Local agency wins top insurance honor

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, May 20, 2012

A local insurance agency is celebrating its recognition as the best in the state in its brand.

     Lincoln County Farm Bureau was named the 2011 Mississippi Farm Bureau Agency of the Year during a statewide meeting in March.

     “This means we’re doing the best we can for our members and customers,” said Ricky Ferguson, Lincoln County Farm Bureau agency manager.

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     Seven agents, Ferguson, Gary Myers, Larry Ashmore, Dennis Cuevas, Keith Cline, Sam Sones and Chuck Owens serve more than 5,000 members from the Lincoln County office. Secretaries and support personnel bring the total number of people in the office to 13.

     Ferguson said the award comes from a combination of measuring sticks, including maintenance of existing accounts, bringing in new business and other factors.

     “They combine our new sales numbers, loss ratio, customer satisfaction, new sales per agent and other things to come up with a winner,” said Ferguson. “You get points for everything you lead in.”

     Ferguson added that he thinks having a district claims center, located on Johnny Johnson Drive in Brookhaven, was another plus for the local agency and its ability to serve customers.

     “They do a great job,” Ferguson said.

     While the agency of the year award was based on insurance-related aspects, Ferguson mentioned the agency’s working with the Lincoln County Farm Bureau Federation, headed by Scott Smith, in promoting agricultural activities and schools. He mentioned Farm Bureau support of a the annual Sale of Champions, dairy days, youth sports teams and school projects.

     “Anything a school does, we try to get behind,” he said.

     Lincoln County Farm Bureau, located at 303 Cherokee St. in a renovated building once used as a bank, has maintained a Brookhaven office since the 1950s and offers a wide array of insurances. Services offered include annuities and insurance in different areas such as car, disability, farm, fire and health.

     “Our goal is to make agency of the year every year, and we compete for it every year,” said Ferguson. “It all just has to fall in place.”