Last week, the Town of Waterford honored Reardon Agency Insurance, a family-owned, independent insurance firm that has been in Waterford since 1967, as Waterford’s Oldest Business.
“It was surprising, very gratifying,” Reardon Insurance Agency owner Kevin Reardon said. “Less that I’m the oldest business in Waterford, more that I was recognized.”
Reardon Insurance isn’t Waterford’s oldest business, but it is an award the town gives out every year to a business that has been in town for at least 30 years. Reardon’s father started the business in 1967, he joined in 1978, his wife joined in 1987 and his daughter Mallory Reardon started working at the company in 2009.
So what’s the key to staying around for 46 years?
“At the risk of sounding extremely corny and cliché, we have stuck to the same values since my dad ran the company: to provide that extra level of customer service,” Reardon said in a Tuesday interview with Patch. “There has always been that contingent of customers who want that higher level of personal service.”
The insurance agency has been located at 26 Clark Lane since 1981. Reardon, who lives in East Lyme, said he stays in business – despite giant insurance companies spending billions on advertising and giving customers the ability to buy online – by taking care of all his customers' insurance needs.
“There are people who say, ‘I don’t want to think about my insurance’,” Reardon said. “That’s our customer. We provide a higher level of customer service than (most large insurance companies).”
He said that working with his wife and daughter is “not without its trials,” but said he “couldn’t imagine it any other way.” And despite getting many offers over the years to work for other, larger insurance companies, he could never imagine doing anything else but owning Reardon Agency Insurance.
“I love it,” Reardon said. “I couldn’t imagine working for someone else, and that would probably last about one day… There were times it has been hard, but at least I know who my boss is. I shave his face every day.”