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In Arizona, if you’re over the age of thirty it’s a badge of honor to say you grew up here. General Southwest Insurance Agency can trace its local roots back to 1969, and the family that owns and manages it has been in Arizona almost that long.
Jay Binsfeld and his wife Pat, along with their five children, moved to Phoenix from Wisconsin in 1974. A year later, Jay purchased General Southwest. The independent insurance agency had four employees servicing a small base of home, auto and business clients.
The agency has grown, along with the Phoenix market it primarily serves. The company now employs 26 people, and has alliances with over 40 different insurance carriers. It’s currently owned and operated by three of Jay’s sons.
Youngest son and Vice President, Dave Binsfeld, concedes that the insurance business has changed a lot over the decades, most notably in the past 10 years with the increase of online options. “Our focus is on building the relationship and understanding what our clients need,” he says. “We can provide that extra level of service. I think a lot of people still want that today.”
Experience also sets them apart. Both Dave and older brother Joe have been licensed agents since they turned 18, giving them a combined 75 years of industry knowledge. “If you have a challenging situation—whether it’s a unique type of business to insure, or looking at ways to protect your personal assets, we can almost certainly help you,” adds Dave. “My brothers and I, and our staff, we really want our clients to feel like we’re on their side, helping them protect the important things in their lives.”
Dave, Joe and brother John (who handles operations at the agency) acknowledge they owe their success to their dedicated client base. They have many long-term customers and new business is almost exclusively by referral. They are also quick to praise their office staff—many of whom are also industry experts—and the support personnel at the various insurance companies they represent.
General Southwest provides insurance solutions for business, home, auto and life, and can also assist with health insurance and benefits. Clients benefit from the customized service of a boutique agency, along with access to the resources and expertise of a large broker.