire.  I was just there about two weeks before the fire, and I had just taken pictures of the house.  They had been with us for a while, and I had gone back just to do an inspection, and there was nothing left of the that house.  I literally, when I found out about it, I was on my way to Cultus Lake and was going waterskiing for the weekend with my family. I turned around and came back and bought food and clothes for them.  Within three days, I had an adjuster there, but their parents' house had been partially burned, and we met at the parents' house, and the father was walking around the table to me, and I asked, 'Is there something? Do you have a question'?  He said, 'I’ve called my insurance company four times now, and they have not returned my calls, and you’ve already given my daughter a check for $5,000; you brought her food, and you gave her clothing.'  

I asked him, 'Why are you with them'?  And he said, 'because I got a good price.' 

Lisa Dae:  What do you like most about your business?

Scott Robson  Helping others.  That’s always been important to me.  My passion is life insurance.  That’s what I really enjoy doing because if you love somebody you buy life insurance. 

I lost two good friends. 

Fifteen years ago, one of my best friends got diagnosed with cancer, 48 years old, and he didn’t make it to 50.  A month after that, my wife got diagnosed with cancer.  And then a month after that my mother got diagnosed with cancer, too!  My best friend did have life insurance with me, and he left two small children and his wife.  That was the first death benefits claim that I had paid out, and I cried my heart out.  His two kids were on my lap as I’m handing their mom the insurance check.  She didn’t know that he had two life insurance policies.  She said, 'just like him to surprise me.' The girls were like, 'I miss daddy,' and I said, 'I do, too.'  We are all crying. 

About two years ago, I lost another friend of mine to ALS. 

So, to be able to help people like that is what I like most.  When I was 9 years old, I had a brother who was 10 who passed away, and my mom was a single parent.  My mom told me that every month she had to make payments on the loan she took out to cover the cost to bury my brother.  When I first got into the business, my mom was one of the first ones to buy life insurance.  She said, 'I believe in it.'  So, I tell people this story.  People don’t like to talk about death.  I don’t have a problem with it because I know it happens.  Life insurance is my passion because I feel like I’m helping people and their families.  It’s about making a difference.   Think about it.  Auto insurance you have to get.  Homeowner’s insurance you have to get or else you won’t get financing.  But you do get to make a choice on life insurance.  No one tells you, you have to get that.

Lisa DaeWhat prompted you to sponsor Jazz at Joe’s?

Scott RobsonI like Joe.  That’s the bottom line.  He’s a customer of ours.  He gives back to the community.  He helps support the schools.  He’s helpful.  Both my boys played trumpet, and he was extremely helpful.  He’s got a great organization.   When I sponsor, I know that the money is going to Joe, and through him back into the community.  So, I like to do sponsorships.  That’s why I do that. Also, for every Jazz at Joe’s show our agency raffles our two tickets.  We do fundraisers with those.  As an example, we did one for the Humane society where everybody brings pet food or canned goods and then we raffle their name and we give out the two tickets.  We move it around; one time we supported Neighbor Impact. 

Also, when our son was 14 years old, he went on his first date to a Jazz at Joe’s show!

Lisa DaeWhat do you like about jazz?

Scott Robson I love the music. It calms me.  It relaxes me.  It’s something that’s easy to listen to.  A lot of times there’s no words.  I have a hearing loss so it’s easy to listen to.  It fills my soul.

 

 

 

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