BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — Having the right insurance is like knowing that trained first responders are there when you need them – coming to the rescue in the unfortunate event of an accident.
“We have some customers who pay insurance premiums for years and never make a claim and then, in 30 seconds, that can all change,” said Jay Roth, co-owner of Roth Insurance in Maumee. “We ensure that our clients have the right coverage so that, in the unfortunate event of an auto accident or home disaster, insurance isn’t their top concern.”
The first concern is always the well-being of the client, Jay said.
“When someone calls and says, ‘I was in an accident,’ the first thing we ask is, ‘Are you OK?’ We can replace a car, but we can’t replace a person,” he said.
That personal concern is the foundation that Richard E. Roth laid when he launched Roth Insurance Agency from his Crossgates neighborhood home in 1960 and continued when the agency eventually made its home in Maumee.
For 30 years, Richard led the business, which was passed on to Jay and his siblings, Rick Roth and Lynn Roth Fouts.
“We’ve been in Maumee for almost 40 years – 25 at 130 E. Dudley and 14 years now at 2425 S. Detroit, across from the Maumee Senior Center,” Jay said. “Having a family-operated, independent insurance agency is unusual these days.”
As an independent insurance agency, the team members work with several different companies to find the right amount and type of insurance for its more than 3,000 customers, who value being able to pick up the phone and speak with the same person who sold the policy. Even during the pandemic, the agency remained open to serve its customers.
“We have a lot of long-term customers – even as long as 60 years. A lot of it has been word-of-mouth. I think people like to have a local agent they can talk to as opposed to dialing a 1-800 number and talking to 10 different people,” Jay said.
That personalized service comes not only from Jay, Lynn and Rick but also the staff, including Amy Albert, Alyson DeSimpelaere, Amanda Gregory and Sarah Meade.
Sometimes the calls come from customers who are looking for a new vehicle and wonder how it will impact their insurance rates. Jay advises sticking with a standard vehicle, if possible, to keep the rates down, but advises that the make, model, type of coverage, claims history and other factors are weighed into the price.
“If you’re looking for a car, call us with the VIN number and we’ll look it up and tell you,” he said.
This year, inflation is catching up with the insurance industry, he warned. While cost-of-living increases were just 2 or 3 percent in the last several years, the supply chain issues impacting other industries have caught up with insurance. One factor in that is the wait time to get parts for damaged vehicles. Jay has seen cases in which shops waited weeks to get a part, and in the meantime, the customer needs to drive a rental car for much longer. The wait time to get a replacement vehicle after a total loss is also much longer, and medical care costs are going up.
“The increases in costs make it even more important to find someone you can trust to help you navigate through all of your options,” Jay said. “We can provide counsel to help you figure out what will work best for you.”
As an independent agency, Roth Insurance focuses on providing coverage from what he calls super-regional carriers, including Grange, Ohio Mutual and Progressive, which are all based in Ohio, as well as Auto Owners of Lansing, Mich., and Erie Insurance of Erie, Pa.
While 75 percent of Roth’s business is home and auto, the agency also aids small- to medium-size businesses – most of which don’t have an HR or payroll department – to make sure they’re fully covered.
Roth is licensed to do business in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and South Carolina.
For more information, visit www.rothinsurance.com or call (419) 893-0800.