Did you know that it is still possible to get auto insurance for 30 bucks a month? Were you aware that if it is extremely difficult for you to qualify for insurance, that there are two experienced insurance agents in Athens who take great pleasure in finding policies for “the uninsurable?” It’s true, and you can find Sherry McCafferty and Tammy Vaughan of SOS Insurance in the charming cabin-like building on the corner of Madison and Market Streets, just off the Courthouse Square in Athens. The address is 316 Market Street W, Athens, AL 35611, and the phone number is 256-262-9133. Their office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 to 5.
Between them, Sherry and Tammy have decades of experience in writing insurance policies, and worked together for many years at another firm. Sherry started off her career in the insurance industry somewhat looking at her work “as a job, and then it became a passion.” It is a passion for Tammy, too. This is Sherry’s first wholly owned insurance agency, and she makes a point of being loyal to other agents with whom she has worked.
The firm where they worked experienced great change during the shake up in the insurance industry that was such a big part of the beginning of the current recession. Eventually the firm was bought out, and Sherry figured this was the time to start SOS. She chose the name because so often people are in distress with their insurance, and need someone who really cares about helping people to “save [their] ship.” Tammy followed soon after SOS opened its doors. “It was sink or swim,” Sherry said, and she also had the additional “adventure” of having her husband get laid off around the same time. Needless to say, with the insurance market being so competitive, they knew that the secret to success was “over-the-top” customer service. It has paid off, and in an era when insurance companies are not really popular with the general public, SOS is quickly building a solid customer base. I find that I get the best feel for a place of business, (whether I am interviewing them or are there as a customer myself,) when I get a chance to watch them in action. Several people came in while I was there, and there was a potential customer calling and asking for help. I was pleased to see that everyone was treated with genuine care and respect.
Sherry and Tammy understand that “there are a lot of good people who are down on their luck, and we like to help.” They have also found that the smaller insurance companies have the same desire to meet the needs of people who “can’t” be insured. “You may have to pay higher premiums, but almost everyone can be covered,” they told me. SOS Insurance specializes in customizing policies for people with unusual circumstances. For example, the day before I was in their office, they wrote an affordable policy for a woman who had a squeaky clean driving record, and whose husband and son had suspended licenses. They ended up writing a separate policy for the husband and son, and it was affordable. They also write “SR22s,” the policies that are required if someone has had previous DUI trouble and is now in the process of rebuilding their lives. They also will do everything they can to time your payment so that it fits with when you get paid.
One thing that is very important to both of them is maintaining their reputation for treating people like they are adults. “Many insurance companies insist that their agents nearly hassle their prospective clients,” Sherry said. “If you call us, we will find you the cheapest price possible, but we will not keep after you to buy,” she added. Tammy also told me that SOS has a strict policy that they will never sell you anything that you do not need or want.
While auto insurance is their “bread and butter,” they also cover boats, motorcycles, RVs, trailers, and SUVs, and promise the same great service.
“We have about 12 companies that we find have been the best fit for their clients in terms of pricing and coverage,” Sherry said. They are: Safeway, ACCC Insurance, Access, Assurance America, Dairyland Auto, Dairyland Cycle, Everest/Arrowhead, Haulers’ Insurance, Key Insurance, National General, (formerly GMAC,) Progressive and Foremost. All of these companies have “passed muster” with SOS, and have been found to be solid and reliable.
If you have found yourself in need of help in getting insured, or are just looking for friendly, caring professional insurance agents, come to SOS Insurance and let Sherry or Tammy find you coverage that will truly meet your needs, and do so with a smile.
316 Market Street W. Athens, AL 35611
Hours: M-F 8:30-5
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner