January 8, 2009

Changing the name, not changing the hometown feel

By Danielle Abbott

For almost seventeen years, Washburn Insurance Agency has offered reliable and localized service to the area. Sister company, First Wilton Insurance Agency, was taken over in 1997, just five years after the Washburn agency formed a separate corporation from the Farmers Security Bank. Like any corporation, policies, customers and other details adapt and change over the years. Customary to the small town feel, the one consistent factor in these businesses over the years may be the smiling faces and cheerful voices that customers have come to recognize and appreciate. Claudette Ness started with the Washburn branch in their inaugural year as a separate agency, after spending four previous years working in the insurance industry. With more than thirty years of experience, Wilton’s Bernadine Martin knows nearly every detail of the insurance business. Together, the two agent-managers of their respected branches have shown their clients that they will be there through everything. That promise was utilized this past month, when negotiations finalized and the two businesses were sold to the Western Frontier Insurance Agency. The change comes as nothing new to the Wilton branch, which has seen three changes in ownership, though their name has always stayed the same in the past. "My people are used to the change of ownership and that I’m still there," Martin said. The change may be having a bit more of an impact on the Washburn branch, where customers have not yet seen the business change ownership.

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