Driving Northbound on I-5, I was behind a semi-truck and had a weird feeling that something might happen. From the truck’s tires I could see dirt chips creating a momentary mini cloud of dust on the freeway. Then, I heard a loud WHACK.
At first, I thought, “Wow, I’m lucky, no crack!” But the next morning, the truth was spread across my windshield.
Unless you have one of those $1000+ windshields, making a claim for windshield repair or replace-ment probably isn’t worthwhile. Sure, companies will reimburse you, but even being reimbursed may not be worth the impact to your insurance rating profile and future rates.
Here’s the scoop...
The furthest thing from my mind 30 years ago was that there would be the opportunity today to reflect on the last 30 years. When I started my agency, at age 24, my first goal was to make it one year. And then to make it to the next year and to learn the fine details of the industry along the way. I believed that if I made it through three years, with a number of positive indicators, that a long term sustainable agency could be built.
Industry-wide, so much emphasis was on numbers back then, crunching the numbers, but for me it really turned out to be counting the relationships that were being built one household at a time. The way I see it, relationships are everything because if you don’t retain your clients you can’t grow your business. As a team, our goal has always been to be approachable and nurture transparency, even more than one might expect. When life throws a curve ball, such as a fender bender or speeding ticket, we always appreciate being the first phone call because it’s our job to provide guidance, confidence and support in the next steps to be taken.
Our ideal client expects support and guidance as life changes, and we love being their advocate during that time. Other agencies put emphasis on an aggressive growing model that’s driven by lofty numbers versus relationship building. Where I believe we differ is we’d rather have fewer clients with strong relationships than far more clients that are simply just a number.
These first 30 years have been priceless, an ever-changing adventure, and we continue to embrace our fast moving landscape every day. I hope that being clients of CTIA has been beneficial to you because you are infinitely valuable to us and what we stand for. A big Thank You to each of you for making 30 years possible! It is because of all of you, your loyalty, referrals and your continued confidence in CTIA guiding you through this ever changing maze of your insurance protection needs. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and hope that you allow me and my team to continue to serve you for many, many years to come.
Wishing you all the best and a blessed 2018! – Christopher Togawa
Valued CTIA client Tony C. (Elvis) and his band were quite the hit at Queen Anne Day last Saturday.
You can catch this must-see act when they perform at the Bite of Seattle this upcoming Sunday, July 23 at 1:00 pm on the Mural Stage.
For more info, visit gracelandmanila.com or search #gracelandmanila.
Our Super Friends Referrals program helps local nonprofits every time you refer CTIA to your friends and family. Any time you make a referral to CTIA and they contact us, we make a $20 contribution to a local nonprofit organization. Super Friends Referrals is our way of both giving back to the community and finding great new clients.
The biggest compliment you can give us is a referral to your family and friends. We’ll take care of them the same way we do all of our clients: with expert advice, unmatched service and a commitment to long-term relationships.
So be a Super Friend and refer CTIA to your friends and family, and help support local nonprofits that make our community a better place to live.
In 2016 we donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound and The 5th Avenue Student Education Program.
One of the most rewarding aspects of our work is the relationships we build with people. We are grateful to get to know so many wonderful families, often generations deep, as they grow and change. We would like to share a story about one family in particular, by whom we have been especially touched.
In 1994, Lou Gelfand approached Christopher about his insurance needs. He had recently moved from Detroit to Seattle, having retired from General Motors after 48 years. Christopher and Lou hit it off and Christopher made sure Lou had the insurance protection that was needed. They both enjoyed the spontaneous connection that evolved over the years. Christopher always looked forward to their conversations and enjoyed getting to know Lou on a personal level. Through the years Lou shared many things about his life, including his grief when his wife Rose passed away, not long after they moved to Seattle. Seattle was a special place for Lou and Rose, spending time with their son Jerry and his family, longtime Seattle residents. Over time, the discussions Lou and Christopher shared became more about life than insurance. “He was truly special,” Christopher said. “I appreciated every discussion we had, especially the life lessons, experiences and stories Lou shared with me. This is clearly one of those connections that leave a lasting impression on you. I still remember the day I received the call from Jerry telling me that Lou had passed away. In that call, he acknowledged the special relationship his dad and I had shared. That meant a lot, and really made me reflect on all the great talks we had.”
A couple years passed and Christopher received a phone call from Lou’s daughter Judith. She had just moved to Western Washington from New Jersey and wanted to thank Christopher for the relationship her dad had spoken of over the years. So, it is true, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Judith became a client of CTIA in 2005 along with her two daughters, Laura and Eva.
And the generations continue. Eva continues to insure with CTIA, and as a successful realtor in Seattle, Eva often refers her clients to Christopher and his team. Oh, and when Laura and her then fiancé began planning their future, Judith let Todd know that she had the perfect insurance agent for the two of them. Todd, being a smart son-in-law-to-be, responded with care because he liked his own insurance agent. His name: Christopher Togawa. Small world…Wow – that’s bringing it full circle!
Getting to know and serve three generations of the same family is a privilege that we feel honored and grateful to enjoy. It is the people we take care of that give meaning to what we do. We thank all of you for entrusting us with your family’s protection.
One of the most sure things in life is uncertainty, which is why you purchase insurance – to protect against damages that might occur if you experience an accident. Everyone should make sure they are sufficiently protected to cover not only the damages that could occur to their own property, but also the cost of damages (injuries, property destruction, emotional distress, lost wages and more) that could occur to others in the event of an accident.
It only takes one serious accident and a resulting lawsuit to put at risk everything you currently own and will own in the future. If your policy covers $500K in liability and in a lawsuit you are judged liable for $1 million in damages as a result of injuries from a car accident for which you are at fault, do you know how you will cover the additional $500K in damages?
If you have umbrella insurance and your policy covers the incident, the additional $500K will come from your policy. If not, it will come from the assets you have now, such as your home and savings, and from future assets, such as your wages or inheritance.
An umbrella policy gives you excess liability coverage on top of what your other policies provide. If you are responsible for a serious accident, you will need it. Umbrella insurance also gives you liability coverage in situations where other policies don’t, such as driving in a foreign country or renting a boat.
Most financial and insurance experts recommend that everyone have at least a $1 million umbrella policy to provide liability coverage beyond the limits of their auto and homeowners insurance policies, even if they have less than $1 million in assets. That’s because in the rare event people are sued, they could be forced to pay a legal judgment from future earnings as well as current assents. Umbrella policies can also pay for defense costs, which can quickly add up even when cases are won.