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Mark Hanson moved the office from First Street to new location and opened another office in McMinnville

American Family Insurance's Newberg office has a new agent, a new manager and a new location. The agency moved from its First and Meridian streets location to 1505 Portland Road Suite 204 in mid-April.Maxwell

Mark Hanson is the new agent; he opened a branch in McMinnville about the same time. The two local locations are managed by Jack Maxwell.

"He went to Newberg High School and lives in McMinnville and he is quite involved in Newberg," Hanson said.

Hanson became an agent for American Family Insurance in April 2000 in West Linn and uses that location as his main office. He expanded to Lincoln City about two years ago.

Hanson contrasted the model of American Family Insurance to other agencies, primarily those found online. He compared purchasing insurance online to researching one's medical symptoms on the web: eventually the person is still going to see a doctor to determine what is wrong. Trying to learn the terminology online can be difficult as well.

"But what we do is listen, we hear what the needs are and then we try to educate them as to what policies may be (available) to protect their dreams," Hanson explained. "If people don't want to do that, that is fine, I don't lose sleep at night. I lose sleep when I don't mention something and they are in a serious accident and they don't have proper coverage."

Insurance firms like Geico and Progressive started online as a different way to shop for insurance, but now they have brick and mortar locations as well.

"They started the direct basis and then started as an agency force," Hanson said. "American Family started as an agency force and they are experimenting with direct as well. So everyone is trying different things. The younger generation wants to work with text -- that is how they want to do business."

Hanson touts the one-on-one method of meeting customers' insurance needs.

"Everyone is different and you need to ask some questions to get an idea of what they need," he said. "The explanation is what is needed, what it does, when it kicks in."

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