While the Buckner Company has a long history starting with its founder, Elmer Buckner, selling life insurance door-to-door in 1937, the current state of the company speaks to a much more sophisticated and professional business.
“We have offices in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Idaho Falls, Idaho and Denver, Colorado,” Michael Gale said, Senior Vice President of The Buckner Company. Though the business began in Ogden, The Buckner Company closed their first Ogden office in 1997, opting for a move down to more centrally located SLC. “In 2006, a group of us in Ogden approached [current owner] Terry Buckner and worked with him to reopen the Ogden office,” Gale remembered. “We now have 26 employees in Ogden, and SLC has about 100. Regionally, we have about 175 employees from Idaho to Colorado.” And there is always opportunity to grow the business with Buckner now eyeing a potential Phoenix, Arizona expansion as well.
Though Buckner initially began as a life, homeowner and auto insurance agency, the company now insures everything from small business, to large corporations, construction, health, hospitality, manufacturing and, as of just a few years ago, trucking insurance. “We have a large commercial trucking insurance program that we do nationwide. That started several years ago, but it’s growing and we now have 12 trucking division specialists in Utah, with four in Ogden specifically,” he said. And the trucking insurance business is definitely an animal unto itself. “The trucking business is much more regulated than any other business because you’re traveling over the road as well as state-to-state, so a lot of the trucking regulations are nationwide, but, in addition to that, there’s nuances in every state that come into play.”
“There’s a lot more at play than there is with a construction company, which is usually pretty set in stone. A trucker might hit a state border and need a certificate of insurance right then. So, we’re working with some companies that can let truckers access their insurance policies online from a truck stop. While that’s unusual in most other insurance lines right now, it’s coming.”
Though this newer Ogden office is going on its 12th year, Gale says it feels like it almost never left. “We’ve always felt like we belonged here. When we came back, I felt like we were welcomed with open arms.” And part of that welcoming atmosphere has to do with the work people like Gale are doing with local organizations. “Aside from specializing in construction insurance, I also do social service agencies like YCC, St. Anne’s and Family Promise. I have a fondness for the social service industry and enjoy working with them to do things for the Ogden community,” he said.
On top of that, The Buckner Company tries to support as many activities in Ogden as possible, getting involved with the Ogden Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce as well as sponsoring the local rodeo.
Serving the local community, in business and activities, motivates the Ogden-based agents to achieve. “We’re educated people; we value continuing education, and it’s a hallmark of our company,” said Gale. And that continuing education led to some big achievements in the last year with two Ogden agents earning spots on the prestigious Top 100 Agents list published by the Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) in 2017, and having two more agents land on the list in 2018. Aside from some agents from Buckner’s SLC office, no other Utah agents were honored with similar rankings.