Joseph F. Berenato
Scott Brown Insurance Agency expands
Recently, the Scott Brown Insurance Agency moved to a new location—307 12th St.—and added a new agent: Rich McCarthy.
“We wanted to be closer in town, number one, and own our own piece of property—that was probably the biggest thing. We’re expanding, and we needed more room ... We started in Raspberry Run; then, we went to the old Toni’s Custard and we outgrew that—and we wanted to buy something,” Brown said.
Brown, who has been in the insurance business for more than 35 years, said that while he and McCarthy represent two separate agencies, they both operate under the banner of American National Farm Family, having bought the insurance business from another agent in Hammonton, and that working under one roof was the logical progression for both of them.
“We’re very passionate about doing the right thing and helping people. We’re very excited ... Rich is growing, and he needed more staff—and the same with us. We want one receptionist answering the phone. Most agencies don’t do that anymore, but we wanted one voice,” Brown said.
McCarthy, originally from Oregon, attended school in central Pennsylvania, where he majored in finance and economics.
“I always had a goal that I wanted to work with big corporations, either be a part of a big corporation or work with a big corporation. My first job out of college, I worked in the executive benefits area. I did that up with multiple companies, and sold non-qualified deferred comp programs to C-Class, which would be CEOs and CFOs,” McCarthy said.
However, McCarthy said, working in such an industry is “a young man’s game.”
“It was country clubbing, getting to know people, golfing, taking them to sporting events and stuff like that. In the meantime, I had four kids, and it came down to a point where my oldest had no idea I was home for three days; she just assumed I was gone ... I was never home,” McCarthy said.
In 2015, McCarthy started talking to one of his and Brown’s mutual associates about a career change.
“It took a leap of faith, because it was a big financial adjustment. Jumping in and starting a new agency? You’re starting with nothing. Fortunately, Farm Family was very good to me. They understood the value that I brought, and in 2016 I made that leap ... I went from sitting down and having a cobb salad with the CEO of Home Depot to wearing my loafers at a blueberry farm, and I love it. They’re down-to-earth people. After six years in the corporate world, I said, ‘This is not me.’ I grew up in a logging town ... I feel like I’m back to my roots. I learned a lot in the process—a lot about myself—and I’m very happy with the transition,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy, who joined with American National Farm Family two years ago, said that it was only logical that he “join forces with Scott.”
“Even though I have years and years of experience with insurance, a lot of that was corporate. He’s been in the small business area, and has been a wealth of knowledge. I wish I would have done it sooner,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said that, at his previous office, there was an open-door policy to all clients.
“I was in that office for a year and a half, and there was a lot of traffic coming into the office. COVID tampered that down a little bit, and it forced some of the clients to call or use email, but they want to go and pay their premium to their agent. That’s an old-school thing, but I think it’s kind of cool. You get to know them ... a lot of people in this town do that, and, coming out of COVID, I think they want to re-engage with their agents, and we have an open-door policy. They can come in and meet their agent, if that’s important to them,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said that their purchasing of the aforementioned insurance business will help to better serve clients.
“The book is being split up two ways, but in one office—and that’s how we’re approaching it. In our letter to the clients, it’s one office. It’s American National Farm Family. It’s one office, one number to call in,” McCarthy said.
“We’re here in Hammonton. People don’t have to worry about an outsider from another city or state running it ... So many people are going to the internet, and we want to be the best possible person to give you great service. We want to hold the hands of people who want theirs to be held, and we want to be there for them. We’re a small family, and we care about people,” Brown said.
For more information, call (609) 270-1669.