Bell marks insurance anniversary
by Dean Julius
Mar 23, 2012 | 3619 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Local insurance broker and long-time resident of Cleveland, Dan Bell, celebrates 40 years of serving State Farm Insurance Agency today from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at his office, located at 1101 Miss. Highway 8 West.

The event is open to the public.

Twenty-eight of his years have been spent serving as a State Farm agent in Cleveland with the other 12 being spent in Belzoni.

“I came to Cleveland in 1984 so I was with State Farm 12 years before I came here and I’ve been here ever since,” Dan Bell said about his move to Cleveland.

“When I started in this business it was certainly much different,” Bell said. “The whole concept has changed, more so in the last 10 years because of Internet and online shopping.

“When I began everything was done on customer cards that we sent to the central office where they had one of those old huge computers in the regional office in Monroe, La.

“I’m sort of a dinosaur you might say when it comes to computers,” he said with a laughed, “but I had to learn them to stay alive in the business and we have great team members here that understand new technology as well.”

Bell began selling insurance in 1963.

At that time Delta State still did not offer any master’s degrees and was not yet racially integrated.

“I began doing what you could call door to door sales with another company called Home Services Company,” Bell said. “I went from Belzoni to Indianola to Greenville to Yazoo City.”

Bell is a native of Reform, Ala., and later moved to Belzoni in 1946 at the age of six.

He lived a large portion of his childhood on the edge of Wolf Lake in Humphreys County and went to school in Louise.

“I graduated from Mississippi Delta Community College which was Sunflower Junior College at that time. We called it Sunstroke Tech,” he said with laughed.

During his college days Bell considered himself to be a track star. He ran the cross country mile and half mile.

“I couldn’t run fast,” he laughed, “but I could run for quite a while.”

Serving Cleveland for as long as Bell has, he develop an attachment to the community.

“The insurance business just fell in my lap,” Bell said, “but it’s been extremely rewarding and it keeps me here and it’s the reason I have no real plans of going leaving.

“I wake up every morning and I know that no mater what else happens I’m going to have an opportunity to help someone in this community and that is really rewarding."

However, Bell doesn’t credit all of his success to himself.

“I have a wonderful team here who is very knowledgeable and they are very dedicated to taking care of our policy holders and customers.

“That’s the most important thing,” Bell said. “We’ve got to sell insurance to stay in business and I know we are well equipped to do that and do it well.”

Being able to serve Cleveland and the Delta is and continues to be a great feeling for Bell.

“It feels great to serve this community,” he said. “I don’t know how else to express it but knowing that people can depend on my agency to serve their needs is the most rewarding experience.”

“That’s our obligation. Money drives a lot of people, but for us it’s always been about taking care our customers.”

“I was always told that if I take care of my job the job will take care of me, and I think that has really proven true. We are content and satisfied that we are doing the right thing by our policy holders.”