In Loveland, Colorado, Danielle Gustafson likes to drive down the street and look at all the businesses she passes, thinking how each one needs insurance. At Advantage Insurance, run by her and her father Barry Gustafson, Danielle is helping the agency pursue more commercial lines in their area.
“There’s a lot of money to be made,” she said. “I like the challenge. I might be working on something in oil, the next day I’m working with a consulting company. It’s something different, every single day.”
Transitioning from American Family
Danielle began working at her father’s agency after she graduated high school. Her father, Barry Gustafson, has worked in insurance his entire life, and showed her the ropes when she was old enough. Eventually, Danielle became licensed, and helped the agency transition to being indepedent with ASNOA. Until that point, the agency had been part of American Family.
“Barry talked to Joe and Ray, and in 2008 we made the switch,” she said. “The day my dad retired from American Family, they came and took our computers. The next day we were independent. We got tons of phone calls that day, still thinking we were American Family.”
Since then, the agency has expanded their offerings, with Danielle personally educating herself on commercial lines with classes from carriers such as The Hartford, and ASNOA University’s own Small Business Commercial Lines class.
“It’s not the same as auto and home,” she said. “You never say no to anybody. I have a lot of captive companies that refer me business, since we have a good relationship with all of those guys here in town.”
“We do a lot of food trucks, that’s huge here in Colorado,” she added. “We try to support the local guys here too, go eat at their restaurant. It’s kinda fun.”
Small Business Commercial Lines
Over the summer of 2018, Danielle attended ASNOA University’s Small Business Commercial Lines course. The five-week course is meant for both new and experienced users, covering necessary introductory knowledge, but diving deep into the intricacies of each topic.
“It was very hands-on, very personal,” she shared. “If you had any questions, you could get them answered right there. I liked how we all took turns reading, it helped you stay on task, and make you pay attention. It’s easy to let things get away from you.”
Before taking this class, Danielle had taken other commercial lines courses, and was writing commercial lines business. Nevertheless, the class helped smooth some things out that she had missed originally, and being able to ask a live instructor any questions saved time and headaches.
“I liked how Kathy broke things up. Even if someone is knowledgeable in the commercial world, you can always learn something new and get a refresher,” she said.
Outside of work, Danielle is an avid hunter, using what free time she has to be outside in the Colorado wilderness. During the winter, she also enjoys hiking, scouting, ice fishing, and even trapping.
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