Learn why clients rave about their personal and trustworthy experience working with WDIA Director of Insurance Matt French.
Matt French is WDIA’s Director of Insurance, a post he’s held since the late Dick Cavaliere retired in 2007. Prior to that, French served as the Exhibits Manager for the PNDC for five years, learning about the conference from the inside out, and handling a lot of “special projects” for the WSDA (like writing code for our website) along the way. Cavaliere mentored French, teaching him as much about relationship building and confidence as he did insurance. In truth, French was a natural. He’s a genuine and friendly guy, always willing to lend a hand, share his knowledge and experience, and go the extra mile. We recently reached out to some of French’s clients to see just what it is about his style and service that they like and respect.
Making an impression on Dr. Patty Martin
Since French is heavily involved in presentations at the UWSoD, a good number of his clients met him there first, at informal meet-and-greets about insurance and pizza. (Well, mostly pizza, since dental students are notoriously hungry. Still, connections are made.) Dr. Patty Martin first encountered Matt when she was in the RIDE program in Spokane, an educational track of the UWSoD) that trains dentists to meet the needs of rural and underserved populations in the state.
When Martin purchased her practice in Walla Walla, she reached out to French first. She said, “Matt seemed nice and friendly, and he remembered the things that we talked about when we met at school. He was straightforward and presented the information in a way that was easy to navigate.” What Martin appreciated most of all was French’s knowledge and ability to predict her needs before she or other stakeholders in her practice purchase did. She recalled, “At one point Matt suggested a policy that I wouldn’t have purchased had I not known and trusted him. As it happened, when it came time to close the loan, the bank wanted that specific type of insurance, even though they had said previously that they didn’t need any additional coverage. I wouldn’t have had that policy without Matt’s guidance, and it could have delayed the process."
Martin added that French is great about checking in every year or so, assessing her practice’s needs and making recommendations about products. She explained, “He’s great about delivering policies personally, and about coordinating blood draws for other policies. He makes things super easy in that regard. He’s not pushy at all. In fact, we recently asked about coverage, and rather than making the sale, he let us know that we didn’t need to worry about it for a decade. He’s trustworthy that way.”
Dr. Gorgin Arasteh
Dr. Gorgin Arasteh was introduced to French at the UWSoD, in a program sponsored by Seattle-King County Dental Society. French was there to talk about liability insurance, something Arasteh thought little about before the WDIA presentation. But when fellow classmates signed up, he followed suit. Later, when he was about to graduate, he met with French. Arasteh said, “Prior to that first one-on-one meeting with Matt, I honestly didn’t think much about insurance. I was about to graduate from dental school, and I felt very lost about what I truly needed, and if people were trying to sell me things that I didn’t need. Matt and I met at a location very convenient to my residence. It was not a sales pitch. We chatted as if we knew each other for a while, and we were just catching up on lost times. He told me about his goal for himself, and how he is trying to be healthier. I told him about my goal, and how I wanted to be on my own in a year or two, instead of working for someone else. He briefly presented what I absolutely had to have in order to be able to practice as an associate, and some other options when I acquire my own practice.”
The other thing that struck Arasteh about that first meeting was the distinct sense that French was there to guide him, not pressure him to buy. Two years later, he called French. Arasteh explained, “When I was finally ready to purchase my own practice, I contacted Matt and he drove two hours to Bellingham for a 45-minute lunch meeting. That is a level of service that I won’t be able to match elsewhere. Once again, he answered all of my questions and assured me that even with my short closing timeline, he would take care of me. Matt and his team worked tirelessly, and I was able to close the deal on the last day, a Friday evening after regular business hours. He not only helped with closing the insurance contracts, he also put me in touch with bankers, lawyers, accountants, and brokers to facilitate the process. Every individual that he recommended was absolutely professional.”
Dr. Theron Manson
Dr. Theron Manson was working in community health when he bought his Kirkland practice in 2012, and friends recommended he call French. Manson was impressed by how quickly French got back to him. Manson said, “We met for lunch, and he gave me all of the information. It was really comfortable. I was in the middle of buying my practice, so I was super busy and had a ton of questions. He was really patient with me. Money was obviously tight, so he helped me do everything in stages. He told me how I could increase coverage when I had more cash flow. He made it very easy.” Manson also appreciated French’s flexibility, explaining that he was always given the option of meeting in person, over the phone, or handling the business via email.
Because he had been in community health, everything about insurance was foreign to him. Manson explained, “I had a little info from some of my friends, but being in community health, I didn’t even have disability. For the most part, everything was new. Matt walked me through it, showed me the cost, talked about what I needed right away, and what I could add later. Since buying, we’ve visited often. I feel like he has my best interest in mind, and I’ve never felt like I was being sold a product so that he could make a commission. I feel like I can trust him.”
Dr. Van Dang
Dr. Van Dang also was impressed with French’s “instant response time.” Dang recalled, “Within an hour he was on the phone, laying out options. He was able to get the malpractice insurance for me very quickly because I needed to start work right away.” Dang eventually left that practice and went into corporate dentistry, where he wasn’t responsible for purchasing his own insurance. Recently, Dang decided to purchase his own practice in Federal Way, and contacted French immediately. “Once again he got back to me really fast,” said Dang said. “We met that week, and Matt helped me set up all the insurance I needed. There are a lot of policies when you are buying a dental practice. He met me two days later, and had everything all set up for me. The great part is that Matt has great working relationships with so many people in the industry that he was able to send documents directly to the people I was working with, which saved me a lot of headaches. I knew that he could take care of everything for me. It was super streamlined. When you’re purchasing a practice, it’s very stressful, so Matt was able to alleviate a lot of the stress.”
Dang commended French for his personal touch, saying, “I like working with someone who wants to get to know me personally, and wants to share their life with me as well, and Matt is like that. He’s so busy and has so many clients, but he made time for me. I love doing dentistry, but I’m not excited by the business side of things. He told me what I would need, and he had recommendations about the best course of action. I was happy about that. I don’t want a lot of options to review. I have enough to worry about. I have recommended Matt to two of my friends, and both have talked with him.”
Contact WDIA Today
If you’re unsure of the coverage you need now, or are looking to buy or sell your practice, call Matt French at (800) 282-9342 or (206) 441-6824, or visit www.wdiains.com
for information or to request a quote.