‘Good People Doing the Right Thing’
One employee said they felt heard by leadership. Another praised their knowledgeable coworkers for treating them with respect. A third, a longtime insurance industry veteran, said the positive work experience they’ve had at Levitt-Fuirst Insurance & Bonding has “reinvigorated my career, and I feel like I’m 20 again.”
Now, that’s a perk.
In responses to Insurance Journal’s annual Best Agencies to Work For survey, many of the Tarrytown, New York-based agency’s employees commended Levitt-Fuirst for its open-door management style, insurance expertise and community-building efforts.
The feedback propelled Levitt-Fuirst to earn the competition’s Silver award for the East region. “I think it’s confirmation that we’re doing something right during perhaps the most challenging employment environment in the past 20 years,” said Jason Schiciano, co-president of Levitt-Fuirst. “And it’s evidence that our employees appreciate the steps that we’re taking to … continue to make (Levitt-Fuirst) a family-oriented company where we truly care about our people.”
Founded in 1969, Levitt-Fuirst employs 75 people and takes pride in its staunchly independent status. Construction companies and real estate operations make up most of Levitt-Fuirst’s clientele. The agency focuses on high-end personal lines insurance, general business policies and surety bonding, as well.
“Our goal is to provide boutique, curated insurance services for our clients,” Schiciano explained.
Levitt-Fuirst is also the group manager for two New York State Insurance Fund workers’ compensation safety groups, offering group discounts on workers’ comp insurance for construction contractors and real estate owners. The safety groups were an early catalyst for Levitt-Fuirst’s growth, and they continue to represent a unique insurance offering that supplements other lines of property/casualty insurance and bonding products offered.
Schiciano believes Levitt-Fuirst exemplifies team culture. Leadership makes an effort to show employees they are appreciated. The company has a spirit team that plans outdoor movie nights and trivia contests, and family members are invited to a pool party in the summer and a holiday party near the calendar’s end.
“Really, there are so many team-building opportunities that we all seem to know each other well enough to be friends as well as co-workers,” one survey respondent shared.
Levitt-Fuirst also participates in community service efforts at food pantries and fundraises for local 5K run and walk events. The agency has a fund in memory of employees who have passed away that provides monetary grants to employees and families for education, medical and family care expenses. The company’s year-end bonus structure includes all staff on the same percentage basis.
“I came from a small agency bought by a larger one, so I can appreciate a small company who understands the dynamics of everyone having to get along,” one respondent wrote.
“They understand work-life balance and actually taught me to appreciate it. After 32 years in one place, I didn’t expect to make new friends, and I absolutely did, and they will be lifelong friends. These are just good people doing the right thing.”
Schiciano’s advice to agency leaders is to be transparent and to engage in dialogue with their employees.
“I think that now more than ever, it’s critically important to make sure that your team, your staff, knows that they’re not taken for granted,” he shared. “It’s important to acknowledge accomplishments – even small accomplishments – along the way, and it’s important to show evidence and make decisions that allow your staff to know that you actually care about them more than just as an employee.”
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