Aimee Garcia, one of our Board Members, is the Vice-President at Cabrera Benefits Group in Coral Gables.
What is your business?
I’m the Vice-President at Cabrera Benefits Group, a boutique insurance agency that provides insurance services to individuals and businesses.
We have two people operating the business – the agency principal, Ralph Cabrera Jr., and myself. Having been a City Commissioner of Coral Gables for 12 years, Ralph is deeply entrenched in the community and has developed many valuable relationships. These relationships are our major source for leads. Once Ralph qualifies the leads we prepare a presentation, deliver it to the client and close the business. At this point I take over all paperwork and start working with brokers and underwriters to issue the policy.
Where are you from?
I was born in Cuba and raised up in Brooklyn, NY.
If not Miami, why/how did you come to Miami?
I was relocated to Miami when my employer at the time, American Express, opened up the Miami office.
What is your professional/business history?
I’ve been in B2B sales for most of my working life after college. I worked for Xerox for a couple of years and my portfolio consisted of Board of Education high schools in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Later I transitioned to work for American Express selling AmEx card acceptance to merchants in the same boroughs. I was then relocated to Miami and continued working for Amex for 20 years. I was involved in different roles in the company and throughout the years I had an opportunity to work with major companies – Sprint, AOL, USA Today, Home Shopping Network.
How did you get into your area of business? What inspired/motivated you?
Like most people in insurance industry, I got into business by mereaccident. A childhood friend who was successfully running his business has suggested that I get my life and health insurance license and provided me with a desk in his office. I followed his advice and a few months later I added property & casualty to my portfolio of licenses. I discovered that I truly liked the business.
What is your purpose? Your mission? Vision? We know that insurance is boring and confusing to many people. While we cannot make it fun, we do our best to make difficult concepts easy to understand. Our major purpose and goal is to make sure that the policies are relevant to specific personal and business needs of our clients.
What makes your business successful/unique? Anything you take special attention or pride in?
Family values are the fundamental blocks of our business.
We take care of our existing and future clients as if they were family. We provide insurance solutions that are in the best interest of the client, not the agency. If we can help you, we will. If we cannot, we will tell you why we cannot. We will refer you to someone else whenever possible even if this someone is a competitor.
Our company handles all types of insurance so you will need only one agent for all of your insurance needs. One of our clients recently referenced us in his blog as SPOC, his Single Point of Contact. We manage his personal insurance (auto, home, beach home, boat, and other toys) as well as his business insurance. If he ever has a question or an issue – one call is all he needs to make.
Is your business a female locally owned business? Struggles? Advantages?
Our agency is not owned by a female, but it is run by a female – me! I don’t feel that gender plays a major role in the day-to-day operations of my business. It’s a relationship business and a numbers business. The more people I meet, connect, and develop a relationship with the likelier I am to get more business. The most challenging part of insurance business is differentiating yourself not only from other insurance agents, but also from online sources that sell insurance products directly to consumers. For example, many people purchase their auto insurance directly from E-surance because they believe they are getting better deals due to the absence of the middle man. However, from my experience I can say that premium is not the most important thing in a policy and this becomes apparent at the time of a claim. When the claim is made, the value of the agent becomes apparent and reveals whether the client’s needs or the premium was the major focus.
Outside of running the business, what are some of the things you love to do on your personal time?
I love to read, but since I don’t have too much free time, I listen to audiobooks a lot. I also like to cook, travel and spend time with friends.