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8800 NW 62nd Avenue
PO Box 6210
Johnston, IA 50131
Toll-Free: 800-532-1423
Fax: 515-286-4214

IBBP Customer Service:
    800-258-1415
125 Claim Fax:
    515-286-4244
IBBP Billing Fax:
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Agent Customer Service:
    800-775-8858

Ben Heckart - Bob Dodds Insurance, Danville, Iowa

Agency Services Spotlight:Ben Heckart - Bob Dodds Insurance, Danville, Iowa

Agent spotlights feature agents working in bank-owned agencies and focus on the amazing things these agents do to help their customers and to give back to their communities.

Tell us about your family.

I’ve been married to my wife Michelle for 33 years. She has played the organ at church for over 40 years (she started when she was 14) and is an International Musician for the Odd Fellows Lodge. In 2014 Michelle traveled to Washington D.C. where she sang “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. She is very gifted. I have two grown children. My son Jared is an engineer at Case New Holland in Burlington, Iowa. He and his wife Stephanie made me a granddad in August. My daughter, Hannah, is an obstetrician in Omaha, Nebraska.

How long have you been in the insurance industry?

I’ve been in the industry since 1987. I was working in a bank as a loan officer and was recruited away with an invitation to make potentially unlimited income if I wanted to work for it. I took the challenge and worked for an insurance company for 16 years before leaving and going to work for the Bob Dodds Insurance Agency in Danville, Iowa. I was either in the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the right time.

What brought you to Bob Dodds Insurance Agency?

One of my clients, Mike Miltenberger, president of Danville State Savings Bank, recruited me to run Bob Dodds Insurance Agency and allowed me to start an investment firm. We both work hard to serve the people of our community by volunteering and providing financial and insurance services.

In what community activities are you involved?

I’m a volunteer fire fighter and a first responder. I have good co-workers, so when I need to go, everyone continues to provide a high level of service to our clients. I’m on the Enhancement Committee for Danville, similar to a Chamber of Commerce. I’m a trustee at church and serve on the Des Moines County Extension Council that oversees the ISU Extension Operations. I’m just taking my turn; there are only so many people in a small community to go around.

What do you enjoy most about being an insurance agent?

I like the flexible hours, but it’s a double edge sword. It can be a lot of hours. You never know when a storm will hit. A lot of agents get into insurance for the money, but it’s really about helping people. I have found the general public knows little about insurance. Agents have become educators and problems solvers. Many people rely on us to tell them what they want or need.

What advice do you have for agents just starting out?

The insurance industry is changing with all the technology. People shop the internet, but don’t fully understand what they’re buying. They buy a policy with a cheap premium, but when the first claim comes along, they find out they didn’t pay much so they don’t get much. We hear lots of stories like that from our customers, and that’s how they became our customers.

Why do you work with IBIS?

It’s because of the service. When I call in, I know I’m going to get help. IBIS has a good mix of products, and if I need something, I can get it. I have confidence that the IBIS staff is competent, providing due diligence that the companies offered are financially sound and ensuring my clients will be happy. The next generation of agents will be the ones servicing the policies I sell now, and I know whoever services a claim at IBIS will handle it properly.

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Mid America Banking Insurance Services, Inc., a subsidiary of IBIS, provides insurance programs to banks outside of Iowa. 

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Iowa Bankers Mortgage Corp. (IBMC) offers the products & experience Iowa banks need in the secondary mortgage market.

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The Iowa Bankers Association (IBA) is dedicated to serving Iowa banks and their employees.

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