Agents of branching out

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Progressive's portfolio helps Jimmy Chun find new business opportunities wherever he looks.

With only two years under his belt, Jimmy Chun has no reservations about his relative greenness in his new career as an independent agent.

“Oh, I’m very new,” said Jimmy, who started out in the mortgage and real estate business before making the move to insurance. “Insurance is just a whole different animal and there just seemed more potential for me here.”

Jimmy may be new to the insurance game, but his agency isn’t. Solomon Agency, the New York-based company where he’s employed, has been around for more than 25 years. Twenty of those years they’ve been appointed with Progressive.

Likewise, Jimmy said Progressive has also been a strong ally for his budding career, too. Being new to insurance, he often leans on his local sales reps to answer questions and help solve problems.

“With some of the other carriers, I’d wait, like, for 30 minutes on the phone to talk to someone,” he said. “But with Progressive, the customer service was fantastic and they were very responsive. Somebody would pick up and quickly help you out.”

Being There For Small Business Owners

Diverse is a word that can be used for the bilingual Korean- and English-speaking agency where Jimmy works. It could also be used for the wide array of insurance products and services his company quotes on an annual basis.

The 70-person agency handles personal, property and commercial policies in the Greater New York area, which is home to the second largest Korean population outside of Korea. Jimmy said about 90 percent of his agency’s policies come from the Korean community.

“Our big focus is on Korean restaurants and hospitality groups,” Jimmy said. “There are a lot of first-generation Koreans I know who started laundromats, dry cleaners, delis, and nail salons, which are examples of some of the businesses we provide coverage for.”

Jimmy was originally looking to sell home and auto insurance, but the agency asked him to tackle the commercial side of the business, with a focus on restaurants and other small businesses.

That’s when he started looking into Progressive’s portfolio of personal and commercial lines products. He found that the coverage and products were just right to help him compete against direct and captive agent carriers.

“Progressive has always been easier to quote than other carriers,” he said. “The big difference between Progressive and other carriers is just the knowledge and the customer service.”

This ease gives Jimmy confidence in quoting with Progressive—because he knows he can provide his customers with products that meet their changing small business needs.

“With Progressive, I don’t have any what-if’s,” he said. “Whenever we get a Progressive quote and deliver it to our clients, I’m confident that it’s going to be a good quote.”

Meeting a Wide Range of Customers’ Needs

Working at one of the largest Asian-American insurance agencies in the United States has its perks—in the form of a wealth of information to pull from the seasoned veterans within the company, and plenty of opportunities to grow.

In fact, Jimmy has earned the confidence of his agency to lead another charge—attempting to make inroads into the other business markets. It’s a great opportunity to, hopefully, sell more bundles to other demographics within the city.

“We’re known to be the one of largest insurance agencies in New York, but there’s still so much more room for us to grow,” he said. “Since a high percentage of our policies are from the Korean community, I saw an opportunity for us to grow in the non-Korean market.”

A Partnership That’s Built To Last

In addition to the breadth of products available, Jimmy also pointed to the overall Progressive brand as a key reason he quotes the company first.

“Being that Solomon has a big influence in the Korean economy in New York, we’ve joined hands with Progressive to co-brand together,” he said.

Progressive helped the agency with the branding for the annual Harvest Festival in Manhattan, which Jimmy describes as a ‘Korean Thanksgiving.’

It’s this type of caring partnership, back-and-forth collaboration, and looking out for one another that’s going to help Jimmy, the Solomon Agency, and Progressive thrive—together into the future.

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