Agent Spotlight: Chris Haik
What began as a simple series of summer internships has now turned into a very successful seven-year-old insurance business for Chris Haik of Haik Insurance.
Even now, Chris’ business continues to grow as his firm has successfully partnered with Fort Worth, Texas-based agency Higginbotham Insurance. Historically, the Haik family has carried a legacy of practicing the law. Generations of attorneys and judges paved the way for Chris, but it wasn’t until he experienced the insurance business that he decided to chart a new course.
It was during Chris’ last two summers prior to his college graduation that he was inspired to change from law practice to insurance sales. Immersed in a sink or swim culture, he quickly found a way to rise to the top and form a work ethic that has carried him through to be able to break out on his own in a successful business enterprise.
He credits his father for always teaching him that, regardless of what he does in life, he has to always make sure he works harder than the person next to him. He took that advice and ran with it. Early in his career, he had the benefit of serving clients across both the Energy and Healthcare industries. He gained valuable experience working for agencies that were able to expand his focus and allowed him to become specialized in the aspects of the business that truly matter. He knew that applying these same principles of hard work and specialized focus would be the key to succeeding once he was ready to go out on his own.
In 2014, Chris decided to do just that and opened Haik Insurance. He says that different challenges exist when you’re running your own agency than when you’re working for someone else. One of the first things he focused on with his new business was making sure to employ like-minded people that also share a love of the insurance industry and a strong desire to help clients. In order to build a thriving agency, he realized it takes people who place value on learning and who are driven for success. With this in mind, he cultivated a staff with a strong work ethic who are in business for the right reasons, to work side by side with their clients in order to meet their needs. The atmosphere at Haik Insurance is very family-oriented and centered around trust in the staff which, in turn, allows them to shine when managing large, commercial accounts.
This trust is reflected in the partnership they have with LUBA. “They have an unbelievable leadership team and great employees and underwriters that have been there for a long time,” said Chris. “As agents, we feel very comfortable using LUBA because we know our clients will get great service, a smooth underwriting process, and consistent claims service. At the end of the day, it’s a trust in the LUBA people and the LUBA product based on their years of service to policyholders.” Chris says their businesses align because both have a passion to go above and beyond for their customers. “LUBA created a family-type atmosphere that bleeds over to their passion for writing business and securing and keeping that business. These things run parallel to what we believe.”
COVID presented many unique challenges to Chris and his team. He says his first priority when the lockdown hit was taking care of his employees. He had to make sure the employees and their families were safe. Once he and his leadership team developed a plan to work from home, it was business as usual. “The first goal was securing and protecting our family, which is our agency. Secondly, we went on to make sure all of our businesses were taken care of. We wanted to make sure that if they needed anything, they had confidence in knowing that we were operating as usual,” Chris says. “We didn’t skip a beat.” Everyone was set up on home workstations and taking calls on Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams. Once the initial shock of the COVID lockdown wore off, his business became very efficient. He adds that at the same time, the team was definitely missing the office camaraderie and the family atmosphere they worked so hard to cultivate. As soon as it was safe and within state and federal guidelines, they were quick to get back into the office.
Not only did the agency have the COVID pandemic to work through, but 2020 also presented unique challenges to staff and policyholders when Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta battered the coastal Louisiana region. October, November, and December were spent primarily taking care of policyholders that were affected in those areas.
“Louisianians are very resilient, and we’re coming out of these storms stronger than ever. We’re going to rebuild, and every one of our policyholders looks at it as a new start,”
“We wanted to be their partner through that whole process. We’ve always prided ourselves on our claims handling, and we’ve strengthened our bond with our customers by making sure they know we will handle their claims with care and consistency.” Chris and his team are looking forward to continuing the growth that started before the pandemic and continuing to offer the best service to their customers.
Outside of the office, Chris can be found enjoying time with his wife supporting their two children in their hobbies and various sporting events. Chris says, “Right now, my hobbies are cheerleading for my daughter and baseball for my son.” Aside from his hobby of running his business, Chris’ love of Louisiana’s Sportsman’s Paradise can be found in his many hunting and fishing trips; however, he places an emphasis on family first. This philosophy starts at home and extends to business and customer service. Haik Insurance is in its seventh year of taking care of customers and building relationships.