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Welcome back, Wilcox!

0418 storyHaving the right protection, service you can count on, and a feeling of security is why you buy insurance. But for Tom, it was about getting a “good deal”...at first.

“I’m kind of a tight wad,” Tom admits with a smile. “I first learned about WEA Member Benefits years ago. I figured that an organization connected with our association must be looking out for members and giving us a good deal, so I checked them out and liked what I saw.”

Tom continued with his policies for the next eleven years, which included a lot of life events like new vehicles, changing residences, and adding teen drivers to his policy. He even had a claim or two over the years. But in September of 2016, Tom decided to make a change.

A not-so-good experience

“I switched to another major insurance company because I thought I was getting a better deal. It was a big mistake. I was so disappointed,” he confesses.

Tom’s change of heart came when he was in an auto accident last summer on his way to Indiana. “I was going to pick up a windmill, of all things. We had just crossed the border and there was construction. The semi we were following hit a barrier and part of it flew up and hit the bottom of our car. The semi kept going. It took out the bottom of the grill, sliced our tire, and caused other damage.”

When Tom called the insurance company, he got the runaround. “It was like jumping through hoops. No one knew quite what to do. There was no compassion about my situation and when I asked for advice, I was told to call someone else. It was very frustrating. I remember thinking, ‘This is not how I was treated at Member Benefits.’”

Because of that experience, Tom re-evaluated his insurance situation. “I didn’t feel secure. I buy insurance for the service and the security, and along the way I lost sight of that to save a few bucks.”

Welcome back Tom (and Amber, too!)

“Needless to say, I’m back at Member Benefits. I won’t leave again.”

Tom says the thing that stands out about Member Benefits is the personal touch you get with them. “Mark is my go-to person. I talk with him about my insurance needs. He calls me by my first name. I can send an e-mail and just sign it ‘Tom’ because that’s how they are there—they get to know the member.

“I’ve had nothing but good experiences. They’ve gone above and beyond with any issues or questions I’ve had. And, when I call, I don’t go through a bunch of automated operators to get to who I need to talk to.”

Tom’s daughter Amber recently bought her first home and Tom talked with her about Member Benefits. “I just learned about Member Benefits allowing family members to take advantage of their programs and I encouraged her to contact Mark for auto and home insurance. She was so impressed by the way he dealt with her—a young woman that’s new to the insurance experience and new to owning a home. He walked her through the process. She thought he was so kind and caring.”

Advising new educators

Tom also has a 403(b) with Member Benefits. As the current union president in Germantown, Tom has the opportunity to meet new teachers and share important information.

“The first piece of advice I give to new teachers is to start a 403(b) or a Roth IRA right away. You’ll get to a point where you wish you had. I wish I had someone tell me on the first day, ‘Hey, start putting a little money in a 403(b) now.’ I didn’t get started as soon as I should have.

“I also tell new teachers to look at products and services offered by Member Benefits because they’re different. Unlike other companies that are driven solely by profit, Member Benefits is service driven. They look out for those they serve—the member.”

Follow his lead

Tom may be a self-proclaimed tight wad, but he knows value and the significance of having an organization that has your best interest at heart. “When you lose that sense of security, the money you saved doesn’t mean that much,” he says. “Working with an organization that you can trust makes it easy to tell others. Do as I have done—recommend Member Benefits to your family members and your colleagues. If you want to do them a service, give them the opportunity to access Member Benefits’ products and services. It’s a great organization.”

0418 wilcoxMEMBER PROFILE

Tom Wilcox teaches sixth grade English Language Arts in Germantown. He has been teaching for 28 years.

He has served as union president for 13 of his 28 years in Germantown and is on the WEAC Board of Directors.

Inspiration: “Mr. Browlick was my teacher and coach for track, football, and basketball in East Troy. I always looked up to him. He went out of his way to help people and took kids under his wing. He was definitely the person that made me want to go into education and he’s just a fantastic guy. I still keep in touch with him.

Why I teach: “I really enjoy working with kids. Every day is a new experience. I get to have an impact on the lives of lots of kids. There is nothing like watching kids grow and change and later seeing the adults they become. I enjoy coaching basketball and track and being Student Council Advisor. I also love the people I work with. They are good friends and awesome people.”

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