Perkins Insurance Agency, Inc. is truly a family business. Started in 1950 by Warren Perkins, his son, grandsons, and their wives now operate the business located at 124 North Main Street in Rutland. Here, one of those grandsons, Brian Perkins, details the family tradition he is proud to be part of.
What is the nature of your business?
We offer insurance solutions and risk management, including auto, home, business, farm and life insurance, just to name a few.
What was the inspiration behind creating your business?
Warren started in 1950 in St. Albans, Vermont and relocated to Rutland, Vermont in 1973 (retiring in 1992). His son, William (Bill), followed in his footsteps starting in 1979, followed eventually by the third generation, me and my brother Justin. Being a business owner you are your own boss. With that comes great responsibility and accountability to your clients. It’s about continuing our grandfather’s legacy of providing coverage and advice to our clients’ needs. We consider ourselves as insurance “explainers,” not sellers.
How did you get to where you are today?
Warren started as a scratch agent, meaning zero clients. He built up the business over time, and we now service thousands of clients in Vermont, New York and New Hampshire. We went from selling only auto and life insurance in 1950 to providing over 20 different products and solutions for families and businesses. Our agency is currently at maximum capacity for our physical location, and is the largest it’s ever been in regards to the number of employees and clients. That being said, we have grown over 50 percent over the past three years, and will strive to grow in the years to come.
What makes your company unique? What is the most interesting aspect of your company?
This is truly a small family business. When you enter our office or talk to us on the phone, we strive to make you feel welcome in our family. Therefore, personalized customer service is why people stay with us instead of going online or having multiple insurance agents or carriers.
We were all born and raised in Vermont and started the agency here. It is because of that we choose to stay where our roots are; because we are established here. It’s why Justin and I, although we went to colleges not in the immediate area, we decided to come back to Rutland. We’ve been in this particular location since 1985, and the physical location, geographical area/trade circle is a good fit for a small business which wants to remain a small business and not become a huge conglomerate.
As a business owner, what is the most important lesson you have learned?
The customer or client is of course Number One always, no exceptions. Providing personalized customer service is our highest priority.
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Joanna Tebbs Young is a freelance writer and writing workshop facilitator living in Rutland. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, wisdomwithinink.com, facebook.com/TheWritersRoomatAllenHouse or on Twitter at @jtebbsyoung.