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Lokvani Talks To Niru Bhatia


06/14/2007

Niru Bhatia is the owner of Platinum Insurance agency. A degree in chemical engineering did not deter her from moving to a totally different career path. Platinum Insurance Agency specializes in property/casualty insurance –
Home owners,Personal auto,Commercial/business insurance,Commercial auto,Workers compensation,Liquor liability,Event insurance and Technology Liability. They  offer a wide range of companies to tailor fit clients liability needs. Lokvani talked to Niru Bhatia:

You moved your career from chemical engineering to insurance agency. What did you have to do to make that switch? Was it a tough choice?  

I had decided I wanted to start my own business; I just wasn’t sure of what it would be.  One day my Father said I should focus on addressing the lack of an Indian owned insurance agency in our community.  He gave me the idea (along with the financing to purchase my own agency)  Before this happened, I simply went to work for an insurance agency in Danvers.  I worked 7 days a week and I worked 15 hour days.  I was desperate to learn as much as I could as fast as I could.  The more I worked, the more I liked the business.  I started off learning about the business of insurance, about the process/procedures of risk management.  I then began producing business. This was when it all came together for me – I started loving my job. I would interact with people and assess their risks related to their personal lives and businesses.

  How does platinum insurance stand above all the other big insurance agencies? What is special about your services?

What makes platinum different is that we focus on the client relationship.  In MA, auto insurance is regulated, which means the price of insurance is the same regardless of which company or agency you go to.  We spend a lot of time with each client explaining each part of the insurance policy to them.  We also try to get to know each client on an individual basis – do they own a home, do they have children, do they own a business.  Building this personal relationship with our clients allows us to better asses their needs – for example, if they own a home and a business, they have more assets at risk and should carry higher limits on their personal policies.  If they have children, are the children old enough to be in college or soon to be attending college – do we need to endorse their home insurance policy to cover their child’s belongings while away at college.  Are the children taking a car to college – do we need to review their coverage’s etc…

  Many non profits have this question? Do they need to insure themselves? If so,for what?

 ABSOLUTELY! Anyone and everyone running any kind of business – for profit or non profit – need to protect their liability.  One thing that every person needs to keep in mind is that we live in a very litigious society – everyone sues everyone.  If a non profit causes bodily injury or property damage to another individual that injured individual does not care if business/business owner is rich/poor/profitable/non profit!!  The injured party needs to be paid for their pain/suffering/injury.

Are they any special rates for them?  As far as rates, I can’t speak for agencies in general but Platinum Insurance Agency has built very special relationships with our carriers/companies we represent.  I use the general rates/quotes provided by companies.  I then have the ability to pick up the phone and speak directly with my underwriters and request credit discounting - I explain to my underwriters what the non profit does and the fact that they are a non profit- this is usually more than enough to merit high credit discounts on their premiums.


Share with us some testimonials from your clients or a story that helped someone who approached your agency?

As I mentioned, we really take time to understand our clients and to help them understand what insurance is.   Time and time again, it astonishes me that people have been insured for years and yet when they speak to me, all of a sudden they have so many questions about their policies.  Often I will ask them, why haven’t they every questioned their prior insurance agency – the usual response I get is that no one ever took the time to listen let alone the patience to explain anything to them.

 You have another very interesting dimension to your interest? Cooking? Are you a gourmet cook?

That’s like asking a mother if her child is cute – OFCOURSE I’m a gourmet cook.  My family used to own a fine dining American/French restaurant in Lexington, MA.  When the cook and chef did not show up for work – I was the cook and I was the chef.  I used to have a fantastic time.  Having a chemical engineering background, cooking was a form of chemical engineering for me – just a lot more creative and fun.

You said you were in India for a few months.  Any special pursuit?

I have been in India on several occasions for weeks/months at a time?  The reason behind this travel was purely pleasure.  I have traveled from Jammu to Cochin and tried/tasted/tested recipes from every state.  I have hundreds of recipes and photos that I have been sharing with readers (food column for Indian New England News).

Any hobbies that you pursue in your spare time?

 My hobbies include cooking, reading, I love jazz music and fine wine.

 What is the best way for our readers to get in touch with  you ?

Readers can reach me via our website www.platinuminsuranceagency.com

 



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