Insurance is what Betsy Magnuson knows, and she knows it well.
She has been with Herbert H. Landy Insurance Agency, started by her father in 1949, for 27 years, and has been president since 2001.
Magnuson has grown the company into one of the largest providers of professional insurance to real estate professionals, accountants and attorneys, and the agency now operates in 48 states.
John Torvi, Landy’s vice president of marketing and sales, said in his Women of FIRE nomination about her that Magnuson is committed to serving her clients and her community.
Magnuson “maintains a solid commitment to the industries she serves, and she and the Landy Agency are members of or are affiliated with numerous professional associations throughout the country,” he noted. “She is equally committed to her staff and the community, continuing to base the company out of Needham, supporting local events and charities and maintaining a loyal staff, some of whom have been with the company for over 25 years.”
Magnuson was born and raised in Needham, and is adamant about continuing to base the company there. As an insurance provider, Magnuson and the Landy Agency have seen many changes in the industry, but the company’s home base remains rooted in Needham.
“We changed [insurance] companies a year ago, and we’re working with a new carrier, and we’ve had some success,” Magnuson said of the past several years. “Revenues are down and people are getting out of the business, but we’re still doing pretty well.”
Magnuson said she has no plans to retire anytime soon, though her daughter, Michael Magnuson, is now working in the company as the sales and marketing manager, making the company a three-generation business and a true family business success story.
Torvi also lauded Magnuson’s “fierce devotion to innovation,” and her development and use of technology to “enhance agency operations and customer service, access to information by clients and business partners and a steady focus on improving coverage and cost effectiveness of insurance policies for clients.”
Michael Magnuson, Betsy’s middle daughter, said her mother has been working for years to take the company paperless, and though the company has made progress in that area, there’s still more work to be done.
“We’re still trying to get the paperless side up and running completely, where everything will be online,” she said. “It’s a very automated business now, which makes everything a lot easier – my mother’s been working to get to this point forever, so she’s thrilled.”
Michael Magnuson said that if the company can “keep doing what we’ve been doing, under my mother’s leadership, we’ll be just fine.”
The agency insures tens of thousands of professionals nationwide, “making it a dominant player in the industry, continues to focus on improving all aspects of operations and is widely regarded as having one of the finest customer service models available,” Torvi said. “The national success of the Landy Agency in a tremendously competitive industry can be directly attributed to the direction and vision of Betsy A. Magnuson.”