Meet Taylor Collins, CEBS, CLU, RHU, President of Professional Benefits Inc., and a loyal NAIFA member since 2007. Collins is a native of Florida and holds a BA in Risk Management Insurance. Her career path was unclear until she took a risk management insurance class as an elective in college and fell in love with the industry.
Collins studied abroad in London and was selected for an internship as a broker for Lloyds of London, the oldest and largest insurance market in the world. “It was an amazing experience that allowed me to learn the history of how insurance started,” Collins says. “That experience also opened me up to see the different markets and how they all worked."
Once she completed her internship, Collins returned to the United States to finish school. Fortunately, she had the support of her mentor and father, Jim Tollerton, CLU, ChFC, a loyal NAIFA member and Vice President of Professional Benefits Inc. “I was hired to work for my dad’s practice. However, I started at the bottom and had to work my way up,” says Collins. “I had to prove my value just like everyone else.”
It was also her father who encouraged her to join NAIFA. “He was very clear that if I wanted to be successful in this industry, I needed to be a part of NAIFA,” she says. Her field of focus includes life, disability, and long-term care insurance. “NAIFA is a great place to be around people who understand what you are going through,” Collins says. "It’s nice to have something outside of the family to learn new ideas and share best practices."
Collins reflects back to when she had to deliver a claims check to one of her clients after he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy that didn’t allow him to work. Her client was in and out of the ICU due to his illness, and he had four children, one with special needs. “He and his family were so thankful they had a policy in place that would ease the financial burden of him not being able to work while he was being treated for his illness,” said Collins. “Seeing him in that aspect was gut-wrenching. However, because they had a proper policy in place, they were able to pay off their mortgage. Knowing that I was able to help that family in their time of need is what this job is all about.”
Collins currently serves as the NAIFA-FL state IFAPAC Chair and is a huge proponent of NAIFA's political advocacy. “It’s important to educate people on how legislation affects policyholders,” said Collins. "Thankfully, we have great relationships with NAIFA and legislators who champion us and our industry.”
In 2019, Collins bought her dad’s practice, though he is not yet retired and is still working in the industry he loves. He continues to serve as a mentor to his daughter and others in the field.
Collins offers words of advice to new members and those who are new to the industry: “Stick with it, surround yourself with like-minded people, and join NAIFA because you are surrounded by people who have been exactly where you are and advocacy is a big part of that because it affects you. Furthermore, take advantage of the tools that come with your NAIFA membership. I love the member portal because when my clients need a referral to an advisor that’s in a different market, I know I can find one through NAIFA’s member portal.”
Thank you, Taylor Collins, for your service to our industry and association. We’re #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.