Seide goes independent after 27 years as a ‘captive’ insurance agent
By Marjorie Rice
If there’s anything Douglas Seide knows about, it’s risk.
In 1979, the Minnesota native left the familiar surroundings of home, family and his work in the food service equipment industry to start a new career. “We came to Arizona for a visit during the dead of winter,” Seide says. “They were setting records for low temperatures back there. Out here, I had on a short-sleeve shirt and I said, ‘This is January?’ That was when my wife, Joyce, and I decided to make our home in the Southwest.”
Seide went to work for the building services division of Honeywell in Southern California, and in 1984 transferred to Arizona. And then he took another risk, changing careers yet again, applying his building expertise to insuring commercial structures.
Seide joined Farmers Insurance in 1987. “Back then, much of the Airpark was open desert,” Seide says. “I was told Shea Boulevard was kind of the outer limits of the city … The growth since then has been phenomenal because this is a great place to do business.”
For the next 26 years, Seide was what the insurance industry calls a “captive” agent. That meant he only could offer policies from Farmers. During those years, he capitalized on his experience in the food sector and Arizona’s growing commercial construction to service companies in those industries.
“Last December, I started thinking about my future,” Seide says. “I realized that I needed more tools in my toolbox—policies from more than one company—to offer my clients.”
So this summer, Seide made another leap, opening All Arizona Insurance on Aug. 1 as an independent agent who could offer insurance products from many providers.
“Being in my own office means I can provide more diverse service,” Seide says. “With access to multiple coverage plans and a large variety of top-rated carriers, we can provide one-stop shopping for all our customers’ insurance needs. Today, when I talk to a client, I want to be able to work with him to give him three or four quotes on policies that are the best fit at the best price.”
Seide’s able to do this by partnering with Couri Associates, a Wisconsin-based “aggregator” that offers insurance products from more than 50 carriers.
Seide’s agency also provides personal insurance. “When I was setting up the office, I met Jason Jung, who moved to Arizona after managing personal insurance for an office in Central California,” he says. “Jason knows personal lines and the ins and outs of the independent insurance side, and I know commercial lines really well, so it’s a good balance.”
Patti Konik, customer service representative, rounds out the All Arizona team, managing the office administration and fielding customers’ questions on coverage and other issues.
“Our mission is to make it easy for clients to do business with us,” Seide says. “We’re committed to continually improving our product knowledge and providing exceptional customer service, so we can establish long-lasting relationships. We pair that with great customer service.”
All Arizona Insurance is ramping up, with plans to grow its client base and expand services to the construction industry. Seide has just about wrapped up his course work for designation as a Construction Risk Insurance Specialist.
At age 62, what’s it like for Seide to make a transition like this? “It was a high dive, but I had done my analysis and I know this was the right direction for me,” he says. “I feel like I’m 10 years younger. I’m not ready to retire—I don’t know if I could retire, ever. What would I do?”
All Arizona Insurance
8145 E. Evans Road