Palmer Insurance is one of Dexter’s most prominent insurance agencies and has been a staple in the community for more than 50 years. The agency’s staff and clients will be celebrating the milestone anniversary with an open house Friday at Gordon Hall. The event was strategically planned for the weekend after Dexter’s annual Christmas at the Mansion in order for visitors to enjoy the mansion decorated for the holidays.
The Palmer agency is headed up by the founder’s daughter, President Paula Palmer-Burns, who credits the company’s success to its strong family feel throughout the staff and client base as well as its ability to insure some of the more difficult-to-insure clients.
Palmer Insurance was born as a result of founder Edward “Ned” Palmer’s need to find work throughout the colder months of the year. Palmer, a family man, was a concrete contractor by trade. He found part-time work selling insurance and eventually opened his own agency in 1962. “In those days, they didn’t collect unemployment in the ‘off’ months,” Palmer-Burns said of her father’s quest for work. “Folks had to get another job (to pay the bills)."
One of Palmer’s goals was to cover more of the "specialty risks," the risks many agents and companies wouldn’t cover. According to Palmer-Burns, clients with cattle and heavy machinery were among the more difficult to insure. “Anything with large animals (in the beginning) was much harder to insure,” she said.
Palmer-Burns remembers her parents going on insurance calls together as well as accompanying them on their calls. According to her, the agency has always been a family friendly business. She recalls “running the mail” in the office as early as age five. Her children are also accustomed to being part of the agency.
Today, Palmer Insurance, located on Baker Road, is still operating in Dexter as an independent agency representing a variety of carriers in life, property & casualty and health insurance.
The open house is Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Gordon Hall, located at 8341 Island Lake Road and is open to the public. There will be music, beverages and h’orderves. “We really need to celebrate that we turned 50” Palmer-Burns said. “We would love to have the community come … it will give everyone an opportunity to see Gordon Hall all decorated for the holidays, too.”
Contact Palmer Insurance at 734-426-5047 for more information about the 50th Anniversary Open House.