Agency Spotlight: Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance
No matter how much the insurance industry changes, there’s one aspect of the business that will never go away.
“Relationships will always matter,” says Roger Elfert, Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Fisher Brown Bottrell Insurance. “People do business with people they trust.”
FBBI is a regional insurance agency with offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Tennessee.
Elfert, who is from a third-generation insurance family, explained that both of his grandfathers owned independent agencies, and that his father also ran an agency in the family’s hometown of Greenwood, Mississippi. Despite the legacy of insurance in his family, Elfert said that he went to college “determined” not to get into the industry. As a student at Ole Miss, he first planned to pursue a law degree. However, when he saw how competitive the market was for lawyers at the time, he decided to take a few insurance classes—and found he enjoyed them.
Over the course of his career, Elfert says he’s worked in every part of the insurance industry. “I’ve had opportunities to work on the carrier side, and in underwriting, wholesale, marketing, claims, you name it.” When he started with FBBI—consistently a Top 100 agency—10 years ago, Elfert entered the retail broker side, and he has since worked extensively with marketing and production as well.
These days, Elfert jokes that he “works part-time in insurance and full-time as an Uber driver for my kids.” Along with his wife of 19 years, Kelly, Elfert loves spending time with his busy family of five, whom he describes as “always on the go.” His children include 14-year-old Katherine, 11-year-old Larkin, and 8-year-old Harrison.
“At LUBA, they’re willing to have any conversation,” Paul says. “With other companies, if a risk doesn’t fit into a box, they won’t even discuss it. LUBA is always willing to listen to the story about that company and try to figure out a way to write it. They’re always willing to talk.”
When it comes to relationships, Elfert’s family values are echoed in the way he does business. “You have to put the customer’s needs and relationships first,” he explains, “and I work for an agency that makes sure everyone we hire is ready to do that.” After all, on the agency side, “you’re often dealing with people at an uncomfortable time, and you need to have people who can have empathy and respect for that.”
In fact, FBBI has trademarked its company culture with the name “FBBI 365,” illustrating the agency’s mission of being there for customers 365 days a year—not just interacting with them during the annual renewal period. “We don’t see ourselves as just selling an insurance product. Our mission is to grow along with each customer and help with risk management and insurance needs wherever we can.”
Maintaining strong relationships with insurance carriers is also an important feature of FBBI’s company culture, said Elfert. The agency is a long-time partner of LUBA in Mississippi, and Elfert says the agency’s relationship with the company has always been positive.
As FBBI looks to continue regional growth, Elfert says LUBA will remain a consistent partner. “Just like us, they are continuously growing and evolving to meet the needs of clients. It’s important to have a partner that can do that alongside us.”