Today we’d like to introduce you to Paul Breslau, Kelly Clarke and Amy Shuckhart.
Paul , originally from Connecticut, grew up with conservative New England values. He studied Economics at The George Washington University and is a believer in lifelong learning as witnessed by five professional financial designations. After working a short time in his father’s insurance and real estate agency Paul worked for 15 years at Aetna Insurance. Paul finished his employed career at UnitedHealthcare. Paul moved to Arizona in 1994 with his wife and two daughters.
Starting his own insurance agency in 2000 and incorporating Breslau Insurance & Benefits in 2004 has allowed Paul to help hundreds of businesses and individual clients while being active in the community. Making sure all obtain the most effective and appropriate insurance and benefits is an obsession. This has earned the agency recognition two times as a Micro Business Finalist in the Sterling Awards run by the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce.
The values, balance, and path to success in life are unique to each business and individual. Paul recognizes this and learns the needs and desires of each client and guides all toward these objectives. Finally, part of Paul’s success lies in the use of technology and the internet to improve service levels and he loves comparing and helping others improve.
Designations from The American College;
Registered Employee Benefits Consultant – REBC
Chartered Life Underwriter – CLU
Registered Health Underwriter – RHU
Chartered Financial Consultant – ChFC
Chartered Advisor for Senior Living – CASL
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Health insurance and employee benefits has been anything but a smooth road for the majority of agents and their clients.
Before the Affordable Care Act the health insurance system was ineffective in serving all. Both people and entire businesses faced medical underwriting and possible denial of benefits or dramatically increased rates.
The Affordable Care Act tried to fix this however it was not a bipartisan effort. Therefore it has not been adjusted and improved upon and is going to increasingly become ineffective and irrelevant.
Future changes will come with many initiatives underway. These range from the gigantic Amazon-JPMorganChase-BerhshireHathaway partnership on to our own Redirect Health in the Scottsdale Airpark.
All agents in this environment will be working with businesses and nonprofits to find and implement the best solutions.
Another obstacle that toppled many including dozens of my clients was the great recession. Fortunately I was able to rapidly reduce expenses to offset revenue loss. Also we had many clients in diversified industries. While many business clients in real estate and construction closed shop the majority were lawyers, doctors, dentists, technology companies, and general business clients who made it through.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Breslau Insurance & Benefits, Inc. – what should we know?
Breslau Insurance & Benefits, Inc. is totally focused on providing the best solutions for businesses in the health insurance and employee benefits arena. This now includes 401k retirement plans, workers compensation, and payroll. Also there are new integrative human resource management systems to cohesively communicate and keep track of changes for both the business and its employees.
Having been active in the Arizona market for over 20 years we know which providers are the best at any particular time. For a few years running BlueCross and Aetna may be strong in the small business market segment. The next few years it might be UnitedHealthcare and Humana. As agents we are actively and intimately involved in analyzing and implementing solutions.
Now that I am in a senior status I am working with young experts in each field. For example with 401k Retirement Plans many companies stick with the easy solution payroll company beyond the startup years. The experts I bring in will improve service and reduce costs by moving to the best specialty providers.
Finally we care about everyone from the company president to the janitor. We help resolve the billing and claim problems that go beyond the ordinary.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I grew up in rural Connecticut near Hartford which at one time was the Insurance Capital of the World. My dad was a farmer who turned to insurance and real estate to support his wife and five children. I grew up in an insurance world.
I started my business as a sole proprietor in 2000 like most new scratch businesses. This means no clients and no income. I was age 48 with a large mortgage and college funding ahead. Before I go further the 100% support of my wife, Wendy, was critical to taking this risk. She also has an astute business mind for making the best decisions.
While having no boss and no partners was my choice I was able to find excellent mentors including Tom Richards who was a leading health insurance and benefits agent. This professional guidance and sharing of new business leads was critical to my successful start. It is fitting that many years later when Tom’s daughter Amy Shuckhart started Amanlyn Consulting and his son Tom Richards started Trek Insurance I was able to return the mentoring favor and to provide his children with some mentoring and new business sharing.
To generate a steady flow of new business I joined a few organizations. The first was the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce in 2000. The fun events and activities were the source of much learning as well as many new clients. Business Networking International or BNI was also a fantastic boost from day one. For several years I wrote three or four new business clients each month. Some would stay small, others would fail, and a few would grow into larger businesses.