Business Profile: State Farm Lake Tahoe
August 7, 2021 | Kayla Anderson
“YOU NEVER NEED INSURANCE until you need it,” someone once famously said. Every type of insurance is a unique product. Every customer in the marketplace purchases insurance not because they desire, want, or need it at the time of purchase, but because they might, one day, need it after purchase. The need though, if it arises, is nearly always out of the individual’s control. Insurance is about proper preparation.
Recently, I sat down with Britney Bladel, owner of the State Farm Agency here in Incline Village. Britney has been in the insurance business since 2008, and her office here in Incline is the second State Farm agency she has owned. Britney
and I chatted about insurance, the need for it, the various types, and her favorite topic, adequate coverage to properly cover one’s assets and risks. As a full-time Incline local since 2018, Britney worries that many of her fellow residents are underinsured for the true costs of living and rebuilding here at the lake. Britney explained, “Incline Village, and nearly every town on the lake, is very different than the regional or national metrics. Building, or rebuilding here is much more expensive than what other companies set the standard to, or compare to when setting replacement costs.” For instance, Incline Village and Crystal Bay are not truly cost comparable to other Northern Nevada towns such as Fallon, Fernley, or even Reno, yet many people’s insurance is calculated by comparing costs to these dissimilar cities. Insurance is a must-have in case of an emergency, but being underinsured if an emergency strikes could feel just as catastrophic if claimants cannot build or replace to the quality of their assets or lifestyle previous to their loss.
This past summer, all Tahoe residents were reminded of just how real the threat of wildfire can be with residents being forced to evacuate and prepare for the worst. In a large scale loss total costs to rebuild can actually cost more, not less. Many insured are under the misconception that in a
mass loss incident replacement costs would be driven down but in Britney’s experience, she has seen the opposite. “Too many people know what they are paying for insurance, yet they do not know what the policy actually covers. There is a huge difference.”
Navigating that difference is what Britney and her all-female staff do best. All of the agents in her office are residents and licensed in Nevada and California. Each has its own insurance specialty. One of her staff members, also born and raised at the lake, is a native Spanish speaker, ensuring that their office, previously owned by Incline resident, Paul Nannini, can serve everyone in the community. The office
is centrally located, which is just how Britney prefers it as it makes it even easier to get to know local residents.
That is her favorite part of the job. Britney stressed how insurance doesn’t have to be horribly complicated. Insuring for natural disasters or big events can be simplified, but it helps to talk to an expert who not just knows where you live but understands the environment in which you live. For instance, Nevada residents, with a simple endorsement can get earthquake coverage added to their policy. Additionally, all State Farm clients automatically get an additional 20% coverage built into each of their policies which is only common practice with a few select insurance companies.
Living in a gorgeous and unique place like Incline Village and Crystal Bay certainly has its perks; however, as Britney and her staff know, it can certainly come with nuances and risks. Residents need to be sure they are insured correctly. While Britney is obviously an advocate of State Farm, its 100-year history, and its financial strength, she is also just a promoter of insurance in general. Britney, her staff, and her family are all invested in this community. They are here not only to make it better but to ensure that it will always be here, no matter what might happen.