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He’s a gem: Meet a 75-year American Family customer

October is American Family's Month of the Customer


The traditional gift for 75-year anniversary is a diamond - strong and enduring - like customer Dick Carlson's loyalty to American Family. 

If it’s a broken antique, then Dick Carlson can fix it.

But, during his 75 years as an American Family customer, he’s never needed to tinker with his insurance.

“I’ve had 45 cars in my life, and I’ve insured them all with American Family,” said Dick, 90. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

A green, two-door 1937 Chevrolet was the first item that Dick insured in 1945. He was 15 years old and took the responsibility head-on.

“I wanted to pay my own bills. I washed that car every day and kept it polished,” said Dick. He’s been in the antiques business for 62 years and self-employed for much of his life with various businesses, like carpet cleaning.

Jim Christensen, Dick's agent in Middleton, Wisconsin, says that he knew Dick was special when they first met in 2011. The pair hit it off right away.

“We started talking about antiques. I always try to find common ground, and he tries to find common ground. He came in soon after and gave me an American Family Insurance music box he found at a garage sale. He said, ‘It’s for you. You’re my agent,’” said Jim. “He’s always so positive and makes people feel special.”

The music box plays an AmFam jingle, and when Dick finds items like that, he picks them up for Jim. The businessmen have a complementary relationship.

“I’ve had quite a few agents, and Jim’s got a really good personality,” said Dick. “My wife, Annette, and I go to more than 2,000 garage sales every year, and we buy truckloads of stuff. I picked up a music box and I thought of him,” said Dick. “He’s just a good person.”

Loyalty is earned and Dick’s has been unwavering during his 75 years as a customer.

“I couldn’t find a better insurance company. On TV, the other insurance companies talk about how much money they can save you on premiums. What I pay is fair, and American Family Insurance has always been good to me,” said Dick.

Hanging above Dick's desk is a letter from 2016, when Dick reached 70 years as a customer and American Family CEO Jack Salzwedel thanked him for the milestone.

“I appreciated it so much that I put it where I can see it every day. It makes me feel good,” said Dick.


(Pictured left, Dick Carlson leans against his 1954 Nash, on Elmwood Avenue in Middleton, Wisconsin. It’s just one of his cars he has insured with American Family during his 75 years as a customer.)





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About the American Family Insurance group
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance has been serving customers since 1927. We inspire, protect and restore dreams through our insurance products, exceptional service from our agency owners and employees, community investment and creative partnerships to address societal challenges. We act on our belief in diversity and inclusion by constantly evolving to meet customer needs and preferences. American Family Insurance group is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 254 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance (formerly Ameriprise Auto & Home), The GeneralHomesite and Main Street America. Across these companies the group has more than 13,500 employees nationwide.