About Our Agency - A Note from Jim Simon
I believe a person's character and who they are largely shaped by their experiences, and how they respond to adversity. Roughly 30 years ago my office building, the St. Clair Building, caught fire and was a total loss. I managed to salvage a few paper files and one piece of furniture. I still have them today, as a constant reminder of the importance of the role my insurance career allows me to play in the lives of clients we are privileged to serve.
Roughly 30 years ago, I learned firsthand what experiencing a catastrophic loss feels like, and what it feels like to ask yourself the question "How will I survive?" I still remember telling the Channel 2 News reporter "Now I know how one of my policyholders would feel at a time like this." Looking back, I’m thankful because I can channel this experience when talking to clients about their loss. I can tell them, with 100% truth, "We know how you feel; we’ve been through it ourselves."
More than Just Insurance
That fire remains as vivid in my memory as the day it happened. It marked a turning point for me. When recalling past events, I often find myself saying ‘"That happened before the fire" or that occurred "after the fire" as if to subconsciously recognize this event as a defining moment in my life.
I learned so much about the importance of perspective that day 30 some years ago. And, in many ways, I continue to do so, like a few years ago when I was telling an older gentlemen my story. He looked at me, thanked me, and then said, "Let me know how that feels when it happens to you when you’re 90."
More than Just Property
Sometimes my story helps clients understand why I’m so passionate about protecting what's important to them. Sometimes it turns to a conversation about what their property means to them. Recently, a client’s large barn burned to the ground. As we were stood together watching the smoldering debris, I tried to reassure him that it would be OK; that this is why took the time to make sure he was properly protected before that fire ever began.
He told me that he and his wife had been married in that barn. I told him I would like to be invited when he and his wife renew their vows in his new barn.
A Time to Say Thanks
The grainy photo of me standing in the window of the burned out building would not have been possible without the help of the Eaton Fire department, and specifically, Dean Steinke, who helped get into the second floor that day. And without the right insurance coverage in place, I’m not sure my business would have survived that fire.
Thanks to my wife Cheri for having the photos above enlarged and framed. They currently hang on the wall in my office, constantly reminding me why I do what I do. It’s more than just providing policies for our clients, it’s about protecting the people we care about, protecting their families, and their businesses.