About six years ago, Craig Fisher had the opportunity to purchase a small commercial lines insurance agency based in Phoenix that had an affiliation with several contractor licensing centers in Arizona and Utah. He quickly arranged to have producers staffed in each center, changed the firm’s name to Contractors Insurance Agency, and the rest, as they say, is history.
“We’ve been able to successfully market to contractors getting licenses. Our agents never make a single cold call,” Craig says.
Many of the agency’s clients are also newer operations. “We hope to end up with acorns that grow into oak trees—sole proprietors that grow into six-figure corporations. We’re proud to partner with our clients and help them succeed,” says Craig.
Building a Business
Craig started his career in real estate before moving into insurance claims adjusting. He quickly realized he had an interest in insurance and an affinity for the sales end of the business. And after purchasing the agency and researching the market, he realized Acuity was a company the agency needed to represent.
“When I visited Acuity, I was absolutely amazed with the quality of their people and their customer focus. When I heard that they’re committed to answering every inbound call in 16 seconds or less—nobody else does that,” Craig says.
Contractors Insurance Agency has become a standout for Acuity in the Arizona area marketplace, and Acuity likewise has been a key part of the agency’s growth and success.
“Acuity is our ace card, our ‘Secretariat’—we win races with them,” Craig says. “Also, when we put clients with Acuity and they have any type of loss, that’s where Acuity shines—we hear that a lot from customers.”
The agency backs up its contracting specialization with a commitment to delivering customer service that is a cut above.
“The bottom line is that we are in a service industry, and that’s how we differentiate ourselves. Our ratio of CSRs to agents is probably much higher than your typical agency as a result,” Craig says, adding that people make the difference in delivering a great customer experience.
“We all believe in putting the customer first—we’re all cut out of the same cloth. It might sound cliché, but it’s how we operate,” he says.
Contractors Insurance Agency also leverages technology to connect with customers. “We use our agency management software to be sure we are staying in regular contact with clients. We don’t want to be the ‘one call per year at renewal’ agency,” Craig says.
Contractors Insurance Agency has grown steadily over the years, including during the pandemic.
“Our business never slowed down—people still needed homes and businesses built, and we operate in an area of the country that is constantly growing,” Craig says.
The agency targets continual annual increase in sales and hopes to double its book of business within the next few years. “I don’t believe there’s a ceiling to what we can do,” Craig says, adding that specialization and service will continue to propel the agency’s growth strategy.
“Like I always tell our customers, ‘You’re good at contracting, we’re good at insurance,’” he says. “We want to let our customers focus on building homes and making money by taking the worry about insurance away.”