Harper Insurance Agency Opens


The following article was published in the Sun Sailor newspaper on December 1, 2005 - one month after the Harper Insurance Agency opened for business.

Jim and Charlene Harper lost their home to fire May 4, 1992. As parts of the house were still smoldering and Charlene was trying to salvage items from the house, Jim recalls the couple's Allstate insurance agent showing up with a check to cover immediate expenses -- assuring them the company would take care of them.

Memories of that day ran through the couple's minds as they prepared to open their own Allstate agency, Jim said, "That was a very important day in our lives - and one of the key reasons why we have our own agency today. We want to be there for people when they need us."

The attention they received following their tragedy, they feel, lends itself well to a community like Wayzata where the couple has lived since 1985.

"We've been here a long time and both of our daughters have grown up in the Wayzata school district," Jim said. "That has allowed us to know a lot of people in our community as well as in the surrounding area, and the insurance company that we represent has always been active in the communities that it serves."

Jim previously spent 25 years working for large corporations and developed a strong background in finance, business and marketing, and he feels those skills will help in the couple's goal of helping people look at the big picture of their financial life.

He added that in addition to the traditional insurance products like home and auto insurance, his agency also offers health, disability and accident insurance as well as long-term care and a wide variety of retirement and savings products.

Jim also said one of the unique things they will be doing is offering complimentary, no obligation, personal financial reviews, a service that typically costs $500 to $1,000.

"We want to help people identify risks and help them stay focused on the big picture," he said.

The other thing Jim said makes them stand out from all other insurance agencies in Minnesota are the foundations the couple has developed.

"We are not in this business to get rich, we are in this business to help others," he said. "Those who buy insurance and other financial services from our agency supports us, which allows us to provide support to people who are served by our foundations."

Currently the couple has two foundations, one that works globally, and another in Colombia, South America, and a third will be dedicated to helping people in the Dominican Republic.

Because of their desire to help others, Jim said the company we represent was a good fit for them.

"Our company’s brand and logo is how we differ," he said. When people see who we represent they will recognize our company immediately. "It's a willingness to go above the call of duty, to be active in the community and throughout the world."

- Compiled by Jared Huizenga, Sun Sailor Newspaper

More about the Harpers

From left:  Meredith, Jim, Charlene, and Shannon

Jim and Charlene Harper have been married for 34 years and have two daughters, Meredith and Shannon. The Harpers have lived in Wayzata for over 33 years and Wayzata is also where their insurance agency is located. Their agency serves customers throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Jim graduated from the University of Minnesota and worked in Corporate America for over 25 years before deciding in 2004 to get his insurance licenses to help individuals, families, and businesses with their insurance needs and to help them plan their financial future. Jim holds Property & Casualty insurance licenses for the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Jim is also an author. His free ebooks are being downloaded and read all over the world (in over 50 countries) and has been translated into 4 languages. His web site http://www.understandgodswill.com/.

Charlene graduated from Syracuse University in New York and spent over 20 years as a software analyst for several large organizations including the University of Minnesota, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. Charlene holds insurance licenses for Property & Casualty and Life/Health for the state of Minnesota. Her desire is to help individuals and families plan for the unexpected by teaching them how insurance can be an effective tool to significantly reduce the risk to families and their financial future.

Meredith is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and was a National Honor Society recipient at Wayzata High School. She has taken her degree in psychology, along with her minor degree in communication and advertising, and is helping a Twin Cities business with their marketing, advertising, and social media/networking planning efforts.

Shannon is also a graduate of the University of Minnesota but she spent her time in the College of Biological Sciences at the U. Like her older sister, Shannon was also a National Honor Society recipient at Wayzata High School and she is currently a scientist at a large medical company. Ask Shannon about cell structures and DNA and she can talk for hours. In her spare time - Shannon also loves rooting for the Minnesota Gophers. Go Gophers!!