For as long as Steve Clements can remember, insurance has been part of the Clements family.
“My parents, Rick and Debbie Clements, founded their agency in 1984,” recalls Steve. “I remember them working at the kitchen table, talking about ways to build their agency and their relationships with clients. Through the ups and downs of the industry and the trying times of growing a business, they always showed their commitment to the values of serving people, putting the client first, and educating customers to be sure they had the proper coverage.”
In September 2018, Steve and his wife, Alison, assumed ownership of the Clements Insurance Agency, headquartered in Wausau, Wisconsin. Although agency ownership has officially changed, Rick and Deb are still involved with the agency and in continuing to build client relationships.
“They are great mentors and have amazing relationships with clients,” says Steve. “In this business, it’s fairly common for friends to become clients, but when clients become friends it really says something. It shows genuine care and true dedication.”
Built on Trust Steve’s career journey has been a winding one. Working in professional aviation after college, he then joined his parents’ agency for several years before serving for 13 years in pastoral ministry. He rejoined the agency in 2017. Alison is a CPA and worked for a public accounting firm and in the nonprofit sector before coming to the agency in 2016.
Dedication to the customer starts at the top at the Clements Insurance Agency and is supported by everyone on staff. “The heartbeat of any organization is its people, and we have a truly wonderful team,” Alison says. “We also have a lot of longevity among our staff, which helps build confidence and trust among our clients.”
Trust is the cornerstone of the agency’s reputation. “So much of our business is based on trust and the confidence among our clients that we will be true advisors and meet their needs instead of just writing policies,” Steve says, adding that the agency emphasizes three activities to build that trust.
“We focus on ‘evaluate, educate, and advise,’” he says. “To evaluate well, we really listen. We want to understand where the client is coming from. What is their current coverage? What is important to them? What do they need protected?”
Education is connected to the value that independent agents bring to the insurance process. “Customers are coming to us rather than logging on to a website to get the knowledge and service they can’t get online. It’s our job to educate clients, help fill in any gaps in coverage, and ensure there are no surprises. That has helped us pull business from online companies,” Alison says.
The Clements agency then combines evaluation and education to advise customers on the products and coverage that offer the best protection for their individual needs.
The focus on serving people and meeting needs has resulted in a high percentage of Clements Insurance Agency’s business being concentrated in personal lines. The firm plans to also continue growing the commercial side in coming years and has been working to build relationships with local business owners. Alison is also leading the charge to expand the company’s marketing efforts. Above all, the agency will stay focused on what has propelled its growth for nearly 35 years.
“My parents laid a great foundation, and we want to continue to build on that legacy,” Steve says. “Our story has been about building trust, serving, and helping people. That is something that won’t change.”