For Ryan Sanders, advisory work is all about transparency and focusing on clients’ needs.
The 13-year associate at insurance firm Rich & Cartmill Inc. says that many insurance agents can get caught up in making a pricey sale, but his focus is on helping his clients succeed in business.
“If I have not identified and offered a solution for things that can put my client out of business, then I have not done my job,” says Sanders, who specializes in long-term care facility insurance. “A client may elect not to purchase everything I offer, but seeing the relief on their face when I have given a comprehensive coverage review and identified a glaring coverage gap in their current coverage is something that makes my day.”
Sanders, a Springfield native, graduated in 2007 from the University of Texas-Austin with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Shortly after, he joined the Rich & Cartmill team alongside his father, Carrel, the company’s vice president who started working for the firm in 1998.
Sanders managed 200 clients last year and sold $5.2 million in annual premiums – up 15% from 2018. He has developed questionnaires for his clients that are now used companywide. He said the surveys help insurance agents collect information from customers, but it also allows clients to identify coverage issues they might not have realized they had.
“It’s easy to ask the bare minimum questions to obtain a quote; it’s another thing to ask the questions to obtain a comprehensive look at the customer’s exposures,” he says.
One of Sanders’ longtime clients is Foster Senior Living, which operates 20 senior living facilities in seven states. The company is currently building a $35 million facility dubbed Springhouse Village East and has plans in the pipeline for an additional facility in southeast Springfield, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
“This diverse geographic portfolio requires continuous attention on his part to insurance companies that are available in different parts of the country as potential insurance carriers for our properties,” says Greg Smith, chief financial officer at Foster Senior Living. “Ryan has been a trusted insurance adviser … to our company for approximately 10 years.”
Outside of the office, Sanders is active in industry organizations, such as the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter Society of the Ozarks, where he serves as president.
He serves on the board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks and has been a “big” to the same child for over four years, he says. He’s also a board member and fundraiser committee volunteer at Lake Country Soccer.
In his free time, Sanders supports his wife, Andrea Ehrhart, who has created several murals downtown, including the “Greetings from Springfield” mural on the Discovery Center of Springfield Inc. building.
“I am currently limited to a paint-by-numbers role,” Sanders says. “I don’t see a ‘Trusted Artist’ nomination coming in my future.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May the all-items inflation index surged 8.6% over the past year, the highest increase since 1981.