January 17, 2021

Fri, 15 Jan 2021 17:37:10 +0000
AXIS Capital Holdings Ltd. said it won’t insure oil and gas projects in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, becoming the first North American underwriter to make the commitment after pressure from native Alaskans and environmentalists. The move follow...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 17:36:24 +0000
A state board has suspended the license of a Wisconsin pharmacist accused of ruining more than 500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine because he thought it was unsafe. Steven Brandenburg was working at Advocate Aurora Health in Grafton, about 20 miles …
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 17:30:27 +0000
Louisiana bar owners fighting coronavirus-related closures of their businesses lost an appeal at a federal appeals court. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Jan. 13 upheld rulings from two lower court judges who last year refused to block …
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 17:26:55 +0000
Traffic deaths in North Carolina last year surpassed 1,500 for the first time in 13 years despite a pandemic during which motorists logged fewer miles statewide, statistics show. N.C. Department of Transportation data shows the number of miles driven d...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 17:26:51 +0000
Sompo International Holdings Ltd., a Bermuda-based specialty provider of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance, announced the appointment of Richard Brown to lead a new team focusing on property business through retail distribution channels i...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 17:24:10 +0000
Two West Virginia school bus drivers who were suspended for attending a rally for President Donald Trump in the nation’s capital have been cleared of wrongdoing following hearings, an attorney said Wednesday. Attorney John Bryan, who is representing th...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 17:18:55 +0000
AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a” to Summit Specialty Insurance Co. (SSIC), based in Omaha, Neb. The outlook assigned to these ratings is stable. SSIC is a …
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 17:14:53 +0000
A railroad bridge in Louisiana is back in place after reportedly being hit early on Jan. 13 by a tugboat, officials said. The swing bridge over the Rigolets near Slidell was reportedly hit by the tug Robert Cenac about 1 …
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 17:12:26 +0000
Global insurance broker Hub International Limited (Hub) has acquired the assets of Commercial Insurance Brokers Inc. (Commercial Insurance Brokers), based in El Paso, Texas. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Commercial Insurance Brokers is a...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 17:07:30 +0000
Insurers, policyholders and industry observers have issued comments on the UK Supreme Court’s ruling that insurers should pay small businesses for many business interruption claims from the COVID-19 lockdowns. The UK Supreme Court dismissed appeals by ...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 16:03:46 +0000
A Port Authority bus driver has been placed on probation for three years after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a University of Pittsburgh student struck by the bus she was driving a year ago. Shavonne James, …
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 15:37:59 +0000
The Navajo Nation’s Department of Justice announced Wednesday it has settled with mining companies to resolve claims stemming from a 2015 spill that resulted in rivers in three western states being fouled with a bright-yellow plume of arsenic, lead and …
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 15:35:01 +0000
Aerial drone manufacturer Insitu in the Columbia River Gorge, Ore., will pay $25 million to settle allegations that its military drones were outfitted with used components instead of new ones. U.S. attorney Brian Moran said cases such as this one …
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 14:59:15 +0000
What is the biggest lesson that cyber insurers should carry into 2021 after a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic took center stage? In the first Insuring Cyber podcast episode of the new year and the fifth overall, Tim Zeilman, …
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 14:34:02 +0000
World Insurance Associates LLC (WIA), acquired Bush Insurance Agents & Brokers of Cambridge Springs, Penn., on December 31, 2020. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Established in 1918, Bush Insurance is a provider of loss and risk management...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 14:21:07 +0000
MMG Insurance Company has promoted Kayla O’Malley Dill to vice president of Marketing and Business Development, effective January 4, 2021. Dill is based in Maine. Dill joined the Company in 2013 as senior marketing representative. Throughout her tenure...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 14:10:12 +0000
Grocery delivery company Instacart said on Thursday it would pay $25 to its over half-a-million gig workers if they chose to take time off to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The company, which has been lobbying government agencies for its delivery …
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 13:04:44 +0000
Digital insurer Lemonade has announced plans to sell 3 million shares of common stock to raise money for “general corporate purposes.” The New York-based insurtech could raise as much as $808 million, according to its regulatory filing announcing the s...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 12:58:36 +0000
Five miners died in U.S. coal mines in 2020, an all-time low mark for an industry in a year that saw continuing declines in production as electric providers move away from burning coal. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, …
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 10:31:20 +0000
A UK Supreme Court insurance judgment substantially in favor of policyholders will be a “massive boost” for British businesses currently suffering from a third government lockdown, the Hiscox Action Group policyholder group said on Friday. The court ru...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 10:19:57 +0000
Small businesses, from restaurants to nightclubs and wedding planners to beauty parlors, on Friday won the right to insurance payouts after Britain’s highest court ruled many policies should cover losses caused by coronavirus lockdowns. Six of the worl...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 06:38:53 +0000
Brendan Neligan has joined Risk Placement Services as a marine producer, in the company’s Chicago property brokerage office. Neligan will support the growth of the RPS marine portfolio, serving retail independent agents and brokers nationwide. Previous...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 06:00:49 +0000
The outgoing Trump administration said on Thursday it was issuing new rules that would allow manufacturers of automated vehicles to bypass some crash standards required of conventional vehicles, which would cut production costs. The National Highway Tr...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 06:00:40 +0000
The deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by white police officers last year sparked protests and examinations of racial injustice and inequities across the country. Individuals and businesses responded by vowing to better support communities of co...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 06:00:17 +0000
Reno, Nev.-based LP Insurance Services LLC has added Andrea Cantlon, Matt Ennis, Dustin Garcia and Jared Rossi to its ownership group. LP Insurance Services currently has 24 member-owners throughout the footprint. Cantlon leads the surety division. She...
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 05:25:03 +0000
Insurance brokerage World Insurance Associates LLC (WIA) has acquired J.W. Edens & Co., Inc. (JWE) of Titusville, Fla. on Dec. 31, 2020. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 1997, J.W. Edens & Company is a retail insurance …
Fri, 15 Jan 2021 05:12:04 +0000
One person was killed and at least four people were injured after a retaining wall fell on construction workers in a North Carolina city, officials said Wednesday. The City of Hendersonville said in a news release that the accident occurred …
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 22:26:35 +0000
Integrated Specialty Coverages has acquired California Contractors Insurance Services Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sacramento, Calif.-based CCIS has a network of over 70,000 licensed contractors to obtain license bonds, general liability,...
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 22:22:01 +0000
Drivers for app-based ride-hailing and delivery services filed a lawsuit Tuesday to overturn a California ballot initiative that makes them independent contractors instead of employees eligible for benefits and job protections. The lawsuit filed with t...
Thu, 14 Jan 2021 17:58:46 +0000
Madison, Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance is acquiring insurtech company Bold Penguin that serves small businesses. The Bold Penguin digital exchange is used by insurance agents, brokers and other distributors to match, quote and bind policies...


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HISTORY OF GARBER ATLAS FRIES & ASSOCIATES, INC.

Garber Atlas Fries & Associates, Inc. (GAF) is an independent insurance agency founded in 1968 by Murray Garber and A. Arthur Strull.  Mr. Strull retired within a brief period of time and Murray Garber then took the reins, guiding the Agency through the ensuing years, firmly rooting its philosophy and guaranteeing its permanence through adherence to the highest standards of excellence.
 
Steven Garber joined the firm in 1983, contributing his singular knowledge and expertise and providing the essential ingredients of growth and perpetuation.  Steven has since received the industry’s “Certified Insurance Counselor” (CIC) designation and currently serves as President of GAF.  He is involved in the sales and service of the agency’s customers and continues to bring a creative approach to our clients.
 
In 1991, Atlas Brokerage, a company founded by David Hammerman in 1952, joined forces with the Garbers, and significantly expanded the agency. David Hammerman, as Vice President of GAF brings to the Company his many years of experience in the industry, as well as specialties in real estate, finance, and all phases of insurance.
 
In 1997, Stuart Fries and Justin Fries joined the organization. This father and son team brought with them a well-respected and established agency. Stuart Fries has been in the business over 60 years and has served in many capacities, including his current appointment by the New York Superintendent of Insurance and Department of Financial Services, as a “Public Member” of the NY Auto Insurance Plan Governing Committee.  Stuart is known in the industry as a “wealth of insurance knowledge” and continues to enjoy a stellar reputation amongst our clients, insurance carriers, and the general insurance marketplace.  Stuart has also achieved the “Certified Insurance Counselor” (CIC) designation.
 
Justin Fries, a graduate of Cornell University, has been in the business since 1988 and is now the third generation of Fries’ to continue the insurance tradition.  Justin currently serves as the “Chief Operating Officer” of GAF and is responsible for managing the day to day operations of the Agency.  Like his father, Justin continues to volunteer his time and has served on the Board of Directors of many of the insurance trade groups.  He is a past president of the Independent Insurance Agents Association, a current director of the Council of Insurance Brokers of Greater NY, and a director of the Professional Insurance Agents Association of NY. In addition, Justin has achieved the “Certified Insurance Counselor” (CIC) designation, along with the prestigious “Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter” (CPCU) designation, and the Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) designation.
 
In late 2009, the Agency had an opportunity to expand again by acquisition.  On November 1, 2009, GAF purchased a seasoned agency known as Royal Associates Inc., owned by Arthur Morris, Mel Friedman, and Michael Mahoney.  Located in Manhattan, Royal presented an opportunity for GAF to expand its presence into the NYC market.  The further development of our NYC presence continued, as in 2016, GAF took on the management of a prior insurance agency known as All Risk Brokerage.  All Risk was formerly owned and operated by Harvey Goldfarb, a veteran in the insurance industry. 

At the end of 2016, GAF was presented with another opportunity to expand.  We welcomed to our team Alan and Michael Plafker, another father and son team.  The Plafkers previously managed Member Brokerage, the insurance agency operation within Melrose Credit Union in Queens NY.  Alan Plafker  has been active in the Insurance business almost 45 years and has served the industry  in many capacities, most recently as President of the NY Professional Insurance Agents Association (PIA), and  has served on many other insurance industry Board of Directors and Agent Councils.  He started his career with his Dad, Phillip Plafker at Industrial Brokerage Corp after graduating Adelphi University, and continued his professional education achieving the “Certified Insurance Counselor” (CIC) designation, and the Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) designation.  He is well respected in the industry and has joined the executive team as Vice President , bringing  valuable carrier and client relationships to the GAF organization.

 

Michael Plafker is the third generation in the family business.  He had the benefit of working with his Dad and Grandfather Phillip Plafker for many years gaining valuable wisdom and insight at a young age.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors at the NY Professional Insurance Agents Association (PIA) as well as on the Board of the Council of Insurance Brokers of Greater NY.  In Addition, he is an active past President of the NY Young Insurance Professionals Association (YIP).   Michael is committed to professional development and has achieved the “Certified Insurance Counselor” (CIC) designation, and the Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) designation.   He brings his successful young spirit and joined the executive team as Vice President.  His business networking accomplishments and client relationships will contribute to the future success and growth of the GAF organization.

 

In the spring of 2020, GAF welcomed in another seasoned insurance veteran, Helen Generowicz.  Helen was the principal of HGI Insurance Agency Inc, located in Cedarhurst NY, and has combined forces with GAF after 30 years of operation.  Helen continues to be an integral part of the transition of her clients into the unified larger operation.  Her expertise, knowledge, and tenacious attitude serves as a valuable asset to the firm.

 

Garber Atlas Fries and Associates Inc, remains as a highly respected independent insurance agency in the insurance community and enjoys an impeccable reputation for fine service, superior talent and unimpeachable integrity.