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Styba declares independence at insurance agency

With his customers' best interests in mind, Greg Styba became an independent insurance agent last month.

Styba's Insurance Agency is the new name for the business the owner/agent established locally in 2004. He's now joined the state branch of the Strategic Independent Agents Alliance (SIAA), a national alliance of independent insurance agents with over 2,300 independent member agencies writing more than $4.6 billion in profitable premium.

"They're one of the largest independent insurance agent groups in the world," he said Wednesday, adding, "they're found all over the U.S. and Canada."

By being able to sell for a large number of different companies, Styba said he can give his customers economical coverage at a time when a tight economy makes it mean even more. He estimated a common average savings of between $300 and $800 on personal lines (usually with increased coverage), and between $2,000 and $4,000 on commercial ones.

Moreover, he can write insurance policies for a higher percentage of people seeking such service than ever before, he said.

"I can write it for nine out of 10 looking for coverage," he said, "if they're insurable at all."

The list of companies he's already worked with during his first month of independence is long and many are recognizable. He named The Hartford, Hanover, Indiana, Kemper, Mendota, Met Life, Progressive, Safeco Auto and Home, Travelers, Dairyland, Victoria Auto and Specialty, Bristol West, Wilson, AIG, AAA and Acuity. He has access to many more, he said.

"There's no low AMBest-rated ones," he said about a standard in the industry, noting all range from A to A-plus-plus rated.

For life insurance alone, he can sell for Genworth, Banner, ING, West Coast, Protective, Lincoln National, American General, Prudential, Motorist and more, Styba said. But besides life, he offers auto, home, business, farm, health and other insurance lines, including disability.

"I can meet most any insurance needs a person or a business has," he said.

Various insurance companies have different perspectives on their availabilities, he said. One might emphasize a certain coverage type than another, so he can tailor a package to an individual customer's situation.

Read more in the print version of the Herald May 14.