In 1981, a key to getting noticed as a business was to show up at the top of the list in the phone book. Terry Palmer had that in mind as he started A-Insurance. Originally one office in Roy, A-Insurance grew to three offices over the next three decades and are now one of the top insurers in their communities. In Syracuse, this office insures 2 out of 10 households of the community, which is virtually unheard of for an insurance agency. These men and women love being in and part of their community and it shows in their results. Terry was very involved in the community and even served as mayor. He believed in making his business a part of the community, that approach is still true today.
In 2010 Roger Grow took over as the General Manager as Terry started preparing for retirement and the eventual sale of A-Insurance to Roger. Terry fully retired from the agency in 2017. Roger, also a long time Syracuse resident, previously owned Scoops Drive-in which was located in the building that now houses Don’s Meats on Antelope. He has kept the principles that A-Insurance is known for.
A-Insurance budgets over $20,000 a year to sponsor community events, high school sports and student groups. They love sponsoring teams and organizations, but Roger says he really enjoys getting a call from a coach or director that says; “I have this great kid…but they can’t afford something, can you help out?”
Roger also believes that being part of the community in other ways is important as well. He had a competing agent one time tell him he was moving out of his area because he didn’t want to see the people he wrote policies for at the grocery store. Roger couldn’t figure out why. He said I want to see my clients at the store and answer questions and be friends with them. I don’t want them to call some 800 number.
Just the other day Keeth Kennington, one of their agents, received a call from a client asking if she had tow coverage on her policy. Keeth asked what was wrong? She was at her kids school and her Suburban wouldn’t start and she was right where the busses would be pulling in within the next ten minutes. Keeth and Shah Brionez jumped in the car and ran over to the school and pushed her out of the way. Her husband came and was able to get the car started later so no tow was needed. You can’t get that from an 800 number. They have also become quite good at unlocking cars when clients lock their keys in the car, saving them from having to call a locksmith. It is now a badge of honor to see which agent is the fastest!
The A-Insurance office in Syracuse is staffed by seasoned agents, Keeth Kennington, Shah Brionez, Cathy Moon, and Marion Steward whom are all long-time Syracuse Residents. They are an independent agency with more than 20 carriers. They can write policies for homes, cars and any toy you might enjoy from snowmobiles and campers to motorcycles and side by sides. They can also write commercial and business policies.
Roger says one thing he notices is that there tends to be turn over in insurance. Companies and agents come and go, however A-Insurance is here to stay. They seek to perform the best service and help get clients the best coverage for a great price. They have seen the problems with improper insurance and how it can negatively affect families, so Roger and the team at A-Insurance make it their mission to make sure their clients are fully covered.