This month we highlight one of Loudoun’s best, Prescott Engle of Engle, Paxson, & Hawthorne Insurance Services.
Prescott is a trusted advisor to many, a musician, a delighted and devoted husband and father, and an all-around great contributor to our community. We are proud to call him a client and hope you enjoy hearing from him below:
For those unfamiliar with EP&H, who can you best assist with risk management and insurance needs?
P.E.: We have several different areas of risk which we specialize in underwriting. We have a complete personal insurance division which underwrites home, auto, personal umbrella, watercraft and fine arts. That’s about 25% of our business model.
The majority of what we do is to provide risk and insurance advisement for small and medium size businesses. Not only do we underwrite for their insurance risk, but we help to consult and advise them in the area of safety management. We have an attorney who is “Of Counsel” to us. He provides our insured’s with legal advice, contract review, etc….this aspect of our business model would include both the property/casualty portion of a client’s risk as well as their life and health benefits packages.
You’ve been in business a long time. As you’ve gone about earning what is an impeccable reputation, what insights can you offer to other business people looking up to your example?
P.E.: Here’s what I think is most important– culture. How do I, as a leader, communicate my vision and values to my team. We do that by constant and positive communication and reinforcement. We communicate to our team how important it is to take what we do seriously. We have been entrusted with the handling of our clients’ most important material and financial assets. That we understand this, and take it seriously, must come across to the client. To ensure that this is a constant value in our organization, then this is communicated to our staff, not only with words, but through the actions of the leadership team. If we take our clients seriously, then so will our staff.
You look out for your clients, including taking the take extra step of actually arranging Safety classes and meetings through Stacy Skinner and the SCS team. Why?
P.E.: This is very simple. If our clients operate more safely, they keep their insurance costs down.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
P.E.: Several things I think.
1) We have an incredible amount of industry knowledge in our firm, more than most firms from what I see, and that allows us to advise our insured’s with regards to how their insurance coverage actually works when they have a claim. We like to talk about this BEFORE they incur a claim so we spend a great deal of face time with our clients to help educate them regarding their insurance packages.
2) We have access to over 300 different insurance carriers-so we can underwrite many different kinds of risk and place with those risks with the insurance carrier most appropriate. From my experience, many agents, especially smaller firms which don’t have this kind of access, end up forcing a square peg into a round hole. That’s when things usually go off the tracks. The risk doesn’t get placed with the appropriate market.
3) We feel that we are much more technologically advanced from a systems standpoint. We are paperless, and on the cloud, so our staff has access to your file no matter where they may be physically located. No putting you on hold, walking to the filing cabinet, retrieving your file etc….most of the information we need for the Insured is instantly available to us.
What might people not know about you—hobbies, etc.? When you’re not running a successful company what do you do for fun?
P.E.: I love to kayak, but many people know me best from my music career. I have been a semi professional musician in the Northern Virginia area for about 20 years. I have recorded two CD’s of original music, and have had three of my songs played on internet radio stations!
Thank you for your time and insights, Prescott, as well as for setting a truly great example both personally and professionally. Stacy Skinner and the SCS team could not think more highly of you or more strongly recommend you and your team to others.
Learn more about Prescott and his team at http://www.ephinsurance.com/.
Ashley Sonneville enjoys highlighting clients for business owners and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.