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Scott Cauglan

 

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Scott Caughlan

Scott Caughlan has been working in the insurance industry since 1993 when he started began at his family’s agency, Nelson-Patterson Insurance in Bergen County. The agency has been a member of Big I New Jersey since the early 1950s and while Scott has been an active member for many years, it’s been a bit shorter than that. Of his time as a Big I NJ member, Scott has sat on the board of directors for the last 12 years.  

Get to know Scott a little better and see how his entrepreneurial spirit drives both his insurance businesses and his side-gig and why he credits the ‘old guard’ agents at Big I NJ for shaping him into the agent he is today.

Why did you initially choose a career in the insurance industry?
Family. It was family that brought me to the industry and family who influenced my career from a young age. 
 
How has being a member of the association impacted your career? 
I’m sure it’s been said a hundred times, but the relationships are vital. Just knowing that I have a trusted network who I can reach out to when I have a question or to troubleshoot something with another agent is invaluable. At the end of the day, this is still a “people business”, no matter how much technology is dragged into it. And that impacts the peer-to-peer aspect as much as it does to the agent-to-client relationship.  

What do you see as the greatest opportunity for our industry over the next 5 years? 
There will never be a time where insurance isn’t needed, especially with the world becoming more and more technically-dependent. Those who cultivate strong relationships will always come out ahead.

From a technological perspective, what do you think will have the greatest impact on insurance over the next 5+ years? 
Technology in general is going to make an agent’s life much easier. Of course, it’s always what makes things harder too. Personally, I’m keeping watch on the advancement of self-driving cars. That has the potential to wreak havoc on our industry.
What advice would you share with individuals just starting out in the industry?
Work hard, work smart, and develop good relationships with carriers. 

What are you most looking forward to accomplishing during your time on the board?
It’s important to me to help promote and fight for the ‘independence’ of independent agents.

What one hidden gem – as it relates to benefits/resources - do you think more Big I NJ members need to be taking advantage of? 
Honestly, all of it. There’s a resource for any need. You just have to dig in and find the tool that best fits your agency.

Who are your mentors?
My uncle and my father have been my mentors, along with the “old guard” agents that I have met through the local association when I started out in the industry almost 30 years ago. There have been so many relationships made, and each one has helped shape me into the agent that I am today (and they still do).

What is your greatest motivator?
Solving problems for my clients and growing my business.

What is the best professional advice you have received?
If you don’t have something nice to say, keep your mouth shut!
Easier said than done sometimes.

What's something that most people are surprised to learn about you?
I have been running a landscaping business for the past 35 years that specializes in water features, outdoor lighting and audio. It’s dove-tailed nicely with my insurance business and I have many clients for both businesses.