Southwick Insurance Agency

Keeping promises close to home

Back in the 1980s, Southwick native Dan Hess left his first career as a middle school health and PE teacher to try something new. He began selling insurance. 

“I was taking a chance, that’s for sure,” this entrepreneur said, harkening back to Southwick Insurance Agency’s earliest days. “I remember taking a loan from the Money Store for $25,000 to get started. It’s very difficult for a new agent. You don’t have customers. You don’t have money. All you have is your license.”

Thirty-five years later, it’s safe to say Hess’s chance was one worth taking. Today, Southwick Insurance Agency has 8,000 customers from across Hampden County, and he says his business has been growing at a rate of 5% to 10% per year. 

As with many of today’s small businesses, his biggest competitors come from the internet.

“People think if they go online they’re going to save money,” Hess said. “But I’d say we take two customers for every one the online companies take from us. Our rates are competitive, and we provide a lot more service.”

Southwick Insurance shops multiple companies for the best prices. They also provide registry service, claims assistance, and personalized coverage reviews. “You want to tailor your coverage to your own needs. That’s where we step in,” Hess said. “Sometimes we save people thousands of dollars - especially if they have young drivers. It’s amazing.” 

“We had a family whose house burned down last winter. They had a newborn, a week old,” he said. When he found out, Hess immediately sounded the alarm with friends and associates to secure the family a place to stay while their house was being rebuilt. 

“We found them a home within a week. I take pride in that. Those are the things that make you feel good,” Hess said. “Insurance isn’t selling people a shiny new object. It’s selling a promise, and I like to keep my promises.”

More than that, Hess said, “It’s part of my DNA to protect the community.” He donates regularly to the police. He paid for a dumpster to rid North Pond of trash and debris, and he’s been a backbone supporter of residents’ groups such as Citizens Restoring Congamond and Save Southwick.

Asked why he supports our area so staunchly, Hess offered an answer no internet company ever could. “Well, because I live here,” he said. 

“Southwick is a beautiful community. We have our farms. We have our lakes. We have such a nice town. I just want to keep it that way.”


562 College Hwy, Southwick, 413-569-5541

2240 Westfield St, West Springfield, 413-746-2822

“Insurance isn’t selling people a shiny new object. It’s selling a promise, and I like to keep my promises.”

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