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This is my story: Tom Homrighausen

By: Tom Homrighausen, Regional Sales Manager, Southern California

As someone who works in insurance, I spend a lot of time in meetings at various offices, traveling to visit clients and reading and reviewing documents. When that’s your day-to-day routine, it’s easy to think that’s what working in insurance is: meetings, documents and numbers. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

For me, and I’m sure for many other insurance professionals, I work in this industry because it provides a chance to help people when they’re at their most vulnerable. It’s a chance to do the right thing. It’s easy to forget that’s what we’re doing, but I had an experience that drove this home right at the start of my career and it has stuck with me since.

Doing the right thing

When I started working in insurance in 1988, I was selling individual life and disability policies face-to-face with my customers at the kitchen table. I had a chance to meet a 29 year-old young man who had recently found out that his long-time girlfriend was pregnant. He wanted to do the right thing for her and for his child; he wanted to purchase life insurance. I was able to set him up with a policy that would protect his family should the unthinkable happen.

Sadly, a short month after I sold him that policy, the unthinkable did, in fact, happen. He was walking out of his house with his pregnant girlfriend and he had a brain embolism. He passed away right then and there on the front lawn, leaving behind a 20-something year-old girlfriend who was pregnant with his child.

Soon after, I had the chance to do the right thing by him and his family. I went to the house and was able to personally deliver a check to a now-single parent who had just lost her partner. The experience was heartbreaking, but I also found it to be extremely rewarding to be able to deliver that check, which was a tremendous help to the young woman and her family.

It wasn’t just a financial help either, it also meant a lot to be able to show her that the young man was there for her, was thinking about their future and had planned for her and the child’s wellbeing. It’s a difficult feeling to describe, but playing a small part in providing that message and that support is the main reason that I work in insurance.

Not everyone in our industry has had an experience like mine. But for anyone who has ever felt bogged down by routine or far removed from the big picture of what we’re doing, I’d remind them that working in insurance is so much more than that. What we do makes a difference in peoples’ lives. Knowing that fact and experiencing it first-hand is what drives me day in and day out in my work.

About the author:
Tom Homrighausen joined Trustmark in 2012. As a Regional Sales Manager, he is responsible for developing and managing voluntary group and worksite distribution in the Southern California region, including Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties. Tom has served for more than 25 years in the insurance sales arena. He worked 10 years with Lincoln Financial Group as a regional sales manager in Southern California and spent three years as regional sales manager for Reliance Standard. He earned a bachelor's degree in financial services from San Diego State University.

Posted on April 18, 2018