When it comes to crop insurance, Tyler Hansen has the background to succeed. The Minnesota-based insurance agent grew up on a farm and worked as a dairy farmer in high school. These days, he spends his time helping his clients protect their farms and livelihoods. We talked with Tyler about his background, his best advice for new agents and his favorite parts of the job.
What Was Your Path to Becoming an Agent?
“My current role is Agent/Registered Rep. I have been in the insurance industry since 2013 and started with Farm Bureau in 2015. Prior to insurance, I went to Southwest Minnesota State University where I received my bachelor’s degree in management and finance. I worked as a credit analyst, a finance manager at a car dealership and sold pharmaceuticals.
I became a Farm Bureau agent in 2015 and started to expand what I could offer my community. In addition to being licensed in property/casualty, life and health, I became crop certified and got my Series 6 & 63 to become a Registered Rep. During that time, I received the Life Rookie award in Minnesota, the Ag Advantage Award and multiple internal awards. I also became Master Ag Certified because I knew that agriculture was the best way to grow my business. In 2019, I took a role with Farm Bureau as the Regional Crop Consultant, where I helped agents learn and sell crop insurance. I came back as an agent in the spring of 2021.”
What Does a Typical Day Look Like for You?
“No day is the same, which is great for most people. A typical day is talking with current clients and prospects to give the best service we can. I like to go out to the farms and see how things are going and how we can help. There are days when I need to be in the office, reviewing SuperChecks, writing life insurance, making sure paperwork is done correctly — but once established and you find staff you can trust to lighten your load, you get to focus on the aspects of the business you like most.”
How Has Your Ag Background Been Helpful as an Agent?
“Growing up on a farm in rural southwest Minnesota, agriculture is in almost every aspect of your life whether you realize it at a young age or as an adult. I helped my relatives pick rocks at a young age, baled hay in junior high and high school for local farmers and worked at a dairy farm as well before college.
I would say the biggest thing those experiences left me with is that ag is an important part of life and can be hard work. So, understanding that and relating to it, I feel you can learn more and ask the right questions to fact find for your clients and prospects, to learn their operation and give them the best advice to stay protected. No one farm is the same as another and that is important to understand.”
What Do You Love Most About Your Job?
“Helping clients become educated on their policies so that they understand what is covered and why it’s important. Our job is to create a relationship that the clients will understand and trust that we are doing what is right for them in all aspects of their life.”
What Is the Most Challenging Part of Working in Crop/Ag Insurance?
“I don’t think this can be pinpointed to one aspect of crop/ag. First, you need to understand the products that you are offering. The second would be that every person has a different personality and hence can make their operations extremely different. So, learn your products and understand your clients. If you can’t do that, it will be difficult to do your job to the best of your ability.”
What's the Most Common Question You Get from Clients?
“How is it covered and what is the amount I will get?”
What Would You Tell Agents About Crop Insurance?
I would tell every agent interested in agriculture that they should get certified once they are comfortable with the other products they can sell with Farm Bureau. Build your customers' trust and they will bring their crop insurance to you at some point. Ask a crop-only agent if it's easy to break into the crop market. Most would say it's usually not the first product you will write on them.”
What's the Best Piece of Advice You Can Give to New Agents?
“When they are training and get pulled in 20 different directions, first and foremost you need to understand our package policy and our life insurance. Sell those, hit your goals, grow, add staff and then you can add crop, health and investments. You can bog yourself down when you start. There are things that you need to accomplish before you spread yourself too thin.”
What Are You Most Excited to Do Career-wise in the Coming Year?
“I am excited to be in the position to have two SA’s and will be adding another in the coming months. I will be having a team family vacation and an adults’ vacation when we hit our goals! I would also like to take my family on the Pacesetters Trip to Disneyland! Big things in 2022 for the Hansen Agency.”
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