(The economic effects of Covid 19 are being felt hard by businesses in Chelsea. Chelsea Update is talking to individual business owners in the area to see how they are coping.
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Rick Eder owns the Farm Bureau Insurance agency office located at 1250 S. Main St. in Chelsea. Currently limited staff is in the office, which is not open to the public, while other staff members are working from home.
“Because insurance is essential, we are continuing to be available for our customers,” said Eder. “A lot of our work can be done remotely from a computer connected to the internet.”
Farm Bureau Insurance’s parent company allows employees to login from different locations. Eder and his staff can service clients’ needs over the telephone and use technology to perform most tasks.
“For example, payments can be made via phone using credit, debit, or bank account information, documents can be signed using DocuSign, daily communications can be via phone, email, text, video conferencing, all being utilized to stay in touch with our customers,” said Eder, who says there are still some clients with whom they meet in person by social distancing.
The current economic climate means that a lot of Eder’s clients are having financial challenges and some payments have had to be delayed.
“There are ways we can help save clients some money on their insurance by changing vehicle usage to pleasure, or even reducing coverages on vehicles to help save costs,” said Eder. “The insurance carriers are showing a lot of empathy and understanding during this time and are being very flexible and wanting to work with clients to help them get through this. The attitude seems to be one of ‘We’re all in this together’.
Eder says that despite negative financial effects, his business will survive. With the use of more technology, he’s hoping that his business comes out of the epidemic stronger and more flexible than before.