Tom LaneBETHALTO - Tom Lane officially marked 25 years of working with State Farm on Tuesday. Spending nine years as a claims adjuster and the past 16 years as an agent in Bethalto, Lane said he and his team hope for many more years of serving the community that has supported them for so long.

“I think we’ve got a great group of people working in my office,” Lane said. “I think we’ve established ourselves well in the community, and I feel that we are carrying on the purpose and the vision and the mission of State Farm through my office every day, and that is to help people recover from the unexpected and make sure that they are well taken care of. We plan to do that for several more years.”

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Lane and his team have generously given back to the community in several ways, including making donations to local schools and much more, which he said is just one important part of being an agent.

“We’ve been very blessed and had the financial means to be able to give a lot back to our local organizations, the school district in particular, and that’s very helpful - and I know they can use anything they can get these days, because state funding is not near what it used to be,” Lane said.

Lane said State Farm treats their employees and customers “extremely well,” and that’s just part of what’s kept him working there for the past 25 years.

“State Farm has treated me extremely well and has been a solid company to work for,” he said. “It allowed me to interact with the customers how I want to interact with them, and provide the State Farm culture to them that ‘We’re here to take care of you,’ and that’s the company’s attitude - we’re here to take care of our customers.

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“We’ve got nationally-known analysts who look at the insurance industry in general who will … corroborate this statement: State Farm by far looks out for its customers and its customers’ money better than any other insurance company out there.”

He added that State Farm is also the largest auto insurer in the country and has a commanding lead of about 30 million customers over the second-largest auto insurer.

Lane joined State Farm in 1998 after teaching and coaching in the Bloomington area. He was first hired to handle auto claims and moved up the corporate ladder to work as a business analyst for the Claims Department. There, he was part of a group effort to develop a multilingual Claims Call Center which greatly reduced expenses. Lane then became an agent based in Bethalto in 2007.

For Lane, one of the most unfortunate parts of the job is also the most rewarding.

“As an agent, I think the biggests thing that I can do - it’s a sad thing, but a very important thing - is when we bring a life insurance check to someone who just lost a loved one, and here we are coming in with something that’s going to give them some security for several years with that loved one not there anymore,” Lane said. “While it’s probably the saddest thing, it’s probably the most satisfying thing and most important thing I think I do as an agent.”

Lane can be reached at his Bethalto State Farm office at 618-377-8912. More information is available on tomlaneagency.net or the Tom Lane - State Farm Agent Facebook page.

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