Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Independent insurance agency Jacqueline Arreola LLC moved to a new location on the Washington Square in August of 2021. Owner Principal Jacky Arreola said she was happy with the new spot.
“I could not ask for a better location, being on the square,” she said. “It gives you visibility, and now that I own the location, I think it gives some stability, I’m here, I’m not going anywhere … people like to see you face-to-face. You have a location, you have an office, they don’t have to call the 1-800 number.”
That visibility is meaningful to her clients as well. With every employee being bilingual and Arreola herself being active in the local Latino community, she said the sign of success that came with a location on the square was symbolically important.
“It’s a little bit different to see, ‘Hey, Washington has different colors,’” she said. “Washington is growing into a diverse community, very, very slowly, but it’s growing. So it’s also sending an example to everyone that wants to do something, that anything can be accomplished.”
It’s also a part of the company philosophy to serve traditionally underserved groups.
“There was a need not just for someone who was bilingual and had an insurance license, but cared about the community, cared about what the customers were looking for,” Arreola said. “Not just the Latino community but other minorities as well, … that way they don’t a child to translate important documents or information, or they can call me directly themselves if there’s a question.”
The new space also includes an open door to Arreola’s office. She said it was a part of her business style.
“I don’t want to have the privacy, this is an open door,” she said. “When we’re very busy, that’s the only time I’ll ask clients to schedule an appointment, not because we’re too busy, but because when they come, they’re going to get help, they’re not going to be waiting, they’re not going to be told to come back at a certain time.”
Transparency is a big belief of Arreola’s, another goal accomplished by the open door.
“I want to be here, I want to know what’s going on,” she said. “I need to know what’s out there, being aware … at this point, I can see who’s come in, what’s being asked, and that I’m here for everyone.”
The independent insurance agency works with a handful of major insurance providers to get clients more personalized quotes and coverage. Arreola said the small-town degree of familiarity was important to the business.
“If you call Progressive, every time you have a question you’re going to get someone different,” she said. “If you have an agent, every time you have a question, you will call me, we’ll get that personalized relationship.”
Pulling that off takes a deep familiarity with the subject matter. Arreola has a wall of licenses by her desk, covering a variety of areas in a variety of states. Still, she remains humble about her skill set.
“It’s just a matter of asking questions,” she said. “When you know your products and you start asking the right questions, you know where you’re going to find the best fit for that person or family.”
The business also provides more than insurance, for those who ask.
“I feel that when you care about others, when you have the love, the passion, the persistence … you turn something into not just a dream, but a reality that you’re able to help make happen,” Arreola said. “People will come in and ask me to translate documents, schedule appointments for embassies, we do notary services, we help them with driver's license renewals and registrations, we also do parcels … clients need the help, they need the guidance.”