Lindsay Awards 2016: Personal touch to insurance
By Patrick Dillon
lindsay – Since opening up her own insurance business in June of 2016 Seferina Villareal has brought home the hardware as she received the New Business of the Year award on Jan. 28 at the Lindsay Chamber of Commerce awards dinner.
“It was very shocking especially just starting the business but it was a very good honor,” said Villareal. “I just want to thank all the people that have helped me along the journey to where I am.”
This is the second award in just seven months of business that Villareal has received. She has also been awarded the awarded the Blue Ace by Farmers Insurance, who’s branch she operates.
The Blue Ace award is something that all new insurance agents, who operate their own branches, strive for but not all receive. It requires that the agent have at least 15 life insurance policies within the first six months. On top of that they have to meet a required goal that the agency sets for each agent and they can differ from agent to agent.
All of these awards have come in a time of great uncertainty for any new business owner. Having to deal with the budget, the uncertain stability of rather it will fail or succeed, as well as being pulled in a hundred different directions to meet people in the community.
Villareal’s journey began when she working as a medical assistant and wanting to be a stay at home mom. Entering as a receptionist at the local State Farm agency in Lindsay she began to take the tests in order to become an agent herself.
“It just turned out I was really good at what I do,” said Villareal. “It just stuck with me.”
Moving from Porterville, where she grew up, to Lindsay in 2015 Villareal was still employed by State Farm. But after that move and beginning her insurance career with State Farm that lasted four years, Villareal decided to venture out and become her own independent agent with Farmers.
“Starting in Lindsay I just thought it was a real good opportunity. If I was in the middle it would be easier for people if they don’t want to commute too far,” said Villareal.
Still having to deal with competition in Lindsay between State Farm and Palmer, Villareal is certain that she will be able to offer higher quality insurance with a personal touch.
“Getting on a personal level as in going to their house in order to help them out with their insurance or sending them a text to see how they are doing or if I can be any assistance to them,” said Villareal about her approach to her customers.
While her clients are at the top of her list Villareal does not forget about the entire community that makes Lindsay the town it is. For example Villareal goes as far as donating energy drinks to the police station.
Villareal is also president/chairman of the Foothills Rotary club of Lindsay. Beginning the club in June 2016 she was elected to her current position only two months later in August. She sees the club as another avenue in order to meet people in the community and to be informed to what is going on around Lindsay.
Meeting people and knowing what is going on is great but Villareal is interested in using this club for one thing, bettering the community of Lindsay, which is her entire goal.