It is easy to miss on the corner of Harrison and Frankford but the PA Auto Insurance Outlet is one of the premier sources for auto insurance for a unique market segment. If you never had car insurance; if your credit history is not that great; if nobody else will insure you; they will usually find a way, at the best price and terms available.
I sat down with Bob Refice, one of the partners to get more of the story. The company actually was founded by Warren Kukish in 2001 with one employee. By 2004 when Refice joined the company, Ed Gerber was also on board. Together, the three have built the business to what it is today, insuring over 8,000 customers throughout the Delaware Valley.
The secret to their success is that they treat people with respect. As Warren says “We’re nice people”. With a customer base that has often been ill treated by other insurers, people appreciate that. In addition they will get you the lowest possible rate and aim to give the best follow-up service.
Frankford has been a great location for the business. They now own the building and have to use all three floors for their 17 employees. The office has a kind of old time feel where the customer feels welcome. The open floor plan facilitates communication and makes doing business there a pleasure.
The staff gives a high priority to customer service and the result is a large number of repeat customers. Rosa, Fatiha, Sonya, Warren, Ed and Jamayra are always ready to spend time with each and every customer that visits the store.
Part of this business is about maintaining good relationships with car dealerships and auto tag service centers that will often refer customers who need insurance to get driving. PA Auto has the same high standards for those folks, too. They had a large number of their commercial clients drop in on April 14th for the live broadcast of the 94WIP Mike and Ike show from their second floor offices. That was an opportunity for those clients to meet the staff in person and further forge their business relationship.
Looking to the future, they are firmly rooted in Frankford with no need to move. They were a sponsor of the Frankford Old Head Softball game last year. Refice in fact had a long career in insurance with MetLife but had his first job right on Frankford Avenue at Cramer’s. His dad was the long time manager of Robert Hall on Sellers Street and his mom also worked for Cramer’s. He says all through those years with MetLife he carried the idea of someday returning to Philadelphia to start something here. Family is an important part of the company with many family members also working in the business.
In addition to offering auto insurance to their traditional customers, the company has recently added new carriers who offer great rates to the average driver and they also now offer homeowners, renters and life insurance. If you need to register your car, get new tags or renew your registration, you can stop by PA Auto and they’ll help you with that, too.
As Warren says, they really are nice people. Stop in and say hello the next time you pass by.