Featured Agency F.A. Peabody
Of all that MMG Insurance and its 2019 Featured Agency, F.A. Peabody have in common, including business cultures and care for the communities in which their employees live, respect may top the list.
“MMG and F.A. Peabody share a high degree of mutual trust and respect from the CEO, to upper management, to those on the front lines,” says F.A. Peabody President Chris Anderson. “A lot can be accomplished when parties trust and work in each other’s best interest because then success goes beyond the bottom line.”
Anderson’s ability to measure success comes naturally. After all, his family has been in the insurance business for more than 100 years. William Donnell opened an insurance agency in a small office in the Houlton Trust Building in 1887. Frank Allen Peabody joined in 1906. With one room and a staff of two, the company officially became F.A. Peabody in 1927.
“I’m one of Frank’s descendants,” says Anderson, “so we’re essentially a fourth-generation agency.”
“F.A. Peabody started as a property-casualty insurance agency but has expanded and diversified into so much more. We now provide real estate brokerage, travel services, life, health, and group benefits, investment management, risk management services, third-party administration, and broadband internet services,” says Anderson.
F.A. Peabody has ten physical locations in Maine – Madawaska, Caribou, Presque Isle, Mars Hill, Houlton, Sherman, Calais, Lincoln, Hampden, and Westbrook – from which its team of more than 100 can serve anyone, no matter where the customers may live in the state. Yet expansion and diversification are only two parts of the company’s formula for success. A third is education.
“We dedicate a fair amount of resources annually to making sure our folks are well educated in the complex topics of insurance,” notes Anderson. “It may not make us better salespeople, but it makes us better counselors of insurance and allows us to provide the best products for our customers.”
Like MMG, F.A. Peabody is successfully using technology to communicate with customers in ways clients find comfortable.
“We’re continually trying to embrace various mediums of communication and working them into our systems as best we can,” adds Anderson. “I think we’re probably the first agency in the state to do ‘chat.’”
“Does it make a big difference? Not really. We only get about 20 chats a month now, but it’s another avenue and our management thought, ‘We need to be doing that.’”
F.A. Peabody calls that “personal professionalism.”
“In a world of soundbites and cute little cartoons that reduce insurance to a commodity, F.A. Peabody is keeping insurance personal, because we’re covering people,” stresses Anderson.
“Our team treats their customers’ policies as if they were their own and care for them as if they’re one of their own. We’re providing an insurance product that customers need as if we were developing for and providing it to ourselves.”
Every aspect of MMG is based on logical, commonsense values: their systems, corporate decisions, corporate culture, community support, and agency support. It’s crystal clear MMG supports the agent and the independent agency system. I like that.Christopher B. Anderson, WCP, CPCU
President and CEO
That attention to detail and care is one of the reasons F.A. Peabody enjoys its close relationship with MMG. Because they know that MMG prides itself on much the same principal – caring for policyholders’ needs like they are family. “MMG uses a people-centric, common-sense approach to the business,” adds Anderson. “Every aspect of MMG is based on logical, common sense values: their systems, corporate decisions, corporate culture, community support, and agency support. It’s crystal clear MMG supports the agent and the independent agency system. I like that.”
Anderson says the future is very bright for F.A. Peabody. “Looking forward, I do think there are some pockets of challenges. We must focus on measured growth, including territorial growth and further diversifying our already diverse product line mix within our multiple business entities.”
“I look forward to our continued growth with MMG,” Anderson concludes. “F.A. Peabody has a 30-year relationship with MMG. I’ve been very pleased with their growth as an Aroostook County business and very pleased that we’ve been growing along with them.”