(Note: This story appears in the January 2023 issue of ED Magazine)

As an avid animal lover, Sherri McCullers has an idea of what it means to wrangle the intricacies of insurance coverage for our industry.

ED: What’s one trait about yourself that people you conduct business with wouldn’t know about you or would be surprised to find out?

MCCULLERS: I enjoy sketching and have done this for many years. I don’t do it as much now as I used to, but I still sketch occasionally. I am also a huge animal lover. When I was younger I even had a pet opossum.

ED: What attracted you to the insurance industry in the first place? When you were younger, what career path did you think you’d pursue, and how did it evolve into insurance?

MCCULLERS: I wanted to be a singer when I was younger. Unfortunately I can’t sing a lick! After my daughter was born, I ran an in-home day care for 12 years. When she hit middle school, I was ready to move on. A friend suggested I call his insurance agent who needed help. I met Tom Ferguson of Ferguson Insurance. I went to work for him in 2001 and when he passed in 2007, I started my own agency. I loved the clients and by then I was invested.

ED: When you’re not in the office or working first-hand with a client, how do you enjoy spending your time? What are your favorite hobbies?

MCCULLERS: I enjoy teaching my toy Australian Shepard Piper how to do tricks. She can obey cues given verbally, physically and by reading sight cards I hold up. She waves hello, does obstacle courses and a few other things. I also enjoy cleaning, crossword puzzles, boating and fishing.

ED: Despite its extreme significance (especially in this industry), insurance can sometimes seem dry or intimidating — what tactics have you used that have helped make this subject matter more digestible and easy to comprehend?

MCCULLERS: I take each account and treat it as if I am working for a close friend. I look at their specific risks and look for ways I can make their coverages broader and to lessen their premiums. I take time to discuss the coverages to make sure they understand what we are getting. Each club has its own challenges and each owner protects his or her business in their own way. Ultimately the decision on coverages is with them.

ED: What’s the strangest claim you’ve ever dealt with in the industry?

MCCULLERS: A lady who sued a club over permanent injuries she suffered from a splinter on a cue stick — it was her stick! Her argument was that if they had better pool cues, she wouldn’t have to bring her own.

ED: Is there an insurance-related question that shocked you, and if so, what was it?

MCCULLERS: The most shocking had to be “Will our policy defend our girls if they are arrested for prostitution?” Um, no.

ED: If you could change one thing about the adult nightclub industry, what would it be and why?

MCCULLERS: For the owners to see me as their partner. I am looking out for your business and I have your back. When I suggest you clean up your website or make other suggestions, it is to help you. I am not out to stunt your growth but I know what the carriers see and how they will respond to it. It can affect your rates. My goal is to keep the money in your pocket! The clubs get beat up with some pretty senseless claims. I think we should reach out to our legislators and pressure them to put things into place that will help stop these frivolous lawsuits.

ED: Do you have a favorite sports team? Is there a sporting event you’ve never attended, but wish to?

MCCULLERS: I am a (Tampa Bay) Bucs fan and would love to attend a Super Bowl.

ED: Do you have a favorite band or music artist? Do you have a concert wish list?

MCCULLERS: I would love to see Van Morrison, Steely Dan, Eric Clapton or Jackson Browne in concert. So far, my favorites in concert were Elton John and The Rolling Stones.

ED: Do you have a dream vacation destination? Or a personal favorite location you like to visit?

MCCULLERS: I would love to go to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and stay at a ranch where the only method of transportation is horseback.

ED: What’s your most memorable industry-related experience (either EXPO, our outside of EXPO)?

MCCULLERS: My most memorable EXPO was when a dancer who had the most enhanced sets of tatas I have ever seen wrapped them around an older gentleman’s head and was shaking him around. I was thinking “She is gonna smother him and I am about to have to perform CPR.” Never seen a man so happy when she let him up for air!

For more information, visit ctocinsurance.com or call (813) 855-0600.

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