Burman Opens State Farm Insurance South of Bluffton
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors welcomed the new owner of State Farm Insurance, Ben Burman, located at 1796 S Main Street in Bluffton. Burman acquired the business in July 2021 when Kevin Beaty retired at the end of May after over 40 years of service.
Previously, Burman was in education for 11 years, most recently as Athletic Director at Southern Wells Schools. “It was a big decision whether I wanted to leave education because I really liked what I was doing and the people I worked with; however, I was gone so much and with young kids, I needed to do what was best for our family,” explained Burman. “I can always go back in education, but I will never get the time back with my kids.”
“I am my own boss; I make my own hours. I am probably not working any less than before, but I am working around my schedule. I’m not missing dinner, bedtimes, and time with the kids,” state Burman. “The demand is very different.”
Burman said he has always had an entrepreneurial bug and the idea of running his own business has always been in the back of his mind. “Being in insurance was something I never thought about, but once I started looking deeper, I realized it was less about being an insurance sales-person and more of a business owner. I started talking to other agents and specifically with Kevin Beaty, who has been super supportive through the whole transition, the opportunity was very appealing.”
Burman has been working on the process of owning, operating, and being licensed to run the State Farm Insurance business since September 2020. “It’s been a long process; however, it has been a lot of fun. Kevin (Beaty) built a great business here, treated people right over the years, and it really showed,” said Burman. “During the month of June, while I have been in training, Erin Daugherty who is the State Farm agent at the north side of Bluffton, came in to make sure everything ran smoothly. I really appreciate all of Erin’s support as well.”
Burman gives a lot of credit to his staff and is looking forward to building and leading a strong team. Bethani Thurman, Customer Service Manager, will answer phones, direct customers to the appropriate managers, and work with customers regarding claims and policy changes. Jordan Szarenski and Bryce Bonewit are both Account Managers who will be focused on sales, reaching out to potential customers, and working with existing customers regarding additional opportunities of services.
State Farm Insurance has a portfolio of over 100 products. “Most people know State Farm for home and auto insurance, which we are the number one in the nation for both of these categories,” explained Burman. “However, we also offer a large portfolio of life insurance, which is a well-kept secret at State Farm. We can fully protect people and provide additional insurance beyond what a current employer provides.”
Burman continued to explain that he would like to focus on providing small businesses with needs they may not be aware of that can protect their business and family. “Small business owners are busy running their business and may not be aware of how they should be protected through the various services we offer. Every business owner should have a plan of how their income can be replaced should something happen.”
Getting more involved in the community and with the Chamber of Commerce is a goal of Burman’s. “We are really excited to be here and with a young, energetic team, we are excited about growing and being a part of this community. I have a passion for high school athletics and will spend our attention on ways to support once we get up and running.”
The hours for State Farm Insurance will be Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm. In addition, to new Saturday hours from 9am to 12pm.
Pictured in the photo left to right:
Erin Daugherty, State Farm Insurance, Chamber Ambassador
Sandy Garcia, Chamber Ambassador
Bryce Bonewit, State Farm Insurance
Stacey Duncan, WEG, Chamber Ambassador
Jordan Szarenski, State Farm Insurance
Ben Burman, State Farm Insurance
Gina Hon, First Merchants Bank, Chamber Ambassador
Bethani, Thurman, State Farm Insurance
Kevin Pritchard, Ruoff Mortgage, Chamber Ambassador
Erin Prible, Executive Director, Wells County Chamber of Commerce