What They Do
Provide insurance, roadside assistance and a variety of tools, services and resources, including a magazine and price guide, for classic cars and boats.
What Makes Hagerty Great
Great Gatsby, Grease Lightning, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! One employees asks us, “Have you ever heard of a company having its own car collection? How about buying a project car and then allowing the employees to rebuild it as a means of team building, or to understand the restoration process?”
The Hagerty rally cry, "We May Sell Insurance, But We Live Classics," is at the heart of what makes this workplace so unique. Employees may sell insurance (or provide other hobbyist services), but they do so with a shared passion for classic cars and boats that inspires their lives in and outside work.
Boat outings, journeys to the beach cottage in a company-owned classic car, parties, and opportunities to do community outreach rebuilding classic cars are some of the many reasons Hagerty employees look forward to coming to work. “Hagerty is known in this community as the place where people are HAPPY!” says one employee. “There's an urban legend around the Traverse City area that there is some kind of happy drug in the water.”
Though a core part of Hagerty’s services is to provide insurance for classic cars and boats, Hagerty and their employees are particularly known for their personal passion for owning and restoring these special cars and boats.
“Hagerty is not only in the business of selling insurance but it gives so much back to the hobby,” says one employee. Hagerty’s Corporate Social Responsibility program contributes approximately 10 percent of the company's net revenue towards four areas of focus: corporate giving, civic leadership, hobby sport, and ecology. Ninety-seven percent of Hagerty’s team feel good about how the organization is contributing to the community; over the last five years they have donated over half a million dollars of in-kind service to the communities in which employees live and work. Hagerty encourages this use of company time, issuing a "Drive for Charity" challenge in 2012, which challenged employees to generate 2,500 hours of community service time in just over 10 business days. Employees met the challenge and a $25,000 gift was donated to the charity of their choice. Even outside these organized events, every employee has 16 hours paid time off that they can use to volunteer, and the company looks out for the long term by providing scholarships and grants to schools that have auto restoration programs that help expose younger generations to the joys of classic cars and boats.
These programs are not only good for the community, but provide ample opportunity for Hagerty’s own staff to pursue their common passion for the classic car and boat hobbies. Hagerty offers courses such as “Car Basics,” “Engine Guts and Glam,” and “Collector and the Car” where collectors come in to showcase their goods and teach employees more about specific automobiles. This past year, employees had the chance to completely restore a 1969 Camaro.
Company events and rewards programs are all geared to take advantage of employees’ shared interests. More than nine out of 10 Hagerty employees say it’s working, describing a fun and friendly place to work with model car building contests and ice cream socials that feature vintage ice cream trucks. “The Garage,” where Hagerty houses several collector cars and boats, often serves as the backdrop for company mixers, milestone parties and team-building sessions. Top sales people are rewarded with the chance to drive one of the president’s personal classic cars to his home for a catered lunch. And one employee says that the ties fostered in the workplace extend outside Hagerty’s walls as well: “I recently ran a 5k that a few of my other coworkers were racing in as well. I was struggling behind, and after they had finished they came back and ran the last leg with me so I wouldn’t finish alone. This is a team where the support, friendliness and teamwork do not stop when we log out.”
For all the fun, there is still a business to be run, and managers show some classic skills to back up their classic vehicles. Employees vouch for senior management’s competence and their honesty and ethical business practices. Nine out of 10 say there is a clear vision for the company’s future and believe that senior management knows how to get there. While some employees would like more chances to be involved in decisions that affect them or believe that the pay scale needs improving, most say that management communicates well, they are proud of their work and paid fairly for it.
But the main reason to work for Hagerty is clear: employees here have the chance to turn the work of selling car insurance into a shared passion that they can meaningfully pursue within a niche group of colleagues and customers. As one employee puts it: “The most important thing to me is the ability to feel like I have a hand in the guidance and development of the collector car hobby, which is chief among Hagerty's missions. As I go through my day, I really do feel like the things I have worked on influence the environment and culture of the hobby.”
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