There’s no better time than when a major-category hurricane is expected to arrive in your neighborhood to clarify the value of possessions, such as your home, automobiles and businesses.
When it comes to protecting those assets, Tina Ricketts, the owner and principal agent of Insurance/Seguros of America Ricketts, LLC (aka Tina Insurance), says that doing business with an independent, licensed, professional agent has advantages over obtaining coverage online or through a toll-free phone number.
“You have a face to go with the name,” says Tina. “When you call us, you deal with me directly.”
She also cites the focus of her agency’s activities and relationships with clients as distinguishing it from its competitors.
“The majority of consumers don’t know about insurance and don’t know what insurance they’re getting,” she says. “We teach them what coverage they need, based on what they’re doing.”
According to its website, TinaInsurance.com, specializes in “trucking, business, homeowners, or auto insurance.”
Trucking, you say? Tina has found that insuring commercial trucks is much different from insuring the family runabout.
“The first thing is, it’s an 80,000-pound vehicle, versus a 5,000-pound car, so the damage that a truck can cause is way higher than what a personal car can cause,” she says, adding, “There’s a difference between commercial use and personal use. You don’t use a semi-truck to ride around town.”
The implications of a trucking industry that operates safely on affordable, sound, insurance are apparent to Tina,
“You see them everyday on the road, bringing us our food and our goods,” she says. “(Trucks are) an important part of our economy.”
Tina started out at Insurance/Seguros of America in 2006 as a licensed Certified Professional Service Representative (State of Florida Customer Representative License), which allowed her to advise on and sell insurance products under the agency owner’s Florida Agent License.
When Ricketts earned her own license to sell property and casualty lines as an agent in 2010, she bought the agency, adding her family’s name to it.
She has started marketing her agency as Tina Insurance, as an official Doing Business As (DBA) name.
She is licensed for Property and Casualty insurance. She does not, however, sell life or health insurance.
Getting into the nuances of a your business’ products and services to create a right-sized, beneficial policy, as well as serving the insurance needs of individuals and families, keeps the job interesting for her.
“Every day you find something different,” Tina says. “Every risk (the probability of something happening being known, but not when it will occur, or the value of the occurrence) is different; they have their own needs they’re dealing with.”
She adds that she greets each new day at the office as an opportunity for “something new to quote,” such as coverage for a cryogenics salon that provides cold-temperature physical treatments for people.
Tina Insurance’s commercial coverage emphasizes small, independent enterprises such as those opening their doors to the public each day in Wesley Chapel and New Tampa. And, if those businesses rely on cars or trucks for commerce, Tina is ready to find the right insurance coverage to ensure that the wheels keep moving, whether they’re attached to pickup trucks or 18-wheelers; owner-operated or part of a transportation fleet.
“Every scenario is different,” she says. “It’s never boring.”
She adds that the first step to being certain you have the insurance you need could be checking what coverage you already have, or maybe think you have, but don’t.
“We are here to provide a service to help you understand what you have in case of a claim,” says Tina, who notes that many people make assumptions about what their insurance policies actually cover and often discover coverage shortcomings in a time of need, such as after a hurricane or other natural disaster strikes.
Tina also says that one of the most confusing areas is how flooding is defined and covered, since insurers make distinctions between flooding that occurs as a result of an overflowing hot tub and rainfall or storm surge from a hurricane.
“A lot of people think they have hurricane coverage or they have flood coverage and that’s not always the case,” she says. “It depends on how (your home or business) gets flooded.”
Commercial and business insurance involves coverage for everything from inventory to worker’s compensation. Tina says that minimizing exposure for her clients means taking time to learn about their businesses.
“Every business is different,” she says. “Tell me about your business and your daily operations.”
Tina Insurance which, according to its mission statement, is committed to protecting each client’s “American Dream,” and helping them financially recover from damages inflicted by natural disaster or incurred through the conduct of business.
And, just as the businesses that Tina finds insurance coverage for represents the dreams and aspirations of the people who own them, Tina Insurance is part of Tina’s own American Dream that began when she came as a teenager to Tampa from Venezuela 17 years ago.
The insurance agency is a family business as well, with her husband Nick also playing an important role in its success.
“He’s the marketing director,” Tina says. “He handles the advertising, marketing and networking.”
Tina has more than 10 years of experience in the insurance industry and purchased the Wesley Chapel agency, Insurance/Seguros of America, in 2010. She has been building her business ever since, keeping in mind a basic guiding principle in her daily quest for the best insurance values for her clients.
“I want to treat my customers the way I want an insurance agent to treat me,” says Tina, who has lived in Wesley Chapel since 2005 and is a member of the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce. She adds that the community’s growth has created a lot of opportunity in the insurance business.
“We’re growing so much as new homeowners come in, and a lot of those homeowners are business owners as well,” she says.
The consensus among the six customers providing Google Reviews for Tina Insurance is that the agency provides Five-Star customer service.
Andra Lo expressed appreciation for the high level of customer service in her Google Review: “Tina and her team were able to help me with all of my insurance needs, they were helpful and very easy to work with. I recommend them to anyone looking for great insurance service.”
Meeting commercial insurance requirements was Jay Ellison’s need and his Google Review is unrestrained in its praise of Tina and her colleagues.
“Tina and her team are wonderful to work with. They take the time to understand your business and find the best coverage for you for a price that works. She’s my go-to recommendation for commercial insurance!”
Finding out whether Tina and her team can help meet your insurance needs begins with a free consultation which can be as simple as entering required information through the Tina Insurance website or through a conversation.
“If you want us to review your policy, come in and show us what you have,” says Tina, who offers one piece of advice to keep in mind until the end of the 2017 Hurricane Season on November 30.
“Keep your policy handy,” she says.
Insurance/Seguros of America Ricketts, LLC, is located at 3823 Turman Loop, Suite #101, off Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in Wesley Chapel. You can visit online at TinaInsurance.com to learn more and get a free insurance policy quote or call (813) 907-1555.