Agent Spotlight: Zack Frechette, United Insurance
Zack Frechette, CIC
President & CEO
United Insurance, Portland, ME
Zack Frechette joined United Insurance as an Account Executive in 2013, and 10 years later, he has worked his way up to the top as the agency’s President & CEO. He was mentored by his uncle, Rob, early in his career, and he is committed to paying it forward: “I vividly remember how helpful it was to have someone to get advice from when I was getting started, and I’m doing everything I can to be that kind of resource to others,” he said. United Insurance was founded in Aroostook County, Maine, and Frechette’s goals include positioning “United Insurance as well-known, respected, and appreciated throughout New England and beyond.”
What is your general insurance background/career path? I got my start as an underwriter at CNA, where I worked for four years before I joined United as an Account Executive in 2013. From there, I just put in the work of building my book of business and establishing strong relationships with agency leaders. It’s been an incredible ride the last 10 years, and it’s only getting better and more exciting.
Why should people consider a career in insurance? No matter where your talents lie, you can use them in the insurance industry. We need accountants, data analysts, and marketing experts just as much as we need producers, account managers and claims representatives. Best of all, you can start in one job and grow at your own pace.
What excites you about the industry? The people. I don’t know what it is about the insurance industry, but it consistently attracts kind, conscientious, and diligent people who genuinely care – about their jobs, their coworkers, and, of course, their clients.
Where do you see the industry in 10-20 years? The beauty of this business is its stability, but I’m excited by the changes technology is already driving and the opportunities it’s creating. I see our agency evolving from helping our clients prepare for the worst to providing the advice, tools, and incentives to reduce their risks and live healthier, safer, and more satisfying lives. Imagine getting a $30 check on April 2nd because you went to the gym three days a week since January 2nd, and the fitness app on your Apple Watch or Fitbit shared your workout data with your insurance company. That’s just one way technology can help us build even stronger relationships with our clients than we already have.
What are common misconceptions about the industry/as a career that you don’t agree with? I can’t go a day without seeing an ad from a personal injury attorney promising their office will “fight the insurance companies to get what their clients deserve.” Our clients know they can count on us to protect what matters to them and that we’ll be there when they need us.
What is your industry involvement outside of the office? Earning the confidence of my colleagues to become President & CEO and preparing the agency for growth has taken all of my focus and energy the last 10 years. As we finalize our growth strategy and bring in the people and structure we need to pursue it, I’m looking forward to getting more involved in the industry.
What is the most used tool/resource that has made you the most successful? Emotional intelligence – quickly understand what’s going on in the lives of my clients, colleagues, and co-workers and then offering solutions, ideas, or advice that makes them feel more confident.
What is the most important leadership lesson you have learned and how is it valuable to you today? That it’s OK to be vulnerable. Whether that’s admitting I don’t have all the answers or owning up to a mistake, I’ve learned that people are more likely to trust and believe you when you’re open and honest.
What do you like to do outside of the office? Work and family get the vast majority of my time, but I love being active outside. From golfing and skiing to fishing and hunting, here in Maine, every season brings something fun and different to do.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t in insurance? I love running machinery and being outside, so I’d probably be working in construction or logging.
What was your first job? My first paycheck came from washing dishes at the Family Fare in Farmington, Maine. I think the world would be a much kinder place if everyone held at least one restaurant job in their life.
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