James Blaauw, CPIA – Branch Owner
James Blaauw, CPIA – Branch Owner at Compass Insurance Agency of Byron Center, got his start selling insurance nearly ten years ago. He has now been with Compass Insurance Agency for more than six years.
James focuses on personal lines of insurance including home, auto, boat and umbrella. When it comes to helping customers get the coverage that works for them, James is unique in his ability to shop multiple carriers and provide a consultative approach. He is very customer-focused and strives to make sure that every client has the perfect level of coverage for their needs and budget. James can shop a large portion of the market, easing the stressful process of shopping for insurance. He does so by using the comparative rater, a tool that obtains rates from the agency’s twenty insurance carrier partners, to find the best options for each customer. However, James urges people to think beyond price.
“If you are just looking for the lowest possible price, with bare-bones coverage, any agent can do that for you. Understanding what you need, should you have to use your insurance, is where I step in. In the event of a claim, if you do not have the adequate level of coverage, will you be thinking about the $5 you saved on your premium, or happy that you are properly covered and being made whole? If your coverage falls short, it is just a piece of paper with a set of numbers and letters, not the peace of mind you thought you were purchasing.”
The two questions customers ask James most often revolve around prices and the level of coverage.
Q. I have always had “X” level of coverage. Why do I need “Y” level of coverage?
A. Your individual situation dictates the need for a certain level of coverage. This factor may change and include new needs you did not previously have as well as the discovery that you were not adequately covered in the past. Your needs and your budget are dynamic, rather than static, meaning they can change.
Q. What is the lowest price I can get on my insurance while still carrying the proper level of coverage?
A. In a way, the pricing takes care of itself. When you shop according to price, it opens the door for me to explain why a certain level of coverage is important, so that you can make an informed decision that suits your needs.
“I enjoy having the ability to help people on multiple levels; helping people understand their coverage while also helping them save money, is a great feeling. The majority of the time we are also giving them a higher level of coverage. If something unexpected happens, we know they are in good shape.”
James was born and raised in West Michigan, attended high school and college in the area, and calls the south side of Grand Rapids home today. He considers it a privilege to help locals with their insurance needs. Most days you’ll find James spending family-time with wife Katie and kids Sammi and Ryan. Outside of home life, you can find him golfing, playing softball and basketball, or at a Michigan State game. James gives back by serving on the board of the Susan Mast ALS Foundation and volunteering for the K9K and Bee Brave races.