Situated at the corner of South Prairie and Thatcher avenues, ASK Insurance’s new location was chosen to accommodate the growing number of clients south of town.
“That is the one thing that was huge to us that we saw growth and we needed to be able to kind of spread our wings and have more space for our clients,” said Mary Kelver, a licensed agent with ASK Insurance.
The family-owned, insurance agency serves clients throughout Pueblo and as far as Beulah, Trinidad, Walsenburg and Westliffe, according to Kelver. “Our role basically is to see if we can give the clients the best coverage for the lowest amount of money…,” she said. “We’re brokers as opposed to being a captive agent.”
Founded by Kelver’s husband Scott 13 years ago, ASK Insurance built its clientele from square one. “He started it and I worked another job to support us… to help toward the household so that he could actually step out and we could take a risk and start our scratch agency,” Kelver said.
After gaining several clients and the approval to represent multiple insurance carriers, Scott Kelver was joined by his wife and their daughter Jaime. “Our daughter became licensed as well at the same time I did and between her and I we took care of customer service as well as writing policy while Scott would oversee the business and be more on the commercial end of things,” Mary Kelver said.
Working as independent insurance brokers presents both challenges and advantages, according to Kelver. Unlike larger, nationally recognized captive insurance carriers, ASK Insurance does their own advertising independent of other agencies.
“If we don’t get out there and promote ASK Insurance Brokers, this little independent family-owned business, we don’t get a paycheck,” Kelver said. “If we don’t sell a policy, we’re not getting paid.”
However, a clients’ diversity of choice in choosing an insurance carrier can be an advantage for independent brokers in the market according to Kelver. “We have choices where the big captive carriers don’t… ,” she said. “We can quote and see which carrier comes in best for the best coverage for that client.”
In the midst of competition with larger, more established insurance companies, Kelver said ASK Insurances growth and longevity boils down to putting clients first.
“No matter what you need to treat that client with respect and value the fact that they walk in your door…,” Kelver said. “To me that’s number one. We’ve even had clients say no matter what, we’re going to stay with you because we like how we’re treated.”
ASK Insurance shares the building with Nutritional Fuel, a company specializing in bodybuilding, sports nutrition and weight-loss supplements. Nutritional Fuel is owned by Jamie’s husband of 11 years, Francis Blackford.
“A lot of Pueblo natives, they’ve been in and out of here,” said Blackford of the location that formerly was Prairie Drug Store at least into the mid-1970s and has since held a number of businesses.
Now we’ve got it. It’s just kind of like filling a void in a centrally located area in Pueblo. Hopefully we can network and help our businesses out. Both sides, we love the people that we’ve met.”