By Michelle Caceres

Sun City Center resident Charlene Leistl wasn’t expecting a full-size refrigerator to fall off the large truck in front of her while driving on a highway in Albany, Ga., damaging the front of her vehicle and rendering it inoperable.

“I tried to avoid hitting it but there wasn’t much I could do to avoid it,” said Leistl.

With the daunting task of leasing a rental vehicle large enough to accommodate herself and her wheelchair-bound husband (he uses a bulky powered wheelchair), Leistl called Debbie Bates, her local Allstate agent.

“There are some times when you need to speak to a person instead of an automated system and this was one of those times,” she said.

Bates made sure the proper vehicle was rented so the Leistls could continue on their journey back to Sun City Center.

“Debbie is always there when we need her,” said Leistl.

Bates owns Allstate agencies in Brandon, located at 1767 King Ave., and Ruskin, located at 837 Cypress Village Blvd.

As an Allstate insurance agent for more than 27 years, Bates utilizes her experience to provide the best products and services to her clients to protect them from life’s uncertainties and prepare them for the future.

As the largest publicly held personal lines property and casualty insurer in America, Allstate offers a wide range of insurance products from homeowners insurance to automobile coverage, renters insurance to power sport insurance and life insurance to business coverage.

“I’m committed to finding the best insurance coverage for my clients at the best price,” said Bates.

In addition to insurance coverage, Bates and her team also offer a variety of choices to help customers reach their financial goals, including 529 college savings plans, long-term care insurance and annuities.

“These products allow families to reach their future financial goals and I am proud to be a part of that,” she said.

Office hours at both locations are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. All staff are licensed agents with bilingual staff available.

For more information about Allstate or to receive a free insurance quote, call the Brandon office at 681-9696 or Ruskin office at 633-0006 or visit

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Michelle Caceres
MIchelle Caceres has been writing for the Osprey Observer for seventeen years. She enjoys writing human interest pieces about inspiring members of the community who are working to better our community. She lives in FishHawk Ranch with her husband and recently became an empty-nester. When not writing, Michelle is serving her church community, reading and enjoying Florida's weather.