Jerry Ford has been working at Allen & Stults for nearly 30 years and has been a member of Big I New Jersey since the start. He began as a member of the local Mercer County Big I NJ board, then joined the Young Agents board, followed by multiple terms on the NJ State Board. Jerry is a past Chair of Big I NJ and is the association’s current National Director.
Jerry’s influence in the association, and the industry, stems from his deep commitment to his profession. He knows that it’s not just about insurance, that a career as an agent can be fulfilling in a variety of ways. And, as a Big I NJ officer, he’s committed to making sure all agents are taken care of.
Why did you choose a career in insurance?
I saw it as an opportunity to work in my hometown and have a flexible job that has afforded lots of growth. After 30 years, I’d say it worked out very well.
What would you share with others considering joining the association?
Getting involved will help you deepen your knowledge beyond what you could experience just within your agency. It’s also a chance to have an impact on, and a voice for, the future of independent agents.
What do you see as the greatest opportunity for our industry over the next 5 years?
Start-up agencies are going to be able to compete and thrive with easier access to markets than ever before. And, they’ll have less overhead due to the abundance of tech tools available to them.
What technological breakthrough, device, or innovation, do you think will have the greatest impact on insurance over the next 5+ years?
I’d be surprised if everyone isn’t thinking this, but AI. It’s going to have a major impact as we continue to integrate AI tools, especially those used to compare policies and carriers.
What advice would you share with individuals just starting out in the industry?
Realize this isn’t just insurance. As an agent, you can learn about many industries. Also, as part of your job you have the chance to do volunteer work to help your community and expand your network.
What are you most looking forward to accomplishing during your time on the board?
I want to leave all Big I NJ members with the belief that they have an association that supports them and that is evolving to help them as the industry changes.
What one hidden gem – as it relates to benefits/resources - do you think more Big I NJ members need to be taking advantage of?
Catalyit is a game-changer when it comes to improving your agency operations and leveraging technology.
What is your greatest motivator?
Simply having customers who are satisfied and trust in my role as an advisor.
What's something that most people are surprised to learn about you?
I am a die-hard Manchester United supporter. I actually love all things soccer.