By Mikala McCurry
As a father, brother, friend, and leader, Jackson, AL native Quwanya Howze strives to enhance his community by helping people better understand the importance of insurance.
“I want to show people growth, especially people my age. A lot of people in the younger generations are not into insurance,” he explained.
Howze joined the State Farm team under insurance agent Tyna Carter in early 2022. Before becoming a State Farm Agent, Howze worked at various automotive plants. Though he didn’t have a path laid out, Howze had a passion for sales.
“I paid for a program out of my pocket to get my insurance license. After passing that test, I interviewed here [at State Farm], and the rest is history,” he said. “I never thought about selling life insurance until I learned about it. State Farm has a reputation, and it felt right.”
According to Howze, State Farm specializes in “giving customers an experience.”
“You can come in here or call and talk to us. We won’t give you an automated number to call,” Howze said. “We also offer way more products, such as banking, mortgage lending, and soon to come, personal loans.”
As a licensed insurance professional, Howze emphasizes the importance of life insurance in the African American community.
“We weren’t taught about insurance. A lot of times, people just buy a policy just to say they have insurance,” he said. “We weren’t taught the difference between term and whole life insurance. Whole life policies build cash value and interest basically better than a savings account.”
Although he has only been with State Farm for a short time, Howze has already dispelled myths about life insurance policies. He started as a sales team member and worked his way to manager of the office within six months.
“A lot of people get term policies, but only 2% of those policies pay out. With a whole life policy, your rate stays at whatever rate you lock in. Financially, it’s a smarter decision,” he explained. “A lot of people think having life insurance through their job is enough, but those policies really don’t pay out as much as they should.”
In his role, Howze has had to overcome many challenges to educate individuals, such as being young, battling life insurance myths, and dealing with the overall fear of life insurance that people have, especially in the African American community.
“A lot of people don’t want to talk about dying, but they should be looking at life insurance as protecting their family and their assets,” he said. “What are you going to pass down to your children once you’re gone other than debt? Those don’t disappear; they get passed down to the next person. Have something in place to give them security and a cushion.”
Despite the challenges, the most rewarding part of Howze’s role is helping and educating as many people as he can. He is also heavily involved in the community.
“We make it our business to get involved in the community. Being a black-owned and woman-owned agency, we let people know we’re here for them,” he said. “Building relationships and maintaining rapport is a big part of our mission.”
Howze plans to start a seminar or podcast series to help equip and empower the community to make informed decisions about their life insurance policies.
“I want to reach my generation and fit the messaging for today’s time,” he said. “The best time to get life insurance is when you’re young, but it’s never too late.”
He encourages anyone looking to start a career in insurance sales to be focused, have a positive attitude, be organized, and to not get discouraged by ‘no’s’.
Howze is licensed to sell all lines of insurance.
Follow Quwanya Howze on Facebook or Instagram @q_fromstatefarmal, or visit him at the office location of 5343 Young Barn Road, Montgomery, AL, 36106.
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