Agent ready to lend a handLori Ronchi is ready to welcome some new additions to her family — her American Family that is.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Lori Ronchi is ready to welcome some new additions to her family — her American Family that is.
With the retirement of longtime American Family Insurance agent Karen Korhonen this weekend, a number of Korhonen’s customers will be transferred to the Lori Ronchi Agency in Superior’s East End.
“I look forward to working with new customers,” Ronchi said. “I want the opportunity to show them who we are.”
The Hawthorne native, who grew up as Lori Severson, excels at customer service. For eight years, running her agency has earned the American Star Award, which is based on customer surveys.
“We are the only agency locally that has achieved it every year,” Ronchi said. “It’s the best award we can receive because it’s given by the customers.”
When she moved her agency to 2305 E. Fifth St., in 2006, Ronchi chose to place her office right in front. She can also be reached any time by phone, text, email and Facebook.
“I want to be accessible to customers,” she said. “If they want me, they get me.”
The office also has three part-time employees, Charity Colby, Mindi Hartley and Kim Schorr. Both Colby and Hartley are licensed, so when a customer calls they can get immediate service. All four women are mothers.
“So we really stress the family part of it,” Ronchi said.
The Hawthorne native has been part of American Family for almost 16 years, starting in the claims department in Duluth. She chose to take the job because, at the time, it offered $1 more per hour than the job she had. She stayed because she believed in the Madison-based company.
“We live where we work, right here,” Ronchi said. “They really do stress family first and you can really feel it from the top down to the bottom.”
The time spent in claims also factored into her decision to become an agent.
“I worked for them for two years in the opposite end when people are going through their worst moments, when they’re going through the claim, through the fire, through the accident and I worked with top-notch people who treated them with utmost respect and got them quick, fair payments,” Ronchi said. “I just knew if that was the kind of people who were going to be adjusting claims when I became an agent, that’s what I wanted for my customers. I was confident they were going to be in the best hands.”
One of the biggest challenges of the job is also one of the biggest benefits. Insurance is constantly changing, Ronchi said, and agents need to keep up with those changes to offer people what they need. That means more face time with customers.
“Educating people is one of the best parts of the job,” said Ronchi, who spent two years pursing an education degree at the University of Wisconsin-Superior after graduating from Northwestern High School in 1990.
“I get to educate people every day about their coverage,” Ronchi said. “Even if they’re coming to me for a quote and they decide not to go with us, I still can help them, educate them on what they do have.”
Just like the dentist office, Ronchi Insurance Agency sends out a postcard each year for a sit-down review with customers to make sure their coverage is up to date.
“We try not to have people come in and sell them something,” Ronchi said. “We want to educate them, but we also want to be able to save them money when we can, too.”
She encouraged young families to get renter’s insurance and for all families to commit to life insurance.
“A lot of people think of American Family as home and auto,” Ronchi said. “You can look at the news, you can look at the paper every day that see sad things are happening to families. I think life insurance is very important for everybody.”
Ronchi is also deeply embedded in the community. She lives in Lakeside with her husband, 18-month-old daughter and chocolate lab. She serves on the board for the Gordon L. Nelson Athletic Complex at Northwestern High School and has been an active Special Olympics volunteer for years.
Since opening her office, Ronchi has had a name change from Severson to Ronchi and moved from the old Gold Cross office to the East End bank building before purchasing her current building.
“This is my location; I’m not leaving,” she said. “I just think it’s important for people to know I’ve been here and I’m going to be here.”
To contact the Lori Ronchi Agency, call 715-395-1777, go to www.LoriRonchiAgency.com or find it on Facebook under Lori Ronchi-American Family Insurance Agent.