Byron Kauffman is a principal at Wetzel Insurance Agency. Below is the first part of an interview with him.
What did you do before becoming involved with Wetzel?
I was a Group and Pension Sales Representative with Mutual of New York (MONY) out of their Chicago Sales Office. I sold administrative and investment management services to corporate pension clients in the nine states of the mid-west. I had previously done the same for Manulife, now John Hancock USA, in Indianapolis and was responsible for sales in southern Indiana, southern Ohio, and Kentucky.
How long have you been involved in the insurance business?
I have been licensed to sell Property and Casualty insurance in Indiana since 1979. I was licensed to sell Life and Health insurance shortly thereafter and was affiliated both with Wetzel Insurance and Northwestern Mutual life while still in college at DePauw and graduate school at Texas Christian University.
How did you get in to the insurance agency?
My father Raymond Kauffman was a principal at Wetzel and encouraged me to be involved. My first experience was during winter-term at DePauw in 1979 as an intern at EMC Companies, Lansing Branch. The summer thereafter I worked in the agency and obtained my licensing.
How has insurance changed in the past 30 years?
Digitization of data has changed our industry dramatically, both in the agency and in the companies. Although, Wetzel was an early adopter of technology there were still hand written Journals where premiums were recorded in the file cabinet when I arrived in 1992. Today we and the industry are totally paperless. There are a few hold outs but most agencies are paperless today. At the company level data now rules. Data is compiled and predictive models are used in the development of nearly all rates.