So, Who is Gordon Coyle?
My LinkedIn profile gives a smidge of info about me, so I hope this post broadens that view.
I am a third-generation owner of an insurance agency located in New City, NY (Rockland County) which was founded in 1929 by my grandfather Harry Coyle, and his brother Jack Coyle. Yes, an auspicious year to start a business for sure!
Here’s a photo of our office from around 1935:
The business I entered straight out of college in 1982 was a traditional “Main Street Insurance Agency” servicing the needs of the local community selling: home, auto, small commercial, life, and health insurance.
Over time we acquired and merged with other agencies to facilitate growth in all the traditional lines of business, and in 2011 we made a strategic shift to focus exclusively on business insurance. We sold off books of businesses that didn’t align with that focus, so we were out of the home and auto, or life/health insurance.
Why the shift?
I really enjoy working with business owners and understanding the risks and challenges they face every day, and then working with them to reduce risk. Personal auto and home insurance is very transactional in nature and highly commoditized. There’s no real opportunity to roll up your sleeves and do anything unique.
I want clarity around delivering a high level of expertise and relationship to our clients. The client experience needs to be the cornerstone of our future so that means focusing where we could have an impact and for me, that’s in business insurance.
Who are my clients?
My book of business is very diverse and it’s one of the things I really like about coming to work every day. Each day presents new challenges, new ideas, different client types, and different coverage and risk issues.
My clients are in manufacturing, contracting, retailing, wholesale distribution, financial services (such as hedge funds, private equity and venture capital), technology, life sciences, professional services, and more. As you can imagine, with such a variety of clients comes a variety of risks and insurance coverages, and that’s what keeps my interest level high and my desire to always be learning.
In fact, lifelong learning is a passion of mine, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be work-related. I love learning new things and trying new things which is why I’ve got so many hobbies and outside interests.
What do I do outside of work?
I love being outdoors, so hiking, camping, backpacking, climbing, and mountaineering are big drivers for me. I also like to ski, ice climb, snowshoe, in the winter. Another big hobby for me is woodworking. I love creating stuff – whether it’s turning a bowl on my lathe, building something, or doing home improvements, gardening, or working with my hands. When my kids were younger, they would proudly tell their friends: “my dad can fix anything!” While not necessarily “anything” I do love a challenge and a puzzling situation to figure out.
Here’s a photo of a bowl I recently turned:
I also love photography. Here’s a link to my Instagram account if you’d like to take a look: https://www.instagram.com/gbcoyle/
What does the future look like to me?
I’m an eternal optimist. Insurance is a product that will always be necessary and needed by families, businesses, and large corporations. Fundamentally that will not change. How the product is distributed and sold has changed, is changing today, and will continue to change in the future.
My firm’s success depends on delivering a high level of expertise and superior client experience to our clients. Risk is progressively getting more complex for businesses, and to respond to that we need be engaged with clients as a guide and advisor. It also means that we won’t participate in bidding exercises as this brings no value to us or the client.
Want to learn more?
Connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gordoncoyle/
Drop me an email if you’d like to set up a call: firstname.lastname@example.org