Independent insurance broker Michael O’Leary isn’t dedicated to a company, he’s dedicated to his clients and getting them the best coverage at the best price for their auto, home, and life insurance needs.
“Since I don’t work through one company, I can look at all the companies and see what discounts are offered for specific individuals, specific clients,” said O’Leary. “For example, if they’re a teacher, they get a different discount with a different company than others. Things like that.”
O’Leary’s research and knowledge of the various companies enables him to match clients with a company that best suits their insurance needs.
“I can find a company that might fit a little bit better,” said O’Leary. “A lot of companies see different areas – different zip codes – in different lights. Fallbrook is considered a fire hazard to some companies, so they either raise their rates because of it or don’t even offer a program, whereas others might say, ‘oh, it’s not a fire hazard, it’s Fallbrook.’ That type of thing. I do all the shopping.”
In addition to providing clients with quality insurance options, O’Leary believes providing excellent customer service is paramount. Consequently, O’Leary still makes the old-fashioned “house call.”
“Most of the time, I will go to the client’s home,” said O’Leary. “I like to go and visit people when it’s best for them. Instead of them coming to me between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and having to get off work to do it, I can meet them in the evening, no problem. A Saturday? No problem.”
O’Leary prides himself on being accessible. If a client calls, he answers. If something prohibits him from immediately answering the phone, he returns the call in prompt fashion.
“Customer service is completely response time,” said O’Leary. “I try to be available weekends, evenings. With phones these days, you pretty much have them on you at all times, so I don’t mind when I get late calls or text messages or emails because typically I’m up and it’s a simple response. And the clients don’t have to wait.
“Service is a big priority in this business,” continued O’Leary. “If you’re not taking care of people, then they’re going to find somewhere else to go. I don’t know how many people I’ve talked to over the years that hadn’t talked to their agent in a while, or the last time they called they never got a response. In a sense, sometimes that’s why they are switching (insurance companies or brokers) – it isn’t always the rate, it’s the service.”
O’Leary said clients appreciate having a relationship with their broker.
“Many people can go online and find information, but they want that personal contact,” said O’Leary. “It’s that personal connection, that personal touch. I think that’s of value.”
O’Leary said customer service and the importance of following through was ingrained in him at an early age.
“I’ve been in customer service since I turned 16,” said O’Leary. “I was a busser at a nice restaurant and I learned how to take care of people right away, and I don’t think it’s ever left. And being a military brat, it was like, ‘if you say you’re going to do it, you better do it.’ That was dad’s way. He was a Marine at Camp Pendleton for more than 20 years. You give your word, you abide by it. That’s the way I was raised.”
O’Leary, a 24-year resident of Fallbrook, sums up his job succinctly.
“Give the clients a policy that serves them well at the best price and protects them properly, because that’s why they’re buying insurance,” said O’Leary.
To contact O’Leary regarding auto, home or life insurance, call (760) 822-8263 or email [email protected]