Six years from its centennial as a Placerville business, ISU Insurance Services-Atwood Agency is a well-rooted member of the local business community.
“We support our local businesses,” said Don Erickson, president and chief executive officer, and son, Matt, vice president. “We do our shopping at local merchants and encourage our agents and staff to do the same,” said Don. “In return, we appreciate their business and referrals. We are all in the community network.”
The company also supports local nonprofits, including Marshall Medical Center.
Don’s father, Maurice, purchased the company from Ted Atwood, son of the founder, in 1963.
Don said that since the company began in 1919 the focus has been on “doing our very best. We’re here for our clients’ interest. We never compromise.“
Matt said, “This is a tough economy. People have lost their health, their homes, their automobiles. When it comes to insurance, some people have gone to the Internet to shop for lower costs.” He said those companies are out of the area, and often strip coverage so that people are getting less insurance when there is a claim.
“We are familiar with locations here,” said Matt. When we have a claim, we are there right away. We meet with the adjusters, the company representatives and the clients. Our clients trust us to provide that service.”
“Our customers are looking for security,” said Don. “Many of our employees have been with us 20 or 30 years. They are experienced.”
Don said the company tries to retain employees with strong roots in the community. “We have a good benefit package and are flexible about family needs,” he said. “We recognize milestones. Our management style is not ‘over-the-shoulder.’ We all work together. ISU Insurance has 17 employees in their two offices in Placerville and Georgetown.
The company does not represent any one insurance company, but is able to provide the best plan for a family or business from a selection of several companies. Four years ago, Atwood Insurance Agency became part of the ISU Insurance Services Network. ISU started in 1979 as a local, privately-owned independent insurance and financial firm headquartered in San Francisco.
Matt said that joining the ISU Network means that his company has increased the number of insurance companies it represents from 50 to 350. “With ISU, we have better negotiating power for all products and rates,” he said.
ISU Insurance-Atwood provides a full suite of insurance coverage: homeowners, business and commercial, health, life, auto, long-term care, disability, renters, bonds, liability and workers’ compensation. It is the largest underwriter of fire districts in California.
Each of the company’s 13 licensed agents specializes in a specific area. Matt is a chartered financial consultant and chartered life underwriter. His wife, Hillary, is a chartered casualty underwriter. Ken Witter is the health insurance expert.
People’s insurance needs expand and contract as they go through life, said Matt. We have national clients now. Many of them started here and expanded. Every year, we review our customers’ insurance needs.
Computers have changed the way they do business. Plan comparisons can be done in a brief time. In 1996 the company had two computers. Today, there are 22 computers on multiple servers. Multiple networks provide security and data protection. If one goes down, another will be available.
“It all comes down to doing the right thing and making sure the client is in the best situation,” said Don.
For more information, visit atwoodins.com, or call 530-626-2533.