Insurance broker expands into teaching IT during pandemic
Dawn Penberthy is accustomed to educating her clients about the ins and outs of Medicare, Medicaid, veterans benefits and life insurance.
However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Penberthy, who owns the Dawn A. Penberthy Insurance Agency LLC, has had to expand her curriculum.
“Since all of this has taken place, I’m not able to meet face-to-face with my clients,” said the independent insurance broker who is based in Bonne Terre but licensed to sell insurance in 12 counties. “I’m dealing with a lot of people 65 and older who aren’t internet savvy and don’t know the difference between a smartphone and a dumb phone or, if they have a laptop computer, don’t know much about it other than what they normally do. So a lot of this has been education and it’s been a big challenge.”
Penberthy said classes with her clients have gone well.
“With a lot of them, we’re able to make face-to-face connections virtually now,” she said. “FaceTime (a telephone app that allows video calls) has been a big help for us. It’s so much better when you’re able to see someone.”
Penberthy said she recently has resumed making calls to clients’ homes.
“That’s only if someone feels comfortable,” she said. “We practice social distancing, I bring hand sanitizer and I provide face masks for those who want them.”
Penberthy, who has been in the insurance industry since 1989, opened her own business in January 2018. She also offers dental insurance and cancer policies.
“I also can help with veterans’ benefits,” she said.
Penberthy said she works with veterans groups to meet with veterans and their families to supplement their benefits.
She said she will run a booth at the Walmart store in Potosi from Oct. 12 to Dec. 7 to assist with Medicare’s annual open enrollment period.