Ellen Davis describes herself as a true New Yorker — “from upstate, but a true New Yorker.” She moved to the Maryland area with her husband about twenty-three years ago. They agreed to “give it a try for about two years.”
They bought their first house within the first ten months after making the move. They now have two teenage boys, fourteen and seventeen. “We absolutely love Maryland. We love bringing up children here.”
Ellen is a woodcarver and a woodturner in her spare time. In fact, she’s the President of the Montgomery County Woodturners Association. So, what exactly is a woodturner?
“A woodturner is somebody who uses a wood lathe and turns beautiful pieces of wood that have either been naturally felled, cut or milled into beautiful items. I get to do that. That’s my fun!”
She also enjoys sitting at the helm of Life Health Home Insurance Group where she puts her extensive brokerage experience, knowledge and networking capabilities to work for her clients.
Understanding Your Insurance Wants & Needs
Do you want to leave a legacy to your children? That’s estate creation. Do you want to protect the estate you’ve created? That’s estate conservation.
Is everything you’ve worked for protected? Ellen reminds us, “Illness, death, long-term care needs, injury — there are things that can be put in place that insure that you don’t go broke.
” Ensure that you don’t have to go through your savings or your retirement funds — that your family, your kids, your parents and yourselves are protected.”
Insure that your family — your income — will be covered for a particular time period. The mortgage will be paid and the bills will be taken care of. Even college costs will be covered.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Protect yourself and your loved ones from potentially disastrous financial consequences of long-term care.
It takes time (up to 90 days or longer!) before benefit payments begin. Make sure you can afford to handle all of your needs while waiting.
Enjoy your retirement with guaranteed income that will maintain your usual lifestyle and keep you financially independent.
Health Insurance & Medicare Supplement Coverage
A professional review is recommended to be sure that coverage is adequate.
A Career Path That Started With A Bet
Ellen’s father was an accountant in the insurance industry. Ellen was a Fine Arts major and “he wanted to make sure I had something to fall back on.
He made a bet with Ellen that if she didn’t care for doing a particular thing, she’d have to get her insurance license. Ellen lost the bet, went on to get her insurance license and started in the business.
She was still in school at the time but “it was a great way to learn about life – learn about business.” It was during the ’80’s when everyone was becoming a stock broker.
“I studied for all of my exams to become a stock broker and realized I didn’t want to be a stock broker — I loved insurance!
“I found real estate and mortgages during that period of time and the two of them worked really well together. I absolutely am an insurance geek. I do love it.”
The Start Of Life Health Home Insurance Group, Inc.
Ellen has always been an insurance broker, “meaning I have worked for a general agent that allows me to look at many different insurance carriers for the best product, the best price, the best underwriting for a client.”
About ten years ago, she decided it was time to start her own business. Already licensed from New York to Florida, Ellen started placing agents in different states. “I couldn’t travel all over the place any more.”
It wasn’t long before she discovered that she loves the educational part of dealing with the clients. “I really love the one-on-one stuff.”
She adds, “Even though most of the work is done on the phone or online, I still do deliver my policies face to face. I still speak to my clients a minimum of once.
“That’s my favorite part of it — when the light bulb goes off for a client. Even if they don’t become clients, it’s just watching that knowledge come into them and their understanding of it. I think that’s very important.”
Some of Ellen’s clients are third and fourth generation deep. “To me, that is probably one of the important pieces that I hold dear and near. Even though I might not have sold them something, or they may not have purchased a policy from me in many years, they’re still clients.”
The Biggest Challenge of Entrepreneurship
“Being chief cook and bottle washer without knowing to ask for help in certain areas that were not my strong suit until a couple of years in. That was my biggest challenge,” confides Ellen.
“Learning what I excelled at, what I didn’t excel at and finding the right people to ask for help. Luckily, I was able to find the right people to help me.”
Today, Ellen is surrounded by a great network of people.. “I like to be that center hub and connect people all around.”
She admits, “I don’t know it all. There are people that know so much more than I do and are so much better at their work, or their passion, than I am. So, I ask for their help to build and grow the business.”
Advice Ellen Would Give Herself If She Could Turn Back Time
“I’d probably give myself the same advice ten years ago as thirty-some-odd years ago,” she says. “Find a mentor. Somebody who has marketing experience, or a CEO, or experience in sales or in back office — whatever it might be.”
Ellen continues, “Find somebody, or somebodies, to mentor you. It’s the one thing I did not do when I started in the industry and it’s the one thing I did not do when I started my business. It took me a few years to realize I need a mentor here.”
She didn’t start her own brokerage until she had already been in the industry for more than two decades. “I learned my lessons the long way. The hard way.”
Making A Difference When Life Gets Tough
Ellen recalls one of many times when she has made a significant difference in the lives of her clients. An entire family needed to utilize their insurance. “Some I had put in place for them. Some had been put in place before we met.”
She did a full review of all of the existing policies, including those that were written and put in place by others. And, she discovered there was a lot that needed to be done.
Crucial information like addresses and beneficiaries was outdated. “I made them look at their wills and talk to an attorney. Within a year’s time, unfortunately, all of that information had been needed.”
Imagine the mess if the information hadn’t been updated. “They would not have successfully gotten through some of the worse times in their lives.”
The Resources That Ellen Turns To The Most
Google Calendar keeps this multi-tasking entrepreneur on track, while staying connected on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. And, she applauds the online quoting engines that are available.
“People no longer need to call a broker or meet face to face to get the ball rolling. It used to take hours to get a quote. Now, they can quickly get a quote online.”
A Short And Powerful Quote
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle
Assurance Comes Through Maintaining Adequate Insurance
What’s adequate? Do you know what’s in your insurance policies? Are you and your family fully protected? Are your assets completely covered? Are your policies in need of updating?
Need new policies? Want an expert review of your existing policies? Do you have a plan in place to secure a comfortable retirement?
Hardships don’t always give advance notice that they’re coming. Ready or not, they just show up. Be ready!
Opportunity knocking? It’s time to give Ellen a call.
Contents Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast Episode #116: Eric Verdi Interviews Ellen Davis
written by: Zanne Lamb-Hunt