Taking relationships to heart

A spotlight on Farmer Woods Group

58 years ago, Farmer Woods Group first opened its doors to offer insurance in Phoenix, Arizona. A lot has changed since then—but “alignment” is still the key word Jim Farmer emphasizes when he talks about the business.

There are a lot of different moving parts when it comes to insurance: Coverage and risk management. Commercial and personal lines. Provider, agent, and customer. The members of the team at Farmer Woods Group pride themselves on how they work together to keep them in-sync.

Bill Farmer started the agency in 1960, and built an excellent reputation for service that the business has enjoyed ever since. Today, his son Jim Farmer continues this legacy with partner Tim Woods. The agency is strategically affiliated with Leavitt Group, one of the nation’s largest privately-held brokerages. At the same time, the team at Farmer Woods deals with clients locally and personally. This allows them to provide outstanding service for personal and commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and more.


Connecting the dots


In many insurance agencies, commercial and personal insurance operate quite distinctly. But at Farmer Woods Group, the team believes that they go hand in hand. The group believes in working together to provide the best possible experience.

“It’s typical for everyone to go to meetings together. It’s in everyone’s best interest that we get to know clients on multiple levels,” says Tim.

At the same time, the team takes specialization seriously, with a focus on building deep knowledge where clients need expertise. Their Private Client department, headed by Brandi Roggentien is one area where this approach has been a great success.

Working with high net worth clients means understanding the details, explains Tami Chartier, who works as a Private Client Advisor. In fact, Tami was one of the first 50 people to earn the respected Certified Personal Risk Manager (CPRM) designation, the first designation designed around high net worth clients and brokers. She explains that it’s been extremely valuable for her work. “It was the most amazing two years in my career taking the courses. I’m fortunate to work for an agency that fosters those opportunities.”


Building connections with value


When you speak with the team at Farmer Woods Group, one of the first things you’ll realize is how important relationship-building is to what they do.

“We take our relationships extremely seriously,” says Tim. “That goes for our internal relationships, our relationships with our clients and our relationships with providers.”

Tim explains that team vets prospective clients before they begin working together to ensure that Farmer Woods Group is the right fit. “We want to be part of their team,” Tim explains about the kind of rapport he looks to build. It’s one of the reasons the team has such a high client retention rate, he explains, because from the start the relationship goes both ways.

Once they start working with clients, the Farmer Woods Group approach is truly consultative. “It’s much deeper than just premium numbers,” Tim says. Tami agrees, noting that getting to know the client’s lifestyle is key. “At the heart of it, our job is figuring out what our clients need. It’s a fact-finding mission, and there’s a lot that goes into it!” Brandi agrees, adding,

“Since each family is unique, there is no cookie-cutter approach. The process is tailored specifically to them.”


A spotlight on storytelling


The world of insurance, with its industry terminology and acronyms, can be overwhelming. That’s why Farmer Woods Group likes to help ground hypotheticals and insurance concepts with lessons learned. “Telling stories is such a helpful tool for our clients. It can help them realize their exposure,” says Tammy. Brandi adds,

“We always use stories to help break it down for our clients. We talk about the risks and the financial impact those risks pose.”

Jim agrees that it’s all about helping clients understand the value they are getting. Like any major purchase, he explains, it’s important to do your research when considering insurance solutions and understand the product so you can make an informed decision. That’s where Farmer Woods Group can help. “We like to show clients how a situation applies to their lives,” Jim says.


Welcome to the Copper State


For years, Farmer Woods Group has worked with W. R. Berkley Corporation for their commercial insurance business. So when they learned that Berkley’s new personal lines provider, Berkley One, planned to launch in Arizona earlier this year, they were eager to learn more. “The timing is impeccable,” says Jim, “We’re excited to work together.”

Their experience with Berkley, explains Tim, gives him confidence Berkley One will offer the same level of excellent service that Farmer Woods Group expects for clients they’ve invested in building relationships with. “When Berkley does something, they go all in,” he says, “It’s easy to sell the name Berkley.”

Berkley One, a Berkley Company, is equally excited to be working with Farmer Woods Group, and to be serving the Copper State.

Farmer Woods Group offers Commercial Insurance, Personal Insurance, Group Benefits, Industry Programs, and Commercial and Personal Risk Management. The agency is based in Phoenix, Arizona.