The 10 years since David Babbitt purchased one of Enumclaw’s older insurance companies have flown.
The Babbitt Insurance Group, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary June 1, came together when Babbitt, an Enumclaw High School graduate, left one of the largest insurance agencies in the world, Arthur J. Gallagher of Tacoma. He hired his father, the late Leroy Babbitt, a longtime EHS coach and teacher, and Doug Wagner, also an EHS graduate, and purchased the McCauley Insurance Agency from Dale and Alice McCauley. Both Wagner and the elder Babbitt also were working for a large agency in Tacoma at the time.
Alice McCauley had worked for the original agency owner, James Puttman, who started the agency around 1958, combining now for more than 50 years on the Plateau.
“It is fun to think back 10 years,” Babbitt said. “Ten very quick years at that – to what was started then and to look at the pictures from when we first walked through the agency doors.
“Ten years, wow, it goes by fast. My daughter was 6 and my son 7 months old. Now I can’t beat either one of them on the golf course. Time flies when having fun and helping others.”
Babbitt said the agency takes a counselor approach to insurance.
“We are not salespeople looking to make a sale,” he said. “We are counselors looking to talk to our clients, to decipher what their particular needs are, then put together a program from one of our preferred or specialty companies to fit their specific concerns.
“We are a local business helping local families and actively participating in the local communities.”
The office is filled with familiar faces, like Wagner, who this year was made a junior partner at the agency.
In the personal lines department, customers will find EHS graduates Cindy Streuli, Lynn Pratt, Mallorie Lawson and Sumner High graduate Gertie Huff. On the commercial side are EHS graduate Lee Campbell and Kent-Meridian graduate Janet Gunter.
Bob Jacobowitz is the agency’s full-time firefighter/part-time insurance agent working out of the Seattle waterfront fire station. He brings 20 years of insurance experience wit him.
EHS graduate Connie Johnson handles the agency’s accounting and financial aspects.
The agency has represented Mutual of Enumclaw since 1958 and, Babbitt noted, it has been recognized as one of the top five companies in the nation for outstanding claims service.
“That is very impressive for a regional carrier and fun that they are based here in our home town,” he said.
“If we could, we would thank all of our clients individually, those that are with us now, and those that we have had the pleasure of working with in the past,” Babbitt said. “In 10 years it is easy to remember family’s having to struggle through major losses and we take pride in having helped them to put their lives back together.”