B & M home sought by marine, aviation insurer IOA

C.J. Stevens, AAI, CMIP, an Insurance Office of America risk solutions advocate plus maritime and aviation specialist, is setting her sights on working in Farragut.

IOA has been in the Farragut area for a year, trying to build “a book of business” with expectations of purchasing a brick-and-mortar location in West Knox County, Stevens said.

“We’re trying to find a good area,” she added. “I do believe (Farragut) is one of the areas that’s on the radar.”

Stevens cut the ribbon for her business during a Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce event at the FWKCC office Wednesday, Nov. 17.

“You have a unique story,” FWKCC president/CEO Julie Blaylock told Stevens during the ribbon cutting. “She does some things that are pretty unique.”

Stevens said she reached out to FWKCC because “Farragut has the atmosphere, with the marinas around. They also have the membership I was looking for and the community I was looking for.

“When I first went to a (FWKCC) event, (the members) were very welcoming, very open to having a new business be here and totally open to helping me in every way,” she added.

IOA provides personal insurance – homeowners and auto, commercial property and casualty insurance, employee benefits, payroll services, safety training, risk management and marine and aircraft insurance.

Stevens is certified as a marine insurance professional, which means she is specially certified to handle the business side for any kind of marine business, such as boat clubs, marinas, marine contractors, salvagers, oil rigs and cargo.

Along with insurance services, “we can also help with employment practices plans, hiring plans, handbooks (and other things) that make the life of a business owner easier — like our slogan, ‘we make the complex simple,’” she said.

Stevens, who has been in the insurance business for 25 years, is one of only 300 nationwide with a CMIP designation to provide insurance services to marine businesses.

On the aircraft side, Stevens provides insurance for airports, instructional flight companies, aircraft maintenance and repairs, aviation manufacturing and small airlines.

“I can write internationally, I can write nationwide and I can write the hard, complex, super-large (policies),” she said. “I have the knowledge to be able to place things large, but (that) also means I can do small (businesses) with no problem.”

For the past year, Stevens said she has been working remotely with her clients, who are nationwide, through e-mail, by phone, Zoom meetings, Microsoft Teams or Google, “whichever way they prefer.

“COVID kind of forced us to do things a little differently.”

Faith brought Stevens to East Tennessee. “We moved to our house (in Maryville) without having seen it,” she said.

For more information, Stevens can be contacted at 1-813-385-8671 or by e-mail at cjstevens@ioausa.com