Agency Groups Combine, Expand Access to Best Insurance Access for Clients
Two longstanding agency groups, Alliance Berkshire, LLC, and Main Street Insurance Agencies, LLC, have combined forces to improve products and services for their clients, who are located from the Berkshires to Boston. The new entity, Alliance Main Street Insurance Group, LLC, is a partnership of 11 independent insurance agencies representing 28 carriers.
Richard J. Webber, president of Alliance Berkshire, and Colleen Herlihy, president of Main Street Insurance, announced the creation of the new partnership. Webber is treasurer of Webber & Grinnell Insurance Agency. Herlihy is the Herlihy Group’s chief financial officer.
“Together, our 11 agencies have greater power and can better serve the insurance needs of each of our agency’s clients,” said Webber, president of Alliance Main Street Insurance Group.
Sweeping changes in the insurance industry and deregulation have resulted in a more competitive environment that makes it more difficult for smaller, independent agencies to gain access to some insurance markets, Webber explained. Alliance Main Street pools the insurance accounts of the members when negotiating with major insurance companies.
“As a bloc with a combined $220 million in policies, the Alliance gains marketing and bargaining power with the premier group of carriers that our members represent,” he said.
Alliance Main Street is innovative among insurance marketing clusters because each of the principals of the 11 agency members is an owner of Alliance Main Street. In other marketing clusters, agencies pay a fee to gain access to additional markets. In contrast, Alliance Main Street agency members better meet clients’ needs by actively seeking out and negotiating the best products and services from carriers they choose to represent.
In addition, Alliance members share a commitment, as independent insurance agents, to community. They all revere the local roots and generally long histories of their agencies, Webber explained. He added, “Our agencies have strong local identities and reputations for knowing and valuing our customers as our neighbors and friends,” Webber said.
Herlihy said that, “As a member of the Alliance and one of 11 agencies on the same team, we gain some of the benefits of being big even as we maintain our individual identities and retain the benefits of being small and local.”
Alliance Berkshire was founded in 1996 and Main Street Insurance Agencies in 1998. The merger of Alliance Berkshire and the Main Street Insurance Group expands the geographic reach of the alliance from the Berkshires to Boston. Alliance Main Street agency members have offices in 16 Massachusetts communities. Combined, the agencies have more than 800 years of experience serving the insurance needs of their customers.
Alliance Main Street members and each agency’s location and president are: Halstead Insurance Agency, Fitchburg, Anthony P. Trapasso, Jr. ; Herlihy Group, Worcester, Jim Herlihy; Jubinville Insurance Agency, South Hadley, Cary R. Jubinville, CPCU, CIC, MSLIA; O’Connor & Co. Insurance Agency, Dudley, Dan O’Connor; Smith Brothers-McAndrews Insurance Agency, Adams, Dave Bissaillon; Webber & Grinnell Insurance Agency, Northampton, William D. Grinnell; and Wheeler & Taylor Insurance Agency, Great Barrington, George A. Ryan, Jr. , Oxford Insurance Agency, Brian Ravenelle, Ironside Insurance Agency, Ryan Kent and Berlin Insurance Agency , Mark Adams. Besides the communities where the agencies are headquartered, Alliance Main Street members operate in Leicester, Sheffield, Sterling, Stockbridge, and Webster.