By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Professional Services | Issue: April 2012
Mick Cottom, president of RCI Insurance Group.
If you’re 50 or older, there are some advantages, especially when it comes to insurance.
RCI Insurance Group, a local independent agency in Claremore, recently announced their selection by The Hartford Group to offer their award-winning AARP-branded homeowners insurance program.
According to research from The Hartford, 60 percent of consumers prefer to buy their auto and home insurance as a bundled policy. Based on this research and strong customer demand, The Hartford is now offering the AARP-branded home insurance program through select, authorized independent agents, allowing consumers to purchase both AARP-branded home and auto insurance from a local independent agency.
“For more than 25 years, the industry-leading AARP-branded homeowners insurance program from The Hartford has been extremely popular,” says Jim Flynn, vice president, The Hartford. “Much of the success of this program is due to innovative product features and a commitment to truly understand and support our customers. We are thrilled to now be able to offer both home and auto insurance as a bundled package with our independent agent partners.”
RCI Insurance Group was chosen after satisfying a number of eligibility requirements, which included demonstrating a commitment to community service; meeting a high-level of business and ethical standards; and completing a training program designed to address the needs of the 50+ population. These products were previously only available from The Hartford by phone, the Internet and by mail.
The AARP-branded home insurance program is designed in consultation with The Hartford Advance 50 Team, which helps to tailor products and services specifically to the interests and needs of baby boomers and older adults.
According to Mick Cottom, president of RCI, you do not have to be an AARP member currently to enroll in their insurance program. “We are required to offer other solutions as well,” he says. “We think this is a good program but we are not limited, and if we think we have a better option for a customer, we will offer it.”
If the AARP plan is the best product for one of RCI’s customers, and that customer is not already an AARP member, he or she can sign up during the insurance enrollment process. However, says Cottom, if it isn’t the best plan for a customer, AARP enrollment is not required. “We want to do what is best for our customers,” he adds.
One of The Hartford’s selling points, according to Amber Helmuth, personal lines risk manager at RCI, is its lifetime renewability. “This is especially important for the over 50 crowd,” she says. “No matter how many claims you make, they will not cancel your policy. They can change the rates but you will never be faced with a cancellation.”
According to Cottom, many Oklahoma homeowners have been faced with cancelled policies because of the wild Oklahoma weather, from high winds, hail damage, ice and snow, extremely cold temperatures that led to frozen pipes, and of course, tornados. RCI can also offer coverage for Oklahoma’s latest threat – earthquakes, for a nominal fee.
RCI Insurance, which has been in business since 1972 and under new ownership since 1994, is dedicated to offering its customers a wide range of insurance products, including home, health, auto, commercial, life, farms, churches, rentals and workers’ compensation.
RCI Insurance Group also has a dedicated team of protection specialists with over 150 years of combined insurance experience. “We provide a vast array of protection for clients throughout Oklahoma and surrounding states,” says Cottom.
RCI also offers a referral program through their website and Facebook page. “For every client referred to us,” he says, “we award a $15 gas card and donate $5 to the William Barnes Child Advocacy Center in Claremore.” For each quarter, referrals will also earn customers the possibility of winning a Kindle Fire or a 32-inch flat screen television.
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.