Brian Payne has turbo-charged the Field Insurance Agency of Surfside and taken it into the 21st century. When he started at the company as an intern in 2003, Payne understood the technology changes the industry was seeing and knew they would become common practice sooner rather than later.
“I was young and familiar with using computers every day,” he says. “I wasn’t any type of genius by any means on the computer, but all of these companies were starting to move more and more toward the digital-type platforms that we know of today. It’s kind of crazy, because in 2003, the insurance industry certainly wasn’t like it is now. I wanted to embrace this change and be ready for it.”
In the early 2000s, Payne went from an intern to purchasing the company. Shortly thereafter, things “snowballed,” and he focused on hiring the right people with the right amount of drive and making adjustments to manage growing pains. Today, nearly 20 years later, Payne has more than 40 members on his team, who meet the needs of more than 25,000 clients and help protect billions of dollars in insured value. With five offices across coastal South Carolina, the company specializes in catastrophe-exposed property – both personal and commercial – and is a top retail writer of flood insurance coverage.
“The property business, catastrophic property and flood, is the name of the game,” Payne says. “It’s our bread and butter, and we know the marketplace.”
Payne attributes his success to excellent service, delivered quickly. Unlike in the old days, he says, it’s imperative in today’s market to be digitally savvy, available 24/7 and capable of turning around requests quickly.
“The old-school ‘get a quote and get it back to you in four or five days or a week or so later, as you get around to it,’ it’s not the route to go anymore,” he says. “You’ve got to be able to put a number on something quickly and get it turned around to the consumer very fast in order to be able to close at a high ratio. We work alongside some absolutely awesome carriers, brokers and underwriters and have many great relationships with them.”
And close at a high ratio he has – Payne landed in the top 10 among IBA’s 2021 Top Producers. It’s an accomplishment he shares with his colleagues.
“I am honored to take credit for awards of this magnitude, and for that I am so grateful,” he says. “But I truly can’t thank my team enough – they are dedicated and proven professionals. We wouldn’t be where we are today without their focus and commitment to each other and to those we serve. For that, I am most appreciative.”