By Nathan Prewett
For the Tribune
TRUSSVILLE – Insurance practically runs in the family of Bill Stuman, who manages Deerfoot Insurance in Trussville. His parents were insurance agents and so Stuman would go on, not only as an agent himself, but as the owner insurance business.
Having grown up with parents who were Allstate agents, Stuman started his own business after college in 1999, then called Stuman and Associates. Eventually it became Stuman, LeMaster and Associates before Stuman purchased Deerfoot Insurance in Roebuck in 2010.
“I grew up in it and with my parents being Allstate agents, I thought, ‘Well, I’ll be an agent,'” he said. “But my dad said, ‘No, I think an independent agency would be good.’ So that’s how I got to be an independent agent instead of an Allstate agent.”
Stuman said that having an independent agency turned out to be a better choice as he had more options as opposed to the slightly more restrictive policies of mainstream companies.
“What makes the independent channel more attractive is that we have other options,” he said. “We’re not just shopping one carrier for a customer. We have multiple carriers. On the auto side we might write from a person that might have multiple speeding tickets, multiple accidents all the way to your preferred customer who has homeowner’s insurance, clean driving record.”
Deerfoot Insurance handles all types of insurance except for health. A customer looking for help at Deerfoot will have their information taken down and then run through the rating system which has multiple carriers such as Progressive, Travelers, National General and so on before they advise the client what their best option is.
Stuman said that all of Deerfoot Insurance’s carriers are A + rated, meaning that they’re financially stable and have good claim service.
“We’re a pretty good split as far as we tend to do a lot of commercial business and a lot of personal loans,” he said. “About 50 percent, half and half of the agency does commercial and personal loans.”
Deerfoot Insurance continues to grow as Stuman recently purchased an agency in Roebuck and will bring their staff to Trussville in the future.
“We’re always looking for ways to grow,” Stuman said. “And with growing always maintaining a level of commitment to customer service, which I feel like our staff does a great job of that as far as servicing the customer and trying to go out of their way to do things the right way.”
The work, however, is not without challenges. Competition from major companies is one of them, as well as rate increases and insurance carriers changing underwriting guidelines.
“I would say that my staff makes it work,” he said on what makes Deerfoot unique from other companies. “I mean, they do a phenomenal job.”
Agents at Deerfoot Insurance try to help customers maximize their savings. As an example, if someone is looking for both home and car insurance, Deerfoot can get them with a carrier that does both so that they save money.
“What we do is once we get the customer’s information we try to shop rates, find out what’s going to be the best policy for them, not necessarily the cheapest rate, but what’s going to be the best policy for them to make sure that they’re covered correctly,” Stuman said.
Stuman said that Deerfoot Insurance has done a lot with Progressive and its Home Advantage program which deals with both home and auto insurances. The program, he said, can help locals in Trussville.
“It’s been a really good fit especially with all the new subdivisions coming out in Trussville, whether it be Stockton or Trussville Springs or Carrington. It’s been a really good fit to where they’re able to write a lot of that package type business.”
Stuman said that Deerfoot has been able to provide help for people in and around Trussville, especially in times of natural disasters such as when a hail storm hits or back in the tornadoes in 2011.
“That’s one thing we look at as an agency is not only do we want the carriers to provide a good rate but we also want them to stand behind their claim service and make sure they have excellent claim service because that’s an important piece of the puzzle.”
Deerfoot Insurance is located at 8170 Gadsden Highway in Trussville and can be reached at 205- 655-1020. For more information, visit the website at www.deerfootins.com or their page on Facebook.
Office hours are Monday through Thursday at 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday at 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Deerfoot Insurance is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.5150768_5_12_2017_2_27_44_PM (1)