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Epic Trust News

What a Career in the Insurance Industry Taught Me

Wendy Schell, one of Epic Trust’s insurance advisors, will be retiring at the end of this month with over 40 years under her belt in the industry. Over the course of her long career serving clients of all backgrounds across the Pacific Northwest, she has heard just about every story and experienced firsthand the evolution of the insurance industry.

Wendy entered the field in 1982 following the advice of her father—also an insurance advisor—to do something that directly helped others. Having witnessed his tribulations as the victim of a hit and run while in college which led to the loss of a leg, and later a head-on collision with an uninsured semi-truck driver, Wendy has always had a keen understanding of the valuable role insurance plays in every person’s life.

“I got into insurance to help people. It doesn’t matter what your net worth is, everyone needs insurance. Insurance is an amazing value product for people to buy, they just don’t know it.”

One of her passions has been educating clients. She said a lot of people are underinsured because they fail to consider the contingencies of what-if-situations that can happen to anyone. She gave the example of someone who invests in stocks and annuities, but doesn’t carry enough coverage to fully cover an at-fault or liability situation, in which case they would have to pay the difference out of pocket, potentially impacting those investments.

Though the state may require by law that people carry a minimum amount of insurance, it rarely covers everything. She lamented that so many people have come in over the years with so much to lose.

“An agent should ask you about different risk exposures. I want to give clients choices and help people make the right decision. Everyone is unique and it’s important to help them find what they need.”

Looking back, Wendy says “the insurance industry has changed so much.” And it’s not just high-tech cars and more distracted driving. “What has really changed is people are no longer relying on the advice of their insurance agent. Now, they educate themselves online and think they know everything.”

For those leery of taking an agent’s advice, Wendy recommends working with an independent agent. “As an independent agent, I work for my clients. I don’t want to fit someone into a box, I want to be able to check all markets.”

Looking ahead to life from out behind the desk, Wendy says she is looking forward to publishing the camping recipe cookbook she has been compiling for years, continuing her favorite hobby of painting rocks to hide, brushing the dust off her golf clubs and getting a motor bike. To say the least, she won’t be bored!

Wendy says, “This has been a career of a lifetime and I am excited about my new adventure and I encourage everyone to stay in contact with their insurance advisor and their financial advisor to make sure that their assets are protected for their retirements.”