By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
In 2016, when Brody Jackson first opened his State Farm agency, it seemed like this guy and his crew were everywhere!—Earth Day, Home & Garden Show, Superheroes, Relay for Life, various 5Ks and more; if you were at a community event, Brody was there under the trademark cheerful red State Farm tent. From my perspective, he genuinely lived out the jingle: “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” Always upbeat, generous, and helpful, I was glad to see that his business was thriving. More importantly, his heart for our community was continually made manifest.
However, it wasn’t until earlier this spring when I became a member of the Limestone Leaders Business Network International chapter (which meets every Tuesday morning at the Veterans’ Museum) that I got a chance to get to know “the guy and his why” when it comes to selling insurance. All it took was a ten-minute presentation, complete with a picture of his demolished truck, as well as a description of an accident where by grace, Brody cheated death. I now understand that there is a world of difference in insurance companies and the care they provide for their customers.
A bit about the accident itself—on September 21, 2009, Brody was in his Athens Utilities truck during lunch hour. He had been reading meters and was at the intersection of New Cut Road and Glaze Road in Owens/Athens. A kid ran a stop sign, hit him, and the truck was knocked into oncoming traffic. Brody was then hit head on by another vehicle. Someone helped Brody, badly injured and dazed, get away from the truck moments before it exploded. “It was like something out of a movie,” he said. Thankfully, he was the only one hurt.
Pieced together by staples and pins, Brody was in a wheelchair, yet decided that no matter what, he was going to be back at work in 6 months. He had months of physical therapy, did not sleep sometimes for days, and then when he did sleep, had horrific nightmares wherein he could hear the glass breaking and the truck crunching all over again. It was in the middle of this mess that he met his beloved Claire. They married in 2011 and now have 3 children: Bryant, age 5; Brayden, age 3; and little Miss Blaire, who is just two months old. He has had a total of 12 surgeries: five on his hand, three on his hip, one on his knee, and extensive dental surgery. Upon impact, Brody clenched his jaw so forcefully that he split his teeth.
A man of faith and determined joy, Brody was quick to point out how much people helped. Athens Utilities and workman’s comp were there, and friends, family, and co-workers supported him every step of his journey. He also maxed out all his credit cards and was in dreadful pain. But Brody’s “why” as to becoming a State Farm agent could not have been clearer or deeper. “I did not want anyone else to go through what I went through when it came to the help that I didn’t get from my insurance carrier,” Brody said. He continued, “I would call to inquire about an aspect of coverage and the agent would actually say, ‘Why are you calling?’”
It wasn’t just the accident, but you’ll recall that 2011 was also the year of the killer twisters. Brody was starting to feel like he had found his calling, but when I asked him why he specifically chose State Farm, it was the helpful agents that were assisting people in the literal midst of the storm that let him know this was what he wanted to do. “People don’t trust the industry, and I wanted to change that. Being able to do that in my home town is that much sweeter,” he said.
Brody’s State Farm agent contacted him regarding the prospect of becoming an agent, and he went through extensive training with his agent functioning as a mentor. He then began to carefully build his team. “We all have the same passion,” he said, which can be defined as undaunted advocacy for their clients. “Accidents are where we shine,” he said. “We go there, even in the middle of the night, and our question for our clients is, ‘What can I do for you?’”
There is far more to insurance than just accidents or fires. People need to understand that many needs can arise, even amongst seemingly invincible homeowners in the 30-55-year-old age group. “Health and disability needs can hit anyone,” Brody said. This morning at our BNI meeting he told us with a grin how he had been able to save a woman ten dollars a month on her premium and give her better coverage. “Ten dollars a month can add up over time, and we give great discounts for being accident free,” he said.
If you are looking for an insurance agent who is indeed a good neighbor, Brody Jackson and his team “are there” to help you. Call him today for an appointment, and experience what happens when a man chooses to change life’s worst into our community’s best.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner