Teen May Be Ind.’s Youngest Licensed Insurance Agent

February 7, 2008

A Pendleton Heights High School senior is believed to be the state’s youngest licensed insurance agent.

Heather Gaskill, who turned 18 in December, is licensed to sell life, car or homeowner’s insurance. She may offer quotes to customers and write policies, although she can’t sign them until she fulfills State Farm Insurance company guidelines.

Gaskill, whose father Mike and grandfather Larry operate a State Farm office in Anderson, passed one insurance examination in October and another in December. Then on Dec. 19, her 18th birthday, she received her license from Jim Atterholt, the commissioner of the Department of Insurance.

“It was an interesting day,” she told The Herald Bulletin for a Tuesday story. “I had to go to school that morning. As soon as I got out of school, I had lunch with Dad. The state worked up an award where I was honorary commissioner … and (Gov.) Mitch Daniels signed it.”

Gaskill, who had been doing clerical work for her father and grandfather, started studying for her insurance license after enrolling in a Pendleton Heights vocational business program. The program allowed her to leave school around noon each day to work in her family’s insurance office, and she received permission to miss two weeks of school to attend the pre-licensing classes in Indianapolis.

The state’s Department of Insurance said she could take the classes but couldn’t receive the license until she turned 18. When she finally received it, she became the youngest licensed agent in Indiana, said Chet Pietras, the department’s deputy commissioner.

“Ir’s very nice,” Gaskill said. “For the longest time, I knew how to do it but wasn’t allowed to. It was frustrating but it will be nice to sell my own now.”

Gaskill has been accepted to Anderson University and plans to study accounting and computer science.

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