Any emergency responder will tell you that life can change in the blink of an eye. For firefighter Dan Bennett, a bizarre accident during a fire run forced him into early retirement after 13 years of service.
It was a cold December night when the call came in. As Bennett was stepping down from the fire truck at the scene of the fire, he slipped on a patch of ice and landed on the ground, twisting his back. He hopped right back up, but once the rush of adrenaline wore off, he knew something was wrong, called for backup, and opted to sit that one out.
Eventually, the doctor restricted Bennett to light weight restrictions, which doesn’t bode well for firefighting duties.
“It was tough. Being a fireman was my identity. And it was like the rug was pulled out from under me,” Dan explained, recalling that painful period – both physically and mentally. The experience left Bennett wondering what he could devote his life’s work to next.
Then one day during lunch another firefighter friend, Mark Swift, suggested Dan should consider selling insurance. Dan laughed it off at first, but in a way it made sense.
“With the fire department, I was dealing with people in a bad situation and trying to make things better for them. It’s the same thing on this side of it, except now I’m the second one they call – after they call the fire department.”
As it turns out, service is still at the heart of his new profession.
You could rightfully say community service is in his blood. Dan’s father, Butch Bennett, is a retired fire captain and his brother, Ken Bennett, is a retired OPD detective. Being an insurance agent is an extension of that same attitude of service.
So, Bennett retired from OFD in November 2008, got his insurance license in 2009, and began his new role of service. For the next five years, he sold insurance for a couple of Owensboro insurance agencies. With that experience base, Bennet says he slowly began to think about opening his own agency.
“The main reason I wanted to step out on my own is so I can handle my clients myself and treat them the way I want them to be treated,” Bennet explained. “With Erie, they’re slogan is ‘above all in service.’ When I signed on with Erie, I had to sign a contract saying that customer service would be number one.”
According to Bennett, Erie Insurance, based in Pennsylvania, decided to come to Kentucky about 18 months ago.
On April 1, Dan took the leap and opened Bennett Insurance with Erie Insurance Group.
If you’re interested, you can find Bennett Insurance in the former Owensboro Wagon Company Building office complex located at 301 Leitchfield Rd.