Recently, I talked with Tiffany Hawkins, Regional Vice President for FCCI’s Gulf Coast region, to get an overview of the company and how it has grown through the years. As one of the region’s larger commercial insurers, with over $2.4 billion in assets, FCCI works through a network of agencies that are grounded and committed to their communities and clients.
“Our company was originally founded in Florida,” she explained. “We began with a focus on worker’s comp coverage, as our founders were contractors who were unable to secure worker’s comp coverage through other sources and therefore, banded together to provide their own.”
From that beginning, FCCI has grown to deliver commercial insurance to small and large business clients alike, including worker’s comp, liability, property, and auto. The mission, as Hawkins defined it, it to “deliver quality commerical insurance products with outstanding customer service to our agents and customers.” She also talked about the company’s total commitment to integrity in its relationships with agents and customers, and a strong commitment to supporting communities.
These commitments have helped FCCI grow from a company doing business in one state (Florida) to having a business presence in 22 states.
I asked Hawkins what sorts of things set them apart from others?
“I truly believe we have the best people in the business, people who are totally committed to our mission,” she said. “We think of our agents as our #1 customers, and we are always dedicated to providing prompt service. Our financial strength is important to our agents and customers, as is our integrity in doing what we say we’ll do.”
Among other things, FCCI grants every employee a number of hours in which the employee can work on a community support activity.
“Our folks get involved in all sorts of things,” she said. “And we’re very proud of that.”
FCCI is an A-rated company by A.M. Best, and proud of its fiscal strength and market position.
Hawkins told me she literally grew up with the understanding that insurance would be her career.
“As a kid, I played at being an insurance agent. I grew up in NW Mississippi and went to Ole Miss, where I got my degree in Insurance Risk Management. From there, I served as a surety underwriter for several companies, finally coming back to Mississippi to work for Traveler’s. Then I joined in FCCI in 2012 as a Marketing Underwriter, and then grew in my role as a State Director, and finally, I was appointed Regional Vice President when my predecessor retired.”
She is clearly passionate about her business, her company, her people, and the agents and customers she serves.
“I couldn’t imagine ever doing anything else,” she said. “I feel very fortunate that I always knew what I wanted to do in my career, and then be fortunate enough to actually do it.”
She believes that insurance is a wonderful career for young people to consider, as “there are many opportunities for growth and advancement”.
I asked her how she sees the business and economic climate in Mississippi and the rest of the Gulf Coast region.
“Right now, things are very positive,” she said. “We’re fortunate that most of the states in our region are very supportive of business, and Mississippi in particular has shown a very pro-business outlook that is very refreshing.”
What’s the outlook for FCCI in the coming years?
“As we celebrate 60 years this year, it is important to us continue to be an entity rooted in integrity and adhere to our core values and always doing what we say we will do,” she said.
Hawkins lives in Gluckstadt with her husband and two daughters.
Contact Mississippi Business Journal publisher Alan Turner at email@example.com or (601) 364-1021.
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