UniVista Insurance Treats Its Clients Like Familia
by James Coulter
Most insurance agents want to sell you insurance. German Franchise doesn’t want to sell you anything–or at least that isn’t his priority as an insurance broker. Instead, he wants to give you the best advice on what insurance coverage and policies are best for you. He doesn’t want to sell. He wants to serve.
When not working as an insurance broker for UniVista insurance, Franchise serves as a pastor at Alpha and Omega Church in Lake Wales. He considers both occupations as service. He wants to do more than sell things to the community. He desires to serve them.
“Our priority is to serve,” Franchise explained. “That [priority] gives me a sense of serving all the time…My business is to serve the people.”
Once upon a time, the insurance business employed “agents” and “advisors.” Nowadays, few people in the industry refer to themselves by those titles. Their focus has been less on helping people and more about selling insurance, especially if it involves straddling them with policies they do not need, he claims.
One example is the Uninsured Motorist policy. Most people who have health insurance do not need such coverage, as the policy covers the medical expenses procured in an accident. It does not cover any damage to their vehicle. So keeping such a policy is not only redundant, it often makes clients pay more money than they need to, Franchise said.
Franchise recalls his first customer in 2007. After one year, he discovered that they were paying so much in their insurance that they were essentially buying their car again every year. So he advised them to cut policies and lower their overall costs with their coverage.
“[I told her] you are paying more on the car than what is worth. You are buying your vehicle every year,” he said. “That [reason] is why we want to serve the community. We do not want to sell. We want to advise people on what they need to get.”
For more than a decade, UniVista Insurance has assisted clients across Florida with their insurance needs, be it home, health, auto, boat, or property. Even with their wide outreach, they remain “a family-owned and operated, independent insurance agency” with a mission, according to their website, “to provide affordable and innovative insurance solutions that allow our customers to prepare and be protected in every situation.”
“We here at UniVista want to advise our people and tell them what we think they need and we want to cover those needs,” Franchise said. “That is why we take time to interview people. Let us see what you have, and we tell you what you need. If you need coverage with a certain policy, why get coverage that much if you have nothing to protect? We want to advise our people. We want to teach our people what to get.”
Born in Venezuela, Franchise has lived in America since he was eight years old. Before he became the owner and operator of the Lake Wales branch of Univista Insurance, he began his career humbly as a satellite installer before eventually opening his own storefront.
As a Hispanic resident, he saw the need in his community for a Hispanic notary. He became one and started offering notary and income tax services to his store. This drive to serve his community, especially the Hispanic community, would lead him to his current career in the insurance industry.
Around 2007, he drove to Miami to meet with the head of UniVista Insurance. Seeing the man’s face on countless billboards during his drive along US Highway 27, Franchise felt unconfident that he would be chosen to open a branch, let alone be given the time of day.
“I did not have money to buy a franchise,” he said. “I thought he would not have time for me. As soon as he knows I have no money, he would not talk to me. But he set up an appointment anyway.”
During his appointment, he was told his new branch would require $100,000 to start. Franchise rose from his seat to leave. The man interviewing him asked him why he wanted to leave. Franchise explained that he did not have any money.
The man replied that Franchise would not pay a single cent to start his business in Central Florida. He was chosen precisely because of his location and his drive to run his business and support his family.
“I gave him my story,” Franchise said. “I started with DirectTV. I gave him the whole story. He told me he started like that. He came from Cuba and sold cars and many other things. He was in the cell phone business selling what he could to put food on the table…you are humble and said you did not have the money [the man said]. That tells me a lot about what you do. If you have been raising your kids and putting food on the table with what you do.”
Since that fateful day, Franchise has proudly served as an insurance broker for UniVista in Central Florida. The business has since extended its outreach across the state of Florida and America. Being a part of a nationwide franchise has bolstered its overall credibility and value.
Franchise loves being part of such a business. What he appreciates most is how it treats him like a family. He, in turn, treats his clients like family, looking out for their needs rather than his own profit.
“We became the only Hispanic insurance agency in the area. So that has put us in a good perspective through the Latino people and Anglo people,” he said. “It was impressive how these people since the first time I met the family, they treat you like family. Every time I have a meeting, these people are really growing this business as a family.”
UniVista Insurance is located at 14 S. 1st St., Lake Wales, FL 33853. For more information, call 863-318-7000. Or visit their website at: https://www.univistainsurance.com/location/univista-insurance-lakewales-fl-33853-1/