Why insurance can protect your biz & yourself
A conversation about a difficult topic-insurance, with a very easy to talk to person, David Morse, insurance agent for Creatives
In this episode, I talk to David about why you need insurance, what insurance covers, as well as the importance of finding people who are looking out for the best interest of your business. It's a really great episode that went in directions I didn't expect.
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives.
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. I'm very excited to have our second ever live guest, David from David Morris, and he is a insurance agent. So I'd love to have him introduce himself. Hi, everyone. Yeah,
David Morse 1:45
thanks, Jenna for having me on. My name is David. I am an insurance agent with William credit agency in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. We're an agency that's been around for almost four years, serving the western suburbs and Minneapolis. And and most recently, over the last couple of years, I've dove into helping small businesses specifically within the creative sector to get insurance.
Jenna Redfield 2:07
Yeah. So can you explain kind of what kind of insurance you offer and why insurance is important for creatives?
David Morse 2:14
Yeah, definitely. So I'll start, I'll start two years back story. I was actually at an event a creative and my wife is a wedding photographer here in the cities. And I was having a conversation with a lawyer who mentioned that one of her biggest concerns was that creatives in the area, didn't have insurance to protect themselves. And it wasn't necessarily because they didn't have the money to it was just because they didn't really know about it. And I remember leaving that event and being like really just upset by that, and thinking to myself, but if they only knew, like, it's not much of a financial investment, and it can provide so much value to them. And so it was from there, that I just basically said, You know what, I'm going to make it my mission to like, connect with these people. I know so many already through my wife. And, and I'm just going to try to educate and bring value from an industry that's typically seen as stuffy to to to teach people about the value of insurance. And so yeah, I offer everything on the personal side. But I also specifically love teaching and educating about small business, General Liability Insurance, professional liability insurance, and life insurance, even for businesses.
Jenna Redfield 3:28
Yeah, so I guess my first question is, when do you need insurance? What like what point when you have a business? do you need it? Do you need it right away? do you need it? When you've kind of built all of that? income? Like I guess, because you said people think it's a little bit too expensive? Like what At what point do the insurance
David Morse 3:48
Yeah, so really, you become in the eyes of insurance, you you be you become a business, once money starts changing hands. And so the technical answer to that is you have exposed yourself as soon as that first dollar has changed hands. And so once that happens, you are putting some of the assets that you have, even from a personal perspective at risk of not being covered in the event of something bad happening. So that's so really, right away, right away is when you want it, looking and exploring those and
Jenna Redfield 4:23
what is the most popular type of insurance that you sell to create it. To me, the first thing I think of is equipment insurance, if you're a photographer, if you have any type of you know, business, he said you kind of lifted off the insurance. But can you kind of explain more about what each like means?
David Morse 4:40
I don't know. Definitely. And I wouldn't expect you or any other creative. That's my job. And let me just give you a basic rundown. So the three most popular products for a creative to get that I recommend most most often is a general liability, which sometimes you could think of that as your slip and fall insurance. So if you were to leave a bag somewhere, and someone were to trip over and break an ankle, if you were to knock over a candle while you're at an event and set the place on fire, that those are the type of events that would fall under general liability. That in my opinion is a must for every every small business again. The second type, and this goes more towards people who are giving some type of advice. It could be a wedding planner, it could be a blogger, even, you want to look at professional liability insurance. That's sometimes called errors and omissions. And then you brought up like a really obvious one equipment. I mean, so much of our money as small business is invested in our iPads and our IMAX like that. That's called inland Marine, which is kind of a funny, funny thing doesn't have to do with boats. It has to do with equipment coverage. So those are the three things that most of my clients were looking at.
Jenna Redfield 5:58
Okay, and what
David Morse 6:01
I don't even know where
Jenna Redfield 6:02
to start with the questions. I'm just like, so what are some of the things that it covers? How much money does it cover? Say that you did burn down a beautiful mansion or something? Like, how much would that cover that like, I just don't know what the limits are for insurance?
David Morse 6:20
Definitely. Yeah. Now these are, these are great questions. So basically, your typical policy will start at $1 million.
Yeah. All right. And so it only goes up from there. And one of the cool things with insurance, and this goes for whether you're looking at business insurance, or personal insurance, is that as you increase in your coverage, it basically always cost less as you go her like thousand dollars of coverage, let's say. And so you can always bump yourself up to the next level for a little bit less money. So, so that's kind of where the coverage coverage starts on most of those policies that we've talked about.
Jenna Redfield 6:56
Yeah, it makes sense. Because to me like that, that makes us cuz it's a million million dollars seems like a lot of money. You know, it's just like, well, but that but if you think about it, it things can cost a lot of money. So that's super interesting. And so what is, I was gonna ask you like, what are some horror stories that you've heard about people that don't have insurance, just to that scares people listening into?
David Morse 7:21
Definitely? Well, there are, there are definitely some horror stories. Thankfully, none of my clients here in the Twin Cities, yet I've been in this for five years have had the bad bad swimmers. But I have definitely heard of people actually burning down hotel old buildings, I have heard of people advertising and running into advertising troubles getting sued, because of claims revolving around defamation of character or copyright infringement. And I believe the percentage right now is actually about 60% of a claim involving data breaches. For instance, think about the personal information that you have on your clients and getting out there, that that can bring down roughly 60% of small business owners. So there are a lot of scary things that you might not think about one computer getting hacked, could potentially bring down your business, where that could be avoided, maybe for $200 a
year, something like so.
Jenna Redfield 8:24
So your insurance covers data, pictures and stuff to
David Morse 8:27
you, you want to make sure when you are getting insurance, that you bring that up with the person that you're talking to. One of my chief desires, as I said, is to bring some sort of education value to my clients. And so wherever you have your insurance currently, you want to talk to that person about how does this cover me in the case of data breach, if you're scanning credit cards through square, or something like that, you want to make sure that you're protected in case those credit cards ever get out. So when I think about horror stories in this day and age, the data breach is a huge thing that I think is often overlooked, interesting and easy to be talked about.
Jenna Redfield 9:11
So I guess maybe we can talk a little bit more about that. So what are some ways even to protect yourself from that? Like, what are some like tips that you have so that you don't have your data breach? I mean, obviously, there's some things where if you get hacked, you can't really make that not happened, but there's probably some ways that you can prevent it a little bit.
David Morse 9:27
Yeah, yeah. So I mean, I, I'm not an expert in cyber security or anything like that. But a really, really easy one would be change your password. And don't use password as a password, things like that. Um, that that would be a really easy one. I think you also want to make sure that your your firewalls and antivirus and things like that are always and are always updated. And then also just remembering that you should keep information under lock and key if possible. You know, locking, putting, putting hard drives and save, things like that. Those are all ways that you can definitely protect yourself and minimize your life for
Jenna Redfield 10:03
sure. I think another thing I would recommend is don't give out other people's email addresses. And even don't send group messages with like everyone's could people get mad at you anyways, because I know get emails where I'm like CC and I'm like, now everyone has my email. Yeah, you know, and so I feel like there's so many ways to protect yourself. One thing I always talk about is using like last pass or something. So that's a way that you can actually like generate passwords, as well as keeps store all your passwords in one spot, because you have one password to log into that, and it's pretty well protected. I also think using not just using checks and cash, I think you should actually set up a system so that you can keep track of it. That's just my that's what I've learned, I guess over the years. Definitely. But so so how did you even get into insurance? And and how did how did you decide to kind of focus on the creatives, as well as like, is that like your main target? Or do you also work with other people?
David Morse 11:03
Yeah, for sure. So I actually kind of fell into insurance, I Did not I tell people, insurance isn't the type of job where when you're in kindergarten, you fill out your worksheet, like I want to be an insurance man. Like that definitely didn't happen. So basically, I actually graduated college in 2012. And my wife and I moved to the Twin Cities, and I was actually working in a completely different industry and got laid off the day before Christmas Eve actually. And while that was really, really tough, it ended up that I fell into this job and insurance and, and ended up really enjoying what
I was able to
bring I'm weirdly analytical. But I also being married to a creative love, creative things I'm just not very good at. And so as I got into insurance a little bit it was and like I said, when it became apparent that people weren't, didn't know about insurance, and really, you know, who wants to read long, boring insurance documents, not not many people, I just realized that it was a market that like I was I could really serve. And I don't even like that word market like it was it's a community here. I think people that are part of the creative community recognize the good thing that they have here. And I just asked myself, you know, I'm already partially into this, because of my because of my wife's connections, like, why can't I bring more value and help to to this community. And it was really just, it's been great to get to know creatives more. And it kind of keeps me alive from having to I'm, you know, I'm in my office dealing with some things like yeah, so yeah, I focus mainly on, I would say, the small business, small business creatives, as far as business insurance. But like I said, I do personal insurance as well. And, you know, most of most of my business comes from that.
Jenna Redfield 12:58
Yeah. So it's kind of more like a small sector is like,
David Morse 13:02
the creative people, right? I tell people all the time, most of my on the initial meeting console that I'll do with people, I'll say to them, you know, I don't do small business, creative insurance, because it's the most lucrative thing in the world. I do it because I highly value the people that are in this. Yeah, I, again, I come back to my wife, my wife is part of it. Yeah, these are people that we get a lot of times, these are our friends. And so that's, that's the driving motivation behind my mission.
Jenna Redfield 13:33
Yeah. And I think that's important to find someone that is passionate about your business versus just wanting to make money from you. I mean, honestly, like, it's hard to find people that are like, actually, like, authentically want to help you. And so I've actually found a few people in this community that are that way. And so it's always nice, because then I always refer them. Like, for example, Winnie, who's my lawyer, she's gonna be on podcasts in August. And she like, I recommend her because she works with creatives. And I think she understands it. So speaking of that, what I know something that a lot of creatives have to do, which they also don't really know much about is contracts. Do you deal with the contracts, especially with like the insurance part of it like, because people probably talk about what is the liabilities, I guess, as part of being like, say, your wedding photographer, and you say, in your contract like, this is this could happen, like, what's the How does insurance fit into that? Yeah,
David Morse 14:25
definitely. So the way I describe it, and when he when he is great, and she and I work a lot together, talking about these types of things. I would describe your your legal advice and your contracts as your front door protection. Basically, you are protecting everything before you ever entering an agreement. insurance works really like slamming the back door and deadbolt in the back door. Really anything that might potentially get through because we know, lawsuits just increasing increase year over year over year, and they get it seems like crazier and crazier, and show so insurance is really plugging any holes that could potentially exist. No contract is going to be bulletproof, no matter how good it is. And so insurance helps to stand in that gap. Really, yeah. and protect you from those things that could arise.
Jenna Redfield 15:17
Now, because I know a lot of people start businesses, and they don't have any contracts. And I was one of those people. And once I learned about the importance of contracts, I you know, put one together and I'm so so I guess my next question is what I know, you can't always offer a lot of like advice, but what is like the best thing that people can do to protect themselves, but like with insurance, like you said, person, or the general liability, but what what else beyond insurance, would you say, is like the best thing people can do to protect themselves,
David Morse 15:50
I really believe that the best thing is sitting down with someone who knows insurance. Rather than trying to think in the internet age, we all want to try and learn the information ourselves. But I mean, let's be honest time and time is one of the most valuable assets that we have. And so rather than spending hours trying to teach that to yourself, find someone who's trusted in your area, and sit down with them for coffee for an hour. And just say to them, I want to learn what I need to know. So that when I go into looking for insurance, or talking about tracks or anything like that, I at least know some basics. I am I'm someone who just values transparency in whatever industry that we're talking about. And I think that, especially in the finance sector, and insurance and things like that, we can do a better job at bringing transparency. And so find someone who values transparency as well. And just start asking questions and and let them do what they are trained.
Jenna Redfield 16:56
For sure. Because I think that's that's hard to find, honestly, like, I feel like a lot of people don't even know where to start. And one of the reasons I think, I think one of the biggest reasons people don't get insurance is because they don't trust trust insurance people because they're just like, oh, they're gonna like up my prices, and it's gonna be so expensive. Um, so I guess my next question is more about you. So how, like, so you moved here from me? And you said, Why did you move here?
David Morse 17:24
Yeah, so I, my wife and I moved to Wisconsin, basically to get far away from home for college. And then I actually moved to Minnesota, go to grad school. And we thought it might only be a year to stint here. And then like I said, we've been here now for five years. And just like the Twin Cities, one of the coolest places is funny when we were living in Wisconsin, which I mean, no offense, Twin Cities border people over there. But like, we didn't love Wisconsin, and so we were like not expecting to love Minneapolis. Yeah. Boy we got here is just like, this is one of the coolest space and coolest cultures and environments.
And yeah, so we just kind of stuck. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 18:09
So how do you like, how did you get into the whole Minnesota market? Like how did you even like start, like with your wife doing photography? Like, how did you even get started with local people, because I know when people move to a new market, they don't know anyone?
David Morse 18:22
Yeah. I think this is gonna sound cheesy, and my wife will make this but like, your network is your net worth Mm hmm. Someone, a mentor of mine told me that once. And it just really pressed deep into me the value of knowing people. We are humans, and we're made to interact and have community and we value community, you know, real communication. And so we just took that to heart as a couple. And we just started talking with people, and just putting ourselves out to the worst that can happen. Whether you're an insurance or photographer, or a lawyer or planner, and accountant, whatever you do, the worst that can happen. When you put yourself out there, someone will reject you, which might hurt might be embarrassing, but you move on. So like that's really the you know, what we what we tried to do? And I'll say, nine times out of 10. It works in your favor, you develop relationships that you'll carry for a long time. And the earlier you can do that, you know, straight out of college in college. Yeah, the better I think the better you're going to be served. What sector you go into.
Jenna Redfield 19:33
That's true. I my biggest regret. Well, I have a few regrets. One of my Well, I guess maybe I would have picked it probably different major. But also, I wish that I had started my blog in college because I started it literally the month after I graduated because I was like, I don't know why I didn't do it. While I was in college. I think I was just distracted by like, college and classes. Yeah, like, you know, like actually working in college, but but I feel like yeah, like a lot of people locally come to me. They're like, how do you know so many people and I just go I just go to things I go to networking events, I I messaged people and say, do you want to get coffee? Do you you know, and it's just like, the more people you meet at events, you seem at another event, they tell you about another event, they they add you on Facebook, and then you see what they're going to. So if you really want to network and get to know people, you have to kind of put yourself out there.
David Morse 20:26
Yeah. And I think that it goes back to them to the value that you can bring one another. True the things that you're not an expert. Yeah. We don't need to be experts in everything. It's helpful to know an expert in everything. Yeah. So if you can, if you can actually get into a community and you can talk, just focus on what you're actually good at, and own what you're not good at. and say there's one of the reasons that I value you is because of what you can what you can teach me that I don't know. Yeah. And just like own that be who you are. Yeah, it's incredible. The benefit?
Jenna Redfield 21:05
Yeah. Can I ask you both? Yeah, for sure. Because I think a lot of people in other especially if we were talking on other markets, it's harder to build a community because it's a little bit more competitive. But I feel like in the Twin Cities, people are very open and accepting and know that they can't do it all. And so they do hire other people that they've made or and word of mouth is so like, sacred here, I feel like you know, you have to kind of earn your word of mouth. Is that another way that you kind of market yourself? or How are how I get basically, besides networking? How else do you market your business?
David Morse 21:38
Yeah, so I mean, I I'm for an insurance person. So insurance, again, I think I mentioned is a stuffy stuffy industry. It's not something that we typically like or like, Oh, I want to join your community. Really cool. But like as a as a younger insurance agent in the Twin Cities. I am active on social media. And basically again, that just goes to try and show like people like I'm a normal guy doing work. hustling, like everyone hustling here. And you know raising raising my twin boys and all that so I'm active on social media. Yeah. And I really do think that earns me Yeah, aspect with with people.
Unknown Speaker 22:20
I don't think a lot of people are on social media. And then Transworld. At least I don't follow my
David Morse 22:26
wants that no one wants to like, follow. Yeah, yeah, totally. And so just like making,
and this goes back to like, I mean, this is like social media theory. Like, you're like making yourself more human. And the more human you can make yourself, the more people actually want to be around you. And so like, I just want to make the insurance industry more human. Not just the characters on the Superbowl commercials, yeah, that are doing dumb things falling through ceilings, whatever. Whatever. Name the commercial, yeah, that goes can be funny, but it's still like, we look at that, like this big, scary world. I want to make insurance, like bring it down, zoom in on the actual people that are here doing good trying to serve people. And like, that's just what, that's what I'm committed to here in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities.
Jenna Redfield 23:15
That is so cool, because I honestly, it's hard to find people that think that way, you know, especially because a lot of people think of social media as I'm just going to blast it with, like ads and like things that like just by by my by my stuff, but really, it's changed over time. And it's now about building up a personal brand, I guess, in a way, but it's making you seem more personable, more approachable. And I feel like I trust the companies that are that way on social. Is that kind of what how you found it too, I think totally
David Morse 23:51
I think you need to. So there's there's two sides of every business is marketing and branding. And then there's sales. And I do both for a minute. Yes, I need to be I need to sell policies. But I also need to be bringing value to my to my clients if I expect them to actually trust me and make a sale for me. And so I think for anyone, no matter what business you're in, as you deal with social media, you want to be you want to be giving, giving giving to the community, and not be afraid to ask. And so that's, you know, that if I could offer anything to other industries, from the heavily salesy background that I have in advance, it's, if you're giving your community value, don't be afraid to
ask. Yeah, and most cases, your clients want to give
you as if you're giving them value. And they they know, and you agreeing something good to them. And so I think with creatives to I mean, we're deviating a little from insurance, but just like I think creative sometimes can be scared to ask because they don't want to sever that relation. Yes. That's what I think from the sales perspective. People respect that you feel you're bringing enough value and you love your business and your product enough to actually make an ass. Yeah. And so that's one thing that I found. If I truly believe that people, my clients need insurance to be protected, then I want to give them all the information they need to make a smart and wise decision. And then I want to ask them and say,
you know, will you take this? And I think, at least for me, that's that has
been wonderful. I've been able to establish some long longer term relationships, even you know, I'm going into it. You know, I've been in this for five years and starting to get some longer term. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 25:41
That's so cool. And I think that's a something that is kind of shifting in the whole sales industry is the inbound marketing versus outbound where people, they come to you and you attract them. Is that kind of
David Morse 25:55
what you I think that's exactly exactly right. Like, sometimes it's in the insurance world, people can because like car insurance and things like that are required for us to care. Yeah, like, we just get certain greedy sometimes just like, we just like, expect and demand people to, to buy stuff from us. And I just think that's wrong. Like we shouldn't expect that we should
we should earn trust. Yeah. And
so that's what I want. I want to do for creatives,
Jenna Redfield 26:20
for sure. I guess maybe my next question is more of a sales question. Because I think creative people are, it's very hard for them to sell themselves, because that's not theirs there. But at least for me, I I like coming up with beautiful designs. But when it comes to like saying buy my stuff, it's very hard for me. So what are some tips that you have for people trying to sell their own products? or sell their services?
David Morse 26:40
Yeah, believe in it. Yeah, like, the the number one thing I can say is believe in the product. If you don't believe in the product that you are giving someone. It's kind of just comes through Yeah, like you're fit. you're faking it. Yeah. And so I'm not the world's greatest salesperson. So want to say, Yeah, but like, we need to believe in the thing that we're selling. And if we don't find something else to sell, yeah, sometimes people think sales isn't for them, when really, it's just the product that they're selling isn't for them. And so for creatives, I know that photographers and web designers and SEO specialist, they believe in their product. If you believe it, go for it. Yeah, yeah, that's I think my number one tip for so that's really
Jenna Redfield 27:31
good. Because I, I mentioned before we started recording was I used to be a wedding videographer. And I just, I didn't put my heart into it, because I knew I didn't love it. And so it was hard for me to make it even full time because I just didn't. My heart wasn't in it. And so it's really cool that you found something. So what's your what's your like? Your goals in life? Are you going to continue to be an insurance person forever? Or do you have like bigger, bigger plans?
David Morse 28:00
Yeah, so I, you know, I, as of right now, I have no plans of moving out of insurance in the near future. There are other things that are in the works as well. And I love starting new things. And so the those things will probably come. But as of right now, like insurance, insurance is great. And, you know,
Jenna Redfield 28:22
yesterday night, and you go and you said that you have started blogging recently. Can you talk a little about that?
David Morse 28:28
Yeah. So I mean, one of the things with with starting businesses and doing online things, you know, I dabble in web design and some other things. One of the things that I started realizing was like, why not just put out there some of the things that we've learned a lot of the mistakes that we've made from a financial perspective, because I've been in the finance, industry, insurance, web, small business, entrepreneurship, you know, why not just put that out there and see who we can be helpful to I think we, we underestimate this even the small followings that we gain on social media. But I mean, if you have like 3000 people following you on a platform, those are 3000 individuals, that's the size of some small town. And those people are looking for, yeah, for cute things or whatever. But again, I go back to value like they wanted, they want value from you. Yeah. And we just figured as a family as a husband and wife, really, we don't have a lot to offer people necessarily, in the whole scheme of things. But we have something. Yeah. And let's just let's just put that out there. And so yeah, so will be will be blogging about some insurance things, for people to try and do that. Our blog is called despoil calm, which is also one of our Instagram handles. And yes, it will be blogging about finance, budgeting, insurance, how those things all work together, as well, as I mentioned that to to your Twin.
blogging about them, too. Yeah. Oh,
Jenna Redfield 29:59
it's fun, cuz I don't have kids. So it's, it's fun. I love I love little kids. So how does that balance work with having kids to with your business and your wife having your own business and all that stuff? How does that work?
David Morse 30:11
You know, I think one of the things that we always want to create is like margin for ourselves. Like I said, earlier, time is an asset. And one of the cool things with insurance is that you if you put the work in, you do get some flexibility. Yeah. And so that's neat. I'm looking, I would love to coach different sports in the future, and that this industry will provide me that opportunity. Yeah, it's like that. And so I don't know if she could necessarily call it balance, but we try it. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 30:43
I mean, I was I was looking at moms, I'm just because I like, you know, with their own businesses. I'm just like, I don't understand how they can even have time to do anything.
David Morse 30:52
Yeah, you know, my wife's a boss, I
she runs, you know, she runs two businesses during that time. And like, I have 45 to 50 hours a week. And I'm like, whatever.
Jenna Redfield 31:07
Yeah, that's so cool. Well, thank you so much for joining me. How can we find you on online? So where what's all your handles and all the all the places we can find you? Yeah,
David Morse 31:15
so I'm on Instagram and Twitter at David D. Morris. Morris is like Morse code. So David DMORSER blog, where I'll talk more about insurance is this Polk home.com. It won't all be insurance. But I think there'll be a few posts in the near future that might be helpful to people, specifically talking about things like employees employment, liability insurance, some different things that we didn't get to touch on, that are really important in the state of Minnesota, right. Oh, subcontractors and employee Hmm. So I would definitely invite listeners to to look for those things, and to consider those things. And yeah, so those are the primary cool outlets. And if it Yeah, if you ever want to talk I am more than happy to meet at any coffee shop around the Twin Cities. And just again, bring value. Yeah, educate. So that when you meet with other people, you can make informed decision. Yeah, for sure.
Jenna Redfield 32:09
And then also his office isn't sales Park. So St. Louis far.
So I guess let's let's wrap up.
Thank you so much, David, for joining us, and we'll talk to you guys next week. Thank you guys so much for listening to the conversations with creatives podcasts from the Twin Cities Collective. Make sure to head over to iTunes to subscribe to this podcast so you won't miss an episode. New episodes come out every single Monday. And also make sure to give us a review so that we can get more people listening and so that we can give you even more episodes of the podcast. Make sure to also check out our website Twin Cities Collective com where you can learn more about us join our Facebook group, join our online business and blogger directories as well as learn more about events that are coming up that we host every single month. Thank you so much again to Allison hall for creating our awesome podcast cover photo as well as Nicola high less for the use of the song in the intro and out Joe. Thanks again guys for listening and I'll see you next week. Bye.