Like father like daughter ?
Ryan Summerlin April 1, 2013
Morgan Carlson grew up around insurance to say the least. The 27 year-old, who laughed out loud when she said she was still a "daddy’s girl", following her father to his office like a shadow when she was young. She picked up on it all and wanted to be just like him.
"I will never forget the look of relief on [a customer’s] face when she found out her husband was covered by life insurance. The look on my father’s face made me understand the importance of this job and I knew at that moment, this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life," recalled Morgan Carlson, a MLC Insurance Agent.
Despite her youth, she has been a licensed insurance broker for seven years – passing the qualifying exam when she was only 20 years-old.
"The test was much harder than I was anticipating, but I blamed that on all of the bad habits I learned from my dad growing up," Carlson laughed.
All of the "bad habits" learned from Park City insurance old-timer, Walter Ludlow, who represented Farmers Insurance for over 30 years in Summit County, may have had its disadvantages on the modernized test. But inheriting her dad’s breadth of experience has Carlson practicing at a different level than other brokers of her age, Ludlow said from his home in Heber during an interview with The Park Record. Ludlow retired from his insurance career in November of last year.
Currently Carlson and Brandie Cole, office manager, are putting a "new-school" spin on insurance, but they both claim have the "old school" tactics that make what they do unique, effective and most of all personal.
MLC is a multi-line insurance agency that was created by Carlson in 2010. The insurance company, located at 1912 Sidewinder Drive, provides personalized insurance coverage for families and businesses throughout Summit County. Services include auto, home, life, business and commercial insurance.
"The most important aspect my dad taught me, was to be a friend before I was an [insurance] agent," Carlson said. "There are advantages in the insurance game for both the agent and client when you have a personal relationship. I know exactly what they need and in the long run can save a lot money and hassle."
Ludlow agreed this should be the cornerstone of any broker’s practice, but feels his daughters’ life experiences have made her the success she is today.
During her studies at the Utah Valley University, Carlson visited Spain as part of a study-abroad program. One of the trip’s intentions was to polish her Spanish skills to help in her career. Unfortunately when she came back – her "book-learned" Spanish-speaking skills where ineffective with the dialect practiced in the area.
"I talked with a friend of mine who owns a Mexican fast-food place in town and asked if she could fill in for kitchen work," Ludlow said.
During the lunch rush at the restaurant – Carlson would leave her father’s insurance office to help serve food and clean in the kitchen. After the rush was over and new Spanish skills acquired – she would return to finish the day in the office.
"It didn’t take her long to pick up the language," Ludlow said. "She would work hard and learn the language skills needed and come back to the office with a free lunch for me. Her Spanish is perfect now."
Ludlow added, "She has learned the subtle little things that you pick up only with practice. Working with me has taught her skills that take years of practice in the business to learn."
According to Carlson, she and Cole have big plans for MLC in the future – other than outdoing her dad. The insurance company is building from the ground up through the best type of "old school" advertising – word of mouth.