Specialty Insurance Agency has been a family-owned, family-run business since 1992. Not only is insurance in our blood, but so is being an artist. So is performing.
Founder Al Fellerman was an insurance agent since 1967 and Shrine Circus clown since 1973. In 1992, Shrine clowns were required to purchase their own liability insurance - coverage not widely available at the time. To cover not only himself but the rest of the Shrine clowns struggling to find insurance as well, Al established Clowns of the US, SIA’s first performer policy insuring clowns across the United States, in 1992.
Al’s daughter, Stephanie Weiss, joined the business in 1999. Stephanie worked with SIA’s underwriters to expand the types of performers covered under our policy. We started offering coverage to jugglers, face painters, balloon twisters, storytellers, emcees, magicians, puppeteers, and ventriloquists in addition to clowns.
In 2004, Al retired, and Stephanie and her husband, Bill, officially acquired SIA. They continued working to expand our coverage base to an increasingly wide array of performers. In 2010, Steph began a new policy covering mobile vendors selling their wares at fairs, festivals, farmers’ markets, and the like. In 2015, SIA began offering Inland Marine insurance as an optional coverage protecting our clients’ business personal property - and she’s continued to expand our optional coverages since, adding Entertainer Assistant, Sexual Abuse and Molestation, and Data Breach Cyber Liability optional coverages.
Stephanie’s daughter, Heather Zenzen, began working alongside Steph in the SIA office in 2020. Heather is a licensed insurance agent with a background in marketing, communications, and creative writing. She supported Steph’s efforts to expand SIA’s product lineup and provide exceptional customer service to our clients. Steph’s son-in-law, Noah Zenzen (also a licensed agent), had been working behind the scenes as well since the early 2000’s supporting SIA’s technological needs.
In October 2021, Steph and Bill officially retired, and Heather and Noah acquired the agency. Alongside an amazing staff, Heather and Noah are dedicated to continuing SIA's legacy of supporting independent artists and small business owners.
Stephanie’s grandchildren aren’t yet insurance agents, but they are young performers following in their great-grandfather’s footsteps. Her oldest granddaughter, Grace, is an independent aerialist insured by SIA. Her youngest grandchild, Theo, performs with the Saint Paul-based youth circus, Circus Juventas - sometimes even as a clown.