Sunday, January 20th, 2019

S Shopper Stories


A fighter eager to help policyholders

by Donna Sanders Corbus

Owner, Natasha Small

Owner, Natasha Small

Natasha grew up in the Deep Creek section of Chesapeake. Her dad was a pastor at a local church, so she spent a lot of her time there as a child and through her teenage years. “I have a great deal of compassion for people; I just want to see them win!” Natasha smiles.

After graduating from high school, she held different kinds of jobs over the next few years - selling perfume door to door and working for a variety of companies. But it was Natasha’s experience while working at a doctor’s office that introduced her to the world of insurance, and she found that it was her passion. It was a way for her to make sure people were taken care of and protected.

In 2013, looking to try something new, she applied to Geico and was offered a position, but she almost quit when she found out she had to take an exam - she didn’t like taking tests. To help employees prepare for the exam, the company offered one and a half weeks of training and many quizzes.

Natasha took the exam with reluctance. When she was finished, she turned it in to be graded and decided that the insurance business must not be for her. As she was gathering her things to leave, the examiner asked if she wanted to know if she passed. “I already know,” Natasha replied, as she continued walking. The examiner asked her to wait and handed her the results. She looked at the paper and in big, bold letters she saw the word “PASS.” Her confidence soared as she became a customer service representative and was licensed in eight states.

Not long after Natasha began her new career, she decided that she wanted to be an insurance agent. She loved the interaction with the customers and she knew she could do the job. At another insurance company, although she received good training, the combination of shift work, being tied to a cubicle, and being allowed only a short amount of time to talk to a client before moving on to the next one were not for her. “This job, however, gave me the tools I needed to go on to the next step,” Natasha says.

In January 2014 she was hired by Allstate as a senior licensed sales producer. She learned all about the company and how to run an insurance office. In April, Natasha passed the next insurance exam and started working for a different insurance company in Hampton. In June, she joined an agent in Chesapeake. With each new opportunity, she came away with more knowledge and experience.

In 2016, Natasha began to really think seriously about becoming an agent and decided to pursue a new opportunity with Allstate. She loved this company; she knew how they treated their policyholders because she was one herself.  In September of 2017, she took the final part of the insurance agent exam to cover property and casualty insurance for Allstate. She passed the first time. Natasha traveled to Chantilly, Virginia and Chicago, Illinois for agent training.

It only took Natasha a few months to create her business plan, find an office location, and hire her three office staff members. The doors of N. A. Small Group Inc., an affiliate of Allstate Insurance, opened on February 1st. Natasha’s experiences have made her compassionate, and she is eager to help her policyholders in any way she can.

“I always go above and beyond for my policyholders. I love to think outside the box and encourage my staff to do the same,” the business owner explains.

“For example, a few years ago on a very busy day in the office near the end of the day, I still had quite a bit to do before leaving, and I also had a rehearsal that I couldn’t be late for to get to by 6 p.m. One of my policyholders called, frantic about an accident she was just in. It was her first one ever, and she was terrified and didn’t know the first thing to do. I immediately jumped into daughter mode; I just wanted to help her and make sure she was okay.”

Natasha’s knowledge and skills and her natural desire to comfort and treat people like family spurred her forward. “I offered to call the other insurance company and do a conference call with them and my insured, and help her answer any questions she may have had. I took the claim number and phone number, and for the next few days I followed up for her by making sure she got her rental car and staying on top of the claims department to make sure she didn’t have to wait too long for her car to be repaired.”

This woman lived alone, and her children lived out of town; Natasha felt compelled to help her. “I always think about how I want someone to treat my parents, grandparents and family,” she points out. “I offered to pick her up and take her to get her rental car, or if she didn’t want to get a rental, I would take her to wherever she needed to get to the next day so that her routine would not be broken. I was willing to do anything I could to make sure she was alright.”

Natasha has so many more stories like that one. She still thinks about this lady, and hopes that she is still being taken care of.

“I always go above and beyond
 for my policyholders.
I love to think outside the box
 and encourage my staff
to do the same.”

—Natasha Small, Owner

She continues, “I have policyholders that have become adopted mothers, sisters, brothers, uncles, fathers and grandparents just because once we talk, they are my family, and my job is to keep them protected, make sure they are aware of their insurance coverages and to prevent as much stress as possible in the event that something does occur.”

Natasha’s team models her exemplary customer service. Recently, a lady walked into the office who was visibly upset. She had been waiting and waiting for a tow truck to come through another insurance provider, but help had yet to arrive. They immediately offered to do whatever they could for her, from putting gas in her vehicle, getting her a bite to eat, to even taking her home to get the wallet that had unfortunately been forgotten.

“It was not about trying to sell her anything, but simply to get her home safely so that she could take care of the rest of her business,” Natasha points out. “It was really a feel-good moment. It is my hope everyday that we are of help and encouragement to somebody.”

Natasha’s vision is to assist in educating and supporting policyholders, whether they are affiliated with her agency or not. It’s important to her that she makes sure they have the coverages that are right for their specific family needs.

Natasha’s love for her family and the closeness they share is very special to her, but in Hampton Roads, it’s common for people’s families to be scattered around the country for one reason or another. “My heart goes out to those who are separated from their family either due to the military, work, or life’s circumstances. That’s another reason that I feel my work is important. Sometimes, we are the only family one may have that they can get in contact with right away. I consider it an honor to be included in that circle,” she insists.

Natasha is so excited that her journey has brought her to this place in life. “I almost can’t believe I’m here!” she beams. Her proud mom even brings her lunch on some days.

Natasha balances her work life with bowling, movies and spending time with her family. She sings in the choir and is the drummer at a local church. And, whenever possible, she attends concerts and comedy shows with her husband.

N A Small Group Inc

237 S. Battlefield Blvd
Chesapeake , VA 23322