Rue Insurance was founded in 1917 by my great grandfather. My grandfather was a farmer and he also had a feed mill, and he got involved in the insurance business. The fact that I’m the fourth generation in the business is an unusual situation, and certainly a statement to the family members that have guided this business before me. But our industry is always changing, always evolving, and it’s important that we do as well. We have grown dramatically; we now have 75 employees. And despite challenges in the economy over the years, we have been able to continue to grow. We have two locations; our main location is in Hamilton, New Jersey, and we have a branch location in Hazlet, New Jersey.
The underlying philosophy of Rue Insurance is really to protect what matters most in people’s lives, and we use a slogan called “Be Ready with Rue” as a way to exemplify that. You never know when something terrible could happen to you, and we want to make sure that you individually, or your business, is prepared in that event that you didn’t see coming. We’ve designed a program and a process to make sure that we can help those individuals prepare for a tragic event and also have the ability to get back to normal once something happens. One of the ways we were really able to demonstrate being there for our clients was when Hurricane Sandy occurred. Our office was without power for a week; we were able to setup in one of our employee’s homes. So we actually handled claims right out of his kitchen table, and then also spent our time going out and visiting our clients in some of the worst affected areas. During that time, we handled over a thousand claims from our clients, and got to hear what an impact insurance has for them. And that’s really the missing story about insurance is the benefit that it can give to individuals to get their lives back to order.
When I started in this industry, there were no computers, and everything was done with paper and typewriters and all those old-fashioned things. We’ve seen new changes such as cyber liability, the potential for driver-less cars, drones coming in; all of these advances in technology actually create new challenges from an insurance perspective. And I think that with all the changes in technology, and all the new things that have come about, it’s still going to be relationships and trust that are going to bring clients to this organization. Rue Insurance is really a relationship type business and a key to those relationships are having fantastic employees that can deliver services for everyone that’s a client.
It’s pretty exciting that we’ve been able to make a business last a hundred years, but our industry is always changing, always evolving, and it’s important that we do as well. As risks change, the world becomes more complex, we’re investing heavily in our education, our employees, and offering new systems and advice so that we can bring innovative solutions to our clients.