For Carina Hatfield, LUTCF, CLCS, LACP, Owner of Weigner Insurance and Financial Services in Pottstown, PA, providing business owners and other members of her community with financial security and insurance solutions runs in the family. As a third-generation financial professional, she follows in the footsteps of her father and grandfather. The Weigner Insurance team includes Hatfield's sister, Trish May, a loyal NAIFA member since 2013, and new Sales Associate Sally Shaw of New York. Weigner Insurance recently signed on as the newest NAIFA 100% Agency
Despite her deep roots in the industry, financial services was not Hatfield’s immediate calling. Like many successful agents and advisors, she transitioned into the business from other fields.
“I was a music teacher and I was also a massage therapist, and it was starting to get to a point where I knew I couldn’t do that for the rest of my life,” she said. “I had a degree in organizational dynamics, which is more business-oriented.”
As a massage therapist, she had the flexibility to set her own schedule. “I worked and I got paid and if I didn’t work, I didn’t get paid. I liked that,” she said. “I worked with medical professionals, on the chiropractic side, so I enjoyed helping people feel better.”
Hatfield realized that flexibility, independence, and helping people were all characteristics of her father’s career as an insurance and financial advisor. She did her own research, prepared for the licensing requirements, and then talked to her dad about joining the practice.
She hasn’t looked back. “I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world, now,” she said.
A Family History
Weigner Insurance traces its roots to 1948 when Hatfield’s grandfather launched the business. It was a Nationwide agency until July 2020. Now independent, Hatfield and her team continue to offer Nationwide products as well as other insurance and financial solutions.
The family ethos runs deep at Weigner Insurance. Hatfield and her team enjoy developing relationships with their clients, getting to know them and truly understand their needs. The advisor’s role, Hatfield said, is to educate clients and give them options so they can make choices to protect themselves and their families.
“We care about our clients as if they were our family,” Hatfield said. “So I’m willing to have tough conversations and ask hard questions.”
She added: “I think a lot about, what would I want if my sister was in that situation, or what would I want for my kids in that situation, what would I want for my mom? That’s how we treat our clients. If any of our family members were in a situation, how would we want it to play out for them?”
Hatfield, a loyal NAIFA member since 2005, has owned the agency since 2013, providing property and casualty insurance, life insurance, commercial insurance, and financial services to business owners and middle-market families throughout her community. It’s a community in which the Weigner Insurance agency is heavily involved, sponsoring youth lacrosse and swim teams as well as a local half marathon. The agency’s products and services are tailored to meet the needs of its small-town neighbors.
“I enjoy working on different things every day,” Hatfield said. “I’m not just doing auto and home or just life insurance. I enjoy that I get to do all of it, and if I’m not comfortable I find a fellow NAIFA member I can refer them to.”
She particularly enjoys working with multigenerational businesses, drawing on her personal experience.
Many family businesses have difficulty surviving beyond the first or second generations, she explained. Transitions can be difficult, especially when business owners and families haven’t prepared for unexpected difficulties, something Hatfield, unfortunately, knows a great deal about.
She took over the Weigner Insurance agency when her father passed away a short time after being diagnosed with cancer. It gave her insight into the importance of small business owners anticipating every scenario and having continuation plans in place. This personal experience helps her ask clients difficult questions important to ensuring the financial health of their businesses and families. Her own family’s situation drives her passion for seeing her business clients succeed.
“I love the family businesses because I’m a family business and my husband is involved in a family business,” Hatfield said. “So we work a lot in that generational business space and trying to make sure that generational businesses continue.”
A NAIFA 100% Agency
Weigner Insurance is a natural fit as a NAIFA 100% Agency. The practice pays for licensed producers on its team to join NAIFA and encourages them to be active in the association. Hatfield leads by example, serving as President of NAIFA’s Pennsylvania chapter and Co-chair of NAIFA’s national Young Advisor Team (YAT) Committee. She was honored in 2020 as NAIFA’s YAT Leader of the Year.
As a third-generation financial professional, it’s not surprising that Hatfield grew up in the association. Her grandfather and father were both long-time members of NAIFA, then known as NALU. She recalled that her childhood family vacations consisted of traveling to San Antonio, Denver, and other cities where NALU hosted its annual conferences. When she passed her life insurance licensing exam, her father congratulated her and then immediately gave her a NAIFA membership application.
But NAIFA is not just a family tradition. It is an important business tool and resource, providing Hatfield with business contacts, education, and political advocacy that help the agency thrive.
“I enjoy taking advantage of NAIFA and using that to better my practice,” she said. “I don’t see my colleagues as competitors, I see them as ways to grow my business.”
And that applies to the entire team at Weigner Insurance. Hatfield said it is important for all of her producers to be NAIFA members because everyone benefits from membership differently. Each person takes in different information and boosts their business skills in different ways. She can’t go to the Performance + Purpose conference or graduate from the Leadership in Life Institute and simply transfer those benefits to her team, she said. Team members need to experience those and other NAIFA benefits for themselves through their own memberships.
She wholeheartedly encourages other agency owners to take advantage of the NAIFA 100% Agency program.
“Having your staff engaged with other professionals and having them around like-minded people other than in your own office bubble will benefit your business,” she said. “You’re going to win when they get new sales ideas or marketing ideas and when they make connections in the industry that can help your practice.”