New location, growing services

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Now located in a newly renovated building, Stewart Insurance Agency, LLC offers decades of experience to the residents of Picayune.

Agency Principal Beth Jarrell, said that she started her career in insurance about 22 years ago, but it wasn’t her initial plan for a career.

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After obtaining a degree in English and psychology, with a minor in philosophy, her plan after college was to become a professor. But during a visit to her then insurance agent, she was asked if she’d be interested in becoming a licensed agent. At first, she refused the offer. But after talking about the opportunity with her mother, she changed her mind, taking a job at Farm Bureau in 1996.

Then in 2001, she opened an office at 114 East Canal Street called First National Insurance. Five years later, she would change the name to Stewart Insurance Agency, LLC. The business grew to the point that she would need additional space, so she rented the office next door in 2016.

That growth continued so that this month the business moved to its new location at 100 Highway 11 N., providing not only more space, but the updates she made to the building, which used to house Harrison Finance, gave it a warm feel, Jarrell said.

Inside the 2,000 square-foot location is plenty of space for the staff, and she has turned the vault into a waiting room where children can watch TV or play Nintendo 64.

Stewart Insurance Agency employs a total of five people who can help Picayune residents with their insurance needs. Tim Craft is a financial professional who can help customers with their life, health, and investment insurance, while his wife Emma, can find customers personal home or automobile coverage.

Leslie Reynolds is the business’ account manager and JoEllen Berry is the office manager.

Jarrell said she can help customers with their commercial insurance needs and she is currently working on obtaining her commercial insurance consultant designation.

In addition to the new location, the business’ website is undergoing a change. Jarrell said it will soon offer a blog with lots of information on the basics of coverage and how insurance can cover risks and assets.

She said that the goal is to help her customers find the best coverage at the best price.

One addition to coverage options at Stewart Insurance Agency includes cyber liability. Jarrell said that policy can cover businesses from the accidental dissemination of private information through email or employee social media accounts. Such a policy could provide legal defense if an employee accidentally sends a sensitive email to the wrong person, or if an employee makes a defamatory comment via social media.

Active shooter policies have also been added to the fold to protect businesses or schools who could potentially face legal action in the aftermath of such an incident.

She can also offer wind and flood coverage that is not part of the Mississippi Windstorm Underwriting Association or the National Flood Insurance Program.

Her agency is also now licensed to provide insurance in Louisiana and Alabama, so Pearl River County residents can have their vacation or other property in those areas covered. She also plans to open satellite offices in those states in the near future.

The business is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and staff can be reached by calling 601-749-8078.