The Giglios get downsized, come fighting back

Plucky local insurance agents open new office


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By Vicki Botta
GOSHEN — Local businessman Joe Giglio was downsized by All State Insurance, where he's worked as an independent agent since 1999. So he opened his own agency with his wife, Margaret Bennett Giglio,

Joe and Margaret have known each other since the fourth grade. They say his gut instincts, and the way he has always treated customers, will make their new business a success. In May they opened an office, Amarian Insurance Brokers, at 15 Matthews St., Suite 201 in Goshen.

“As independent brokers, we can represent different companies,” Joe said. “All state rates have gone up, and we can really shop around for the best rates and save people as much as $1,000 or more on their auto insurance or homeowners insurance. More and more people are shopping these days and we’ve got a good reputation.”

After Allstate washed its “good hands” of Joe and some 4,000 other agents nationally, the company held him to a non-compete agreement. He couldn’t solicit former customers or have an office within a mile of his Allstate office. One tough year and lots of networking later, he's connected with many new and potential customers. Joe is a Grand Knight at St. John’s Catholic Church in Goshen, a member of the Lion’s Club and the Italian American Club, all civically involved organizations.

“People knew me in the community,” said Joe. “We did a lot of socializing at events and business mixers. We had to get the word out.”

In 1999, Joe and Margaret took over Warwick agent Bill Baker's Allstate business. They've had a 92 percent retention rate, which Joe said is “pretty unheard of in the insurance business.”

“Our reputation has been very good,” said Margaret, “Very personalized. Julius, our poodle, is always with us, and we like to joke that he is the complaint department. We have made many friends of our clients. With so many insurance agents out there, we had to think what would set us apart and we make it a point to be nice, courteous, willing to spend time with a client and to be more personalized. People will remember that.”

A shared childhood in Chester
Margaret has worked in retail and has a sales background. Joe studied finance in college but for 12 years worked for Hewlett Packard in the electronics field. When he saw electronics going the way of the dinosaur, he got his real estate license, and gained confidence while advising people on one of their biggest decisions in life. When he saw the real estate market leveling out, he started selling insurance for Allstate.

Margaret and Joe met while attending the Chester schools, where they grew up with the famous blues guitarist, the late Bill Perry.

“Billy used to call out Greycourt when he saw us because that’s where we all grew up," Joe said. "He even taught me how to play guitar, and we were in bands together. I was left-handed, and Bill didn’t want to restring the guitar, so he taught me how to play guitar right-handed. To this day a left-handed guitar is alien to me.”

Their small office is homey. A fancy photograph of Julius hangs on the wall. They’ve had other poodles named Caesar and Thurston.

Together they broker commercial insurance as well as personal insurance. They specialize in insuring automobile, home, life, restaurant, boat, motorcycle, RV and campers, snowmobiles, yachts, and mansions. Some of the companies they represent are MetLife, Safeco, Liberty Mutual, Travelers, Progressive, Mercury, Sterling, Encompass, and Mainstreet America. Joe specializes in commercial insurance, while Margaret handles personal insurance.

When they aren’t working, Joe enjoys volunteering and learning more about finance, Margaret loves to garden. Julius will greet all who come by.

Their motto is: “We don’t sell you insurance. We help you buy it!”

For more information call 294-1357 or email at joegiglio@frontier.com.

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