Nashville-based auto insurer The General has appointed veteran insurance executive Tony DeSantis to the new position of president and chief executive officer, joining Chief Operating Officer Steve Tjugum as the company’s top leaders. Elicia Azali has been named Marketing senior vice president.
The General, which specializes in auto insurance for consumers who have less than perfect driving histories, operates in 46 states and employs 1,300 people at its Nashville headquarters and other offices. The company has more than doubled its policy count since 2015 to nearly 400,000, and plans to expand all 50 states within the next several years.
DeSantis has served as president and chief executive officer at AIG Direct where he was for more than 20 years, and president and CEO of 21st Century Insurance, as well as president of personal insurance product lines at Farmers Insurance and, most recently since 2017, CEO of Ironshore’s Syndicated Risk Services, a startup managing general agency.
In 2009, Farmers acquired AIG’s U.S. Personal Auto Group, which included 21st Century Insurance. In addition to 21st Century Insurance, the acquisition includeD the former AIG Direct business and Agency Auto business.
His background in both personal and commercial insurance includes experience with non-standard auto insurance and direct and agency-based sales channels.
DeSantis joins Tjugum who became COO in late 2018. Tjugum moved to The General from American Family Insurance, the parent company of The General, where he worked for more than 30 years, starting as an agent in 1988 and advancing in the organization in both product line and sales leadership roles.
Azali comes to The General from Nationwide Insurance where she held multiple leadership roles in marketing, advertising, product lines and innovation.
The General, or Permanent General Companies, offers non-standard auto insurance products. It writes business through multiple distribution channels in 46 states and District of Columbia.
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