50 Best Companies to Watch 2021
The insurance industry in Florida has a significant impact on the state’s economy that extends well beyond its responsibilities to collect premiums and settle claims. It employs licensed professionals, pays taxes, owns municipal bonds, and serves people in their times of greatest need.
Harris Insurance is a family-owned, independent, and licensed insurance brokerage agency located in Downtown Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The firm is protecting the populaces of Florida since its inception in 1965. It offers the area’s largest selection of A-Rated national companies and provides all forms of insurance.
Harris Insurance actively works with more than 150 different insurance companies to ensure that it provides the best value to its clients. The company was voted as the ‘Best Customer Service 2019’ by readers of VIP Destin Magazine and has more Google reviews than any local competitors.
Whit Harris: Interview Excerpt
Take us through the journey of the company right from its beginning to the point where it unwaveringly stands today.
Started in 1965 by Cyrus Harris, Harris Insurance is a local independent insurance agency helping Florida residents secure auto, home, life, and business insurance. We partner with national insurance companies to bring their clients the best value from the insurance marketplace and the multiple options they deserve.
Later, I propelled the Agency into the modern era—the 21st century, with the most innovative technologies, experienced staffs, and team members in Northwest Florida. Today, I work alongside my children, Garrett Harris and Natalie Harris Schmidt, to continually make the customer experience better while uncovering new business opportunities.
Delineate Harris Insurance’s reliable insurance services and their significance.
The Florida Insurance marketplace is currently in a crisis, with over 30,000+ policies being non-renewed in the year to come. Coupled with companies closing zip codes or leaving the state together, it takes dedication and expertise to properly place risks in this fluid market. Our team trains and collaborates daily to make sure we are extending the best service we can to our clients in Florida.
How have emerging technologies contributed to the success of your business?
With proprietary software systems, we are able to shop and compare all available markets with every request. This is not standard among all independent agencies as it is extremely costly and time-consuming. Cybersecurity is also vital; we are confident in our systems and work hard to protect our customer’s data and information. We are also continually investing in new technology to enhance the customer experience. Most recently, we’ve added texting, email automation, and chatbots to ease the increase of consumer demands on our team.
What do you feel are the reasons behind your company’s success?
Dedication, Hard Work, Perseverance, and Follow through.
The impact of COVID-19 on global insurance markets is largely felt through asset risks, market volatility, and weaker growth prospects. How do you manage to stay relevant and significant in such difficult times?
I’m sure it will take years to evaluate and determine all of the various aspects of the business that COVID has and will continue to effect; however, we have seen that it has continued to propel the industry online and to find ways to expand the natural business footprint of the “local agency on the corner.” It’s important to establish an online presence and keep the relationship and conversation piece of researching and exploring how to best protect the things that matter most: your family, homes, businesses, and possessions.
How do you manage to maintain efficiency in your service?
Our team has doubled in the last year, and we’ve embraced remote work and extended hours as well to help protect Floridians. Hard work, personalization, and follow-through cannot be substituted in this industry.
The Visionary Leader
Whit Harris, Owner, serves as the President of Harris Insurance. He is a Certified Insurance Counsellor (CIC). Mr. Harris has grown up in the Insurance Industry and has established an Agency that can accommodate continual growth and five-star services to their long-time clients and new prospects alike.