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A LEAP Member Spotlight: General Insurance Services

Allison Tunstall
By: Allison Tunstall Last Updated: September 21, 2020

Finding insurance that will work with you and your unique needs starts with finding the right insurance company, one that understands the community it serves. For General Insurance Services (GIS), located in La Porte, Valparaiso, and other cities throughout the Region, protecting Northwest Indiana families and businesses has been the cornerstone of their mission for more than 80 years.

“Everything we do ties directly to our mission,” said Craig Menne, President of General Insurance Services. “We help families obtain proper insurance coverage to protect their financial wellbeing. We help companies reduce the overall risk exposure to drive down insurance costs and improve their bottom line.”

This mission stems from the GIS Way, a list of values focused on developing and maintaining a value-based and high-performance culture.

“We created a set of 33 fundamentals called the GIS Way that define our culture and drive our success,” Menne said. “Each week, we focus on a new fundamental. We start each meeting discussing personal perspectives and takeaways on what the fundamental means to us as individuals. It’s one thing to define the type of culture you want, but another to keep it top of mind and work to make it happen.”

One of these fundamentals, ‘Work on Yourself,’ showcases this culture of growth. It is the last of the 33 fundamentals and establishes the company’s drive to help the communities they serve, maintain an upward mobility, and help employees as they become more well-rounded representatives of the company and communities where they live.

“We hold ourselves to a high standard and recognize that it’s incredibly important to be growth-oriented. We need to embrace change and the challenge of learning new skills and habits to become greater experts in our field,” said Kara Moon, Marketing Coordinator. “We have team members who have been with GIS for 10-plus years, and they will all tell you that the insurance industry looks vastly different than it did when they started. New risks are emerging that insurance companies are having to learn how to cover, especially in an age when technology is advancing so fast.”

Because General Insurance Services works so closely with the community and has a hand in helping to shape and develop it, these 33 fundamentals have established a strong, lasting relationship between agents and community members.

“We’ve set out to be an agency built on strong ethics, enduring relationships, and an undeniable passion for what we do,” Moon said. “It is the deep understanding of our clients’ needs, combined with our knowledge and expertise that allows us to successfully deliver sound advice and adhere to our mission of securing the futures of the communities we serve.”

This was especially important as GIS entered an unprecedented time. Along with the entire world, General Insurance Services had to quickly adapt to a new normal that had an impact on their company culture and how they provided their services to the Northwest Indiana community.

“Prior to COVID-19, we were not a company prepared to embrace having our entire staff work remotely. We have been firm believers that our doors need to remain open for those who would like to handle their business in our offices,” Moon said. “But we’ve been incredibly proud at how quickly and efficiently our team was able to transition to a remote work environment and still maintain the same level of customer service we are known to deliver despite our physical offices being closed for a time.”

“We also obtained access to COVID-19 resources to aid companies trying to make that same transition. We quickly developed a resource center on our website that gave access to sample remote work plans, business continuity plans, return to work plans, workplace preparedness checklists, etc. We continually add resources to that page as the needs continue to evolve with the pandemic.”

Providing these resources and services to the community continues to be a part of the GIS company culture. It partners with organizations such as the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership, which has helped GIS enhance its connection to La Porte County and the economy, and it furthers philanthropic goals by donating and supporting local organizations.

“Our passion for changing our community for the better moves us to do more,” Moon said. “We donate thousands of dollars every year to deserving organizations, and even more in time and talent. Many of our team members sit on community boards, volunteer with local organizations, and actively work to make the world we live in a better place.”

For more than 80 years, General Insurance Services has changed concerns into confidence, made losses whole again, and helped protect what matters most.

“The money saved and protection put in place by prioritizing a strategic insurance and risk management plan is a win for the people and businesses that make Northwest Indiana a great place to live, work, and play.”

For more information about General Insurance Services, please visit its website at https://genins.com/.