At Tanner Insurance, Customer Relationships are the Key to Success

When the average person decides that they need insurance, the options can be overwhelming, whether they're looking to insure their home, their business, or their car. An insurance agent that offers well-researched and well-informed options based on cost, risk, and your personal expectations can be a blessing regardless of the type of insurance you're seeking. Insurance options and knowledge are something that Tanner Insurance has been offering since 1982-starting out with two people and expanding since then to over 100 employees based out of its facilities in Hacienda at 4670 Willow Rd. Suite 250. Tanner Companies is currently one of the largest independent insurance organizations in California, with sales of more than $200 million, serving clients in the Bay Area and throughout California.

Steve Tanner, founder and chairman of Tanner insurance, credits the success of his company partially on his formal education. "I had a degree in liberal arts in literature and looked for a job that would teach me business skills because I'd never taken classes on the subject. I ended up being interviewed by a company called Hartford Insurance Group and getting hired. The liberal arts degree turned out to be a good thing to have because our business has a lot to do with relating to people. It's a communication business, so having a liberal arts background was an unexpected asset."

Tanner represents some 45 different insurance companies and serves industry segments that include aviation, construction, contracting, education, engineering, entertainment, health care, hospitality, financial institutions, government, manufacturing, municipalities, retail, property, technology, transportation, and wholesale. Tanner also has an international partnership with an organization called the International Brokers Association. "The IBA includes some 30 brokers worldwide to whom we go if one of our clients has a plant, for example, in England, or Ireland, or Taiwan, or wherever it happens to be located. It actually becomes an extension of our coverage in those countries," Tanner says. Tanner has also established a national relationship here in the U.S. in 1997 with 27 other insurance brokers around the country.

Tanner Insurance moved into its Hacienda location in 1998, and Steve Tanner believes it's a prime location for centrally locating his operations. "Our customers are not just in Pleasanton, they're all over the Bay Area. Pleasanton is close to San Jose, Walnut Creek, Oakland, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Stockton. It's geographically centered in about the best possible place we could be."

When it comes to running a successful insurance business, however, offering a multitude of different types of coverage to a worldwide client base is not the only contributing factor. "The nature of our business is a relationship business, so we're only as effective as our ability to communicate with clients on a regular basis to keep them informed of what the developments are, what they should expect, and what they should be thinking about in terms of coverage alternatives," Tanner says. "Our focus is to continue doing what we do, which is to maintain and continue to develop the relationships we have with our customers and to give them what we think is the best service we can."

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