This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.
James C. Metzger’s Whitmore Agency, a leading insurance services and estate planning company in the New York metropolitan area, has entered into a partnership agreement with Hastava Insurance Agency, a family-operated company owned by Michael Hastava that has provided close to 100 years of service to families, businesses and communities on Long Island. Whitmore is headquartered in Garden City and Hastava is in Island Park.
Mr. Hastava has been named managing director of Whitmore’s commercial lines division. The collaboration between the Whitmore and Hastava firms will provide the clients of both organizations with access to a broader range of expertise, opportunities, services and products to support personal and commercial financial protection, growth and estate planning.
“The proud Hastava family brand, established here on Long Island close to a century ago, will offer unique and fresh perspectives for all of us at Whitmore,” said Mr. Metzger. “This partnership will deliver broader insurance business expertise that immediately will benefit our mutual clients. The bottom line is increased financial proficiency and services for our neighbors who turn to us to assist them with the protection they require for their personal peace of mind and business success.”
Hastava’s services include the conventional home, auto, boat and umbrella insurance coverage along with unique coverage options for sports vehicles (RVs, ATVs, off-road and personal watercraft), contractors and special events. The collaboration between the two agencies includes the creation of a comprehensive program that supports the unique insurance requirements of mechanics, body shops and gas stations.
Hastava Insurance also features expertise in flood insurance, which is an evolving sub-specialty that increasingly affects Long Island communities. The agency’s offices were damaged during Superstorm Sandy and the lessons learned in its aftermath, according to Mr. Hastava, will ensure continuity of services for clients affected by future weather-related events.
Family Business With A Handshake
“My father’s Uncle Rudolph started this business during the 1930s,” said Mr. Hastava. “The home and business environments were much different back then. The average price for a new home was $4,000, gas was just 10 cents a gallon and the average family earned just over $1,700 a year. It was a time without computers, internet and cell phones. A manual typewriter was Uncle Rudy’s most important piece of office equipment. He understood the importance of a handshake, being available when clients needed him and doing business with integrity. There’s no substitute for personal service.”
The Hastava and Whitmore business models dovetail when it comes to personal service. When Mr. Metzger entered the industry more than 30 years ago, he immediately indicated and has continued to practice a distinctive philosophy – “I promise to make insurance personal.”
Mr. Metzger is a former three-sport athlete at Half Hollow Hills East High School in Dix Hills and a lacrosse All-American at Hofstra University. In the community, he champions athletic, education and many additional Long Island, New York City and New Jersey programs. Hempstead PAL Lacrosse, Boys & Girls Club of Newark and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island are a few of the many local initiatives supported by Mr. Metzger and Whitmore. Mr. Hastava also has been involved in various community programs on Long Island, served a decade as a trustee for the Island Park School District Board of Education and will become engaged with Whitmore’s community programs throughout the New York Metropolitan Area.
Mike Virgintino is the author of Freedomland U.S.A.: The Definitive History, the story about America’s theme park located in The Bronx. Published by Theme Park Press, it can be found on Amazon, eBay, Goodreads and other retailers.
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