Blank's Insurance Agency was founded in 1936 by S.H. Blank.
He started his insurance career selling life and health insurance coverage. November 15, 1950, his son, Donald S. Blank, joined the firm and expanded operations by handling property and casualty lines (home, auto, business and professional) of insurance. In 1955, Don assumed sole ownership and individual proprietorship of the property and casualty operations.
A third generation has since been added. Don's daughter, Julie Blank Hearring, joined the firm September 1, 1977, became a partner January 1, 1986 and owner in 2003 and converted the firm to a limited liability corporation.
Rick Bussard, bringing 10 years of experience as a Country Companies Insurance agent, joined the Agency in January of 2002 as a producer, and became a partner in the company on January 1st of 2006.
To better serve our customers and expand marketing territory, in January 1991, Blank's purchased the West Salem Insurance Agency in West Salem, Illinois, and broadened their service area to include risks in the surrounding counties of Edwards, Clay, Lawrence, Wabash, Crawford and Jasper.
PHILOSOPHY OF DOING BUSINESS
Our philosophy of doing business is best summarized in the motto previously used by the Independent Agents Association:
"Your Independent Agent Serves You First"
We strive to provide our clients with quality products and first-rate service in the most cost effective manner.
The agency now provides all types of insurance and bonds, including personal lines of insurance such as home, auto, life and health, as well as commercial insurance including farm, professional liability, and bonds. As an Independent Insurance Agency, Blank's writes for several insurance companies to ensure its' customers receive the best coverage for their individual needs. Although the Agency does not target market specific types of risks, they do have extensive background and expertise in handling a wide variety of personal and commercial risks. Some particular areas of focus in commercial lines include public entity business, manufacturing risks, professional liability, and directors & officers liability.
The Agency has always been very active with the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois (IIA of IL) and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA). These are both professional insurance associations and two of the largest State and National such associations in the United States. Activity with the Association is very beneficial to both the agency and clients in a variety of ways. It is a ready source for information, education, and networking with other agents and companies, which helps to remain on the cutting edge of activity in the Insurance Industry.
Both Don and Julie have served as chairmen and members on various committees of the IIA of IL, on task forces, and on the Board of Directors of the IIA of IL. Don served as a regional vice president and has been presented several awards for his service to the Association. He has been awarded the prestigious Cartwright Award, the highest award which may be bestowed on a IIA of IL member agent. This is awarded for service to the industry, activity on behalf of member agents, and community activity throughout your career. In the past, he has served as chairman of many committees, including Personal Lines Technical, E&O, and others. Currently, Don serves as a committee member for the IIA of IL Planning Committee.
Julie is also very active with the Agents Association. She was awarded Illinois Young Agent of the Year in 1995. She has served in all offices of the IIA of IL, working up through the chairs. In 1999, she was the first woman to serve as President of the IIA of IL and Chairman of the Board in 2000. She is currently a member of the IIA of IL Planning Committee and the Education Committee and was formerly chairman of the Technical Committee and the Young Agents Committee.
The entire staff participates frequently in educational seminars on an individual and agency basis. Blank's feel "the more you know, the better you are able to serve your client and the more professional you will be". Through regular attendance at insurance continuing education classes, they sharpen their knowledge, skills, and perspective of the industry. All staff customer service representatives have obtained or are working toward their Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) designations. Julie has completed courses and received her Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and Allyson has received her Accredited Advisor in Insurance (AAI) designation.