Agency Spotlight – Italiano Insurance Services
For Jeff Italiano, insurance means family. His father, Nelson, started Italiano Insurance in 1960, and by the time Jeff and his brother Nat, came along, the company was thriving.
Jeff went to college in Italy, then returned to join the firm, which by then had two offices.
Jeff took over the Tampa location in 1986, while Nat handles the corporation’s Boca Grande office. The firm now boasts over 30 insurance professionals, with more than half a century of experience between them.
Italiano Insurance primarily serves the local communities of Boca Grande and Tampa, but writes insurance policies across the state and beyond. “Many of our policyholders have secondary homes, and we’ll insure both their Florida home and any others across the country,” says Jeff.
“We’re a hands-on, family business; we make friends with our clients and know their properties, their needs, and their lives,” Jeff comments. “Our clients are clients for life – we service entire generations of family members, and referrals are our biggest source of new policies. We’ll write your policy, and your kids’ policies, and your grandkids’ policies.”
This approach has served the family business well; between Tampa and Boca Grande, Italiano Insurance writes thousands of new policies every year, and renews even more. “Our name is synonymous with insurance in Tampa and Boca Grande, and our retention is amazing,” Jeff explains, adding, “We stay very involved in the community – giving back is important to us. We work a lot with the Young Lions and support the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. My brother, Nat, is on the board of the Suncoast Humane Society. He’s currently working to raise $10 million for a new facility.”
Jeff says that the biggest misconception about insurance is what’s covered and what’s not under a standard HO3 policy. “Homeowners assume flood is covered, which it’s not – not in any state. If I could have one wish come true, it would be that homeowners would talk to their insurance agent before buying their next home, so they can consider the insurance premium differences that could apply depending on the flood zone, the plumbing and electrical, even the age and state of the roof.”
In a related comment, Jeff also touches on the what he considers to be a major challenge facing Florida insurance agents: the idea that all policies are similar, and that price should be the main deciding factor. “At Italiano, we don’t believe in writing policies based on price alone. In many cases, the homeowner doesn’t even realize they could have paid just a little more money for a lot more coverage,” Jeff says, reflectively. “I want my agents to ensure the homeowner has all the relevant information, so they can make an educated choice.”
That educated choice, in many cases, turns out to be an Olympus Insurance policy. “Why Olympus? Olympus is great,” says Jeff. “You can actually talk to them if you need to; pick up a phone and get a response, whether it’s regarding marketing or about a claim. The level of communication is outstanding, and I know I can count on Olympus to take care of my clients’ best interests.”