Batavia insurance company announces merger

BRIAN QUINN/DAILY NEWSThe merger does not affect service at The Insurance Center, owner Stephen Hawley said.

BATAVIA — The merger of Stephen M. Hawley & Assoc., LLC and Great Lakes Insurance Services Group, LLC has benefitted Hawley & Assoc. customers when it comes to insurance rates, Hawley & Assoc. owner Stephen Hawley says.

In a September letter to customers, Hawley said he had been investigating what The Insurance Center/Hawley & Assoc., 50 Main St. in Batavia, would look like in the future.

“After a very thorough process I have taken the next step to make sure your needs are met and that we remain a pillar in our community and continue to follow our philosophy of ‘Neighbor Helping Neighbor!’” he wrote in the letter. “I am pleased to announce that I now have such a plan in place by merging with Great Lakes Insurance Services Group LLC. Pete Zaphiris, the owner of Great Lakes, has over 30 years in the insurance business and has built GLISG into an agency with 14 locations throughout New York and Pennsylvania, and a staff of over 80 employees. We will now have a combined insurance experience over 1,500 years. Great Lakes also provides the opportunity for more competitive premiums with over 90 different insurance companies.”

Hawley added, “We will remain right here at 50 Main St. and you will continue to deal with the same staff, whom you have come to know and trust. We will be upgrading our phone system, computers, agency management systems, fiber connections, website and more.”

Hawley said that in 1991, he purchased the insurance agency, which had been founded more than 150 years ago by the Sherwin family.

“I’m proud of the history. This agency has been around since 1867, continuously offering these insurance products,” he said. “The main reason (for the merger) was to be able to offer more companies to our clients and potential clients. We handle everything.”

Stephen M. Hawley & Assoc., LLC is a division of Great Lakes Insurance Services Group, LLC, and is located at The Insurance Center. The merger became effective March 1.

“That allows us to shop with all these companies for their best rates. We expanded what we have to offer everyone,” Hawley said. “We’re not beholden to one specific company.”

Hawley ended the letter to customers regarding the merger, by saying, “I look forward to working with you today and well into the future. This merger with Pete and Great Lakes is a great and exciting opportunity for all of us. Who is the real winner? YOU, our friends and clients, and we feel we are truly ‘Neighbor Helping Neighbor.’”

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