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Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Gordon Walker Retires

Posted by on Feb 18, 2014 in News

Gordon Walker, after 43 years of dedication and commitment, is retiring from his career at Pekin Insurance. His leadership has allowed the company to tackle some of the industry’s toughest issues on his watch, but through his vision and quest for achievement, Pekin Insurance has grown and prospered. Thoughtful, energetic, and professional, he has been committed to upholding the company’s unparalleled standards of excellence. Never believing in the words, “we can’t do it,” he has worked even harder to make sure that the impossible became the possible. He motivated all at the company to reach their personal potentials and then to exceed them as he has done for the past 43 years.

At the Annual Subscribers Meeting of The Farmers Automobile Insurance Association on February 11, 2014, he officially retired as Chief Executive Officer. He will remain as Chairman of the Board.

Due to his professionalism and dedication, agents, policyholders, and employees have all benefited. He has a strong belief in the independent agency system, and by continually staying in touch with the ever-changing insurance industry, he has helped to build Pekin Insurance to the success and notable stature that it holds amongst other insurance carriers today. He was instrumental in the company branding initiative in 2010. Beyond the expected,® the company’s new branding slogan, is not a hollow slogan to him. It is his standard of performance over the last 43 years in every aspect of every position he held within the company.

A few of the many noteworthy events that have taken place under his capable guidance and demonstrating his ability to be a catalyst of change were developing Strategic Planning teams for all companies that focus on producing better products and services that the company’s agents and policyholders expect and deserve and continuing to be the easiest company for agents to do business with. Entering a new marketing area in the state of Arizona in late 2011 was another mark of success in his career. A new focus on Commercial business and an emphasis on the rebuilding and improving of the Information Technology Department were both major and ongoing projects that were possible through his expertise. A shortage of space and the need for improvements in the company’s Home Office led to the purchase of a vacant building in Pekin, which now houses the entire Property/Casualty Claim operation and was molded by his vision. Throughout his years as chief executive officer, he has always been successful in meeting new challenges and reaching lofty goals.

Born and raised in Rushville, Illinois, he is a graduate of Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He began his career with Pekin Insurance in 1970 as an assistant bond manager in the Surety and Fidelity Bond Department. In 1972, he transferred to Indiana as a field trainee and later worked as a field manager in Effingham, Illinois, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In July 1984, he was transferred to the Home Office as property/casualty marketing coordinator. In 1985, he was promoted to Staff Management status and was named sales manager. He was promoted to vice president – sales in January 1998. In 2003, he was elected senior vice president of all Pekin Insurance companies and chief operating officer of the property/casualty companies, and in 2006, he was promoted to president and chief operating officer of the property/casualty companies. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors since 2005. In March 2008, he was elected chief executive officer of Pekin Insurance and Chairman of the Board.

A strong supporter of the insurance industry, he has been actively involved with numerous organizations like the Professional Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois (PIIAI) and the Illinois Insurance Association. He pursued his professionalism in the industry with his attainment of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Designation in 1995. True to the character of a leader of a service-associated company, he has always held great interest in community life. He is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Herget Bank, N.A., and the Pekin Police Foundation. His private generosities and consistent and positive devotion to St. Jude were instrumental in the development of the company’s current Birdies for St. Jude program. After his retirement, he will lend his energies, expertise, and talents as a member of the Board of Directors for St. Jude.

A mere thank you for his 43 years of commitment and dedication seems insignificant. His mark will always be seen in the dramatic growth of the company and the broad footprint the company has achieved within the insurance industry. He and his wife, Carol, are sincerely wished all the happiness and good health that they deserve in retirement.

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Attention Illinois Storm Victims

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in News

Pekin Insurance is responding to the needs of its policyholders and the requests of the Illinois Department of Insurance in the administration of insurance policies, including all lines, resulting from a recent weather-related storm disaster that impacted 15 counties. Effective immediately, the following actions are applicable for all lines to policyholders who reside in or own property located in or around Champaign, Douglas, Fayette, Grundy, Jasper, La Salle, Massac, Pope, Tazewell, Vermillion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne, Will, and Woodford Counties.

  • Moratorium on cancellations and non-renewals. For any cancellation or non-renewal notice issued on or after November 10, 2013, on any in-force policy issued to an affected policyholder or respecting affected property, Pekin Insurance will withdraw the cancellation or non-renewal and reinstate the policy with no lapse in coverage. In addition, Pekin Insurance will not issue any new cancellation or non-renewal notices to affected policyholders or for affected property until January 11, 2014.
  • Other insurance-related time period extensions. Extensions will be granted to affected policyholders for all policy provisions that impose a time limit for an insured or claimant to perform any act, including submission of a claim or proof of loss, reporting of information, submission of bills, or payment of funds.
  • Time period extension for repairs. If repair on affected property cannot be completed within the time period required under any policy or within the 90-day time period for repairs prior to termination due to condition of the property, Pekin Insurance will provide consumers with an extension of not less than 60 days to make the repairs.
  • Cancellation or non-renewal respecting affected property. Pekin Insurance will refrain from canceling or non-renewing policies respecting affected property due to “increase in the risk originally accepted” (215 ILCS 5/143.21 and 143.21.1) or due to the geographic location of the risk (215 ILCS 5/155.22).
  • Other exceptions to policy/contract requirement or rating/underwriting rules. Pekin Insurance will consider exceptions to policy or contract requirements or other rating or underwriting rules not listed on this announcement when contractual requirements are not met as a result of this disaster. Exceptions to policy or contract requirements or rating or underwriting rules will include an insured’s displacement from his or her home.
  • Availability of the Illinois Department of Insurance. The Illinois Department of Insurance is available for complaints regarding any disaster-related dispute or issue. Consumers may call the DOI’s toll-free complaint hotline at 1-866-445-5364 or file a complaint online at https://mc.insurance.illinois.gov/messagecenter.nsf.

It is our sincere goal to accommodate the needs of our policyholders that have been affected by these natural disasters. If you have questions, please feel free to contact your Pekin Insurance Agent or Contact Us through our website.

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Pekin Insurance Moves Claim Operations to Newly Renovated Building in Pekin

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in News

Pekin Insurance recently opened its new Property/Casualty Claim Building at 120 North Parkway Drive in Pekin, Illinois.

Due to a shortage of space and the need for improvements in the company’s Home Office facility, the company purchased the vacant building in Pekin in October 2012. The 28,740-square-foot building, located on 3.8 acres of land, has 18,620 square feet of finished office space and is less than five minutes from the Home Office facility on Court Street. Construction and renovation began earlier this year with modifications and improvements to both the interior and exterior of the building. Not only does the new facility provide needed space, it also offers an option for disaster recovery should something happen to the current Home Office facility.

In the design of the Pekin Insurance Parkway Office, safety for the employees working there is a critical issue just as it is at the Home Office. Two FEMA-rated safe rooms were constructed that will provide “near-absolute protection” in extreme weather events, including tornadoes. The two rooms are centrally located in the building, and each will house up to 80 individuals.

The new building houses nearly 100 employees who are integral members of the company’s property/casualty claim operation. Employees range from claim managers, adjusters, subrogation specialists, workers compensation specialists, property and physical damage personnel, and claim representative to customer service representatives.

For nearly a century, Pekin Insurance has prided itself on the claim service that they give to policyholders that goes Beyond the expected® to help people put their lives back together again after an unfortunate disaster. When a tragedy strikes, peace of mind becomes a tangible commodity through the professional claim service efforts of the Pekin Insurance property/casualty claim operation.

The new building has the same hours of operation as the Home Office, which are 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Pekin Insurance® Employee Shaves His Head for a Good Cause

Posted by on Sep 11, 2013 in News

Joe Ricigliano, Vice President – Commercial Lines Underwriting for Pekin Insurance and board member for the Center for Prevention of Abuse, challenged Pekin Insurance employees to help him raise money for the Center through their annual Duck Race fundraiser. To help raise awareness for this worthy cause, he pledged to shave his head if employees raised enough money to purchase 2,500 ducks.

Pekin Insurance employees, along with their family and friends, helped Joe achieve his goal by donating over $12,500. On Thursday, August 29, 2013, Joe made good on his promise when a barber shaved his head in front of an audience of delighted employees. (Watch the video.)

Joe was grateful for the opportunity to be able to give back to the Central Illinois community. He commented, “It takes individuals a tremendous amount of courage to move forward and change their lives if they find themselves in an abusive situation. Hopefully, by doing this, it raises awareness as to the services the Center provides to all individuals, young and old, who need help. Every time we as a community, through the Center’s services, help individuals get out of a difficult situation, it is priceless.”

The Center for Prevention of Abuse, located in Peoria, Illinois, is the only agency in the state to provide combined services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse, and elder abuse. The Center also reaches students of all ages with violence prevention education and works with abusers through an abuser education program. More information about the Center can be found at their website, www.centerforpreventionofabuse.org.

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Pekin Insurance® Supports the Invaluable Efforts of the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI)

Posted by on Aug 6, 2013 in News

Pekin Insurance has partnered with the Illinois Fire Service Institute to demonstrate our support of their commendable efforts to enhance and provide firefighter training across the full spectrum of first responder needs and to support their Firefighter Life Safety Research Fund.

Today’s firefighters face a dynamic and changing work environment – from the fireground to the disaster scene. In order for today’s firefighters and first responders to be prepared to meet the
challenges of these often high-risk environments, intensive training is required. In addition to the need to be skilled in the use of new equipment and technologies, today’s firefighters are called upon to deal with a host of new hazards, rescue situations, and fire characteristics.

Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) is a nationally-recognized leader in providing this instruction. Over 93% of all training delivered by IFSI is for firefighters. IFSI works hard to ensure this training remains affordable to all fire departments, but many departments remain fiscally challenged and are unable to provide this training.

Live-fire structural burns are at the core of the IFSI training model and are essential in the replication of real-life situations. Illinois is one of the only programs in the country that uses live-fire structural burn training.

IFSI is also a national leader in developing research-based solutions to the problems and perils faced by firefighters.

Their successes have come from their commitment to applied-science research—the development of knowledge and technologies that have a direct impact on firefighters’ work. Their research projects
focus on reducing risks for firefighters and protecting the general public and physical structures from the unwanted effects of fire. These action-oriented studies focus on:

• Individual firefighters – Physical fitness, psychology, physiology, and other human factors that affect the health and safety of first responders.
• Environment – Impact of fireground environment on the health and safety of firefighters and the effect of suppression techniques on structures.
• Tools and equipment – Research, development, and testing of tools, equipment and technologies for fire suppression and rescue scenarios.

For more information concerning the worthwhile efforts of the Illinois Fire Service Institute, visit www.fsi.illinois.edu.

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Android Phone Users Can Now Access Pekin Insurance® Mobile App

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in News

Make the most of your Android phone with the Pekin Insurance Mobile App that puts your important insurance information at your fingertips 24/7.

The Pekin Insurance Mobile App offers an Accident Assistant feature, which will efficiently walk you through the claim process, as well as giving you access to My PI,* where you can find all the basic information about your insurance policies.

Access to Auto ID Cards and a “Services Finder” that furnishes you with information concerning the location of area hotels, gas stations, restaurants, and locksmiths are two other valuable features you can now find on your Android phone.

Have the Pekin Insurance Mobile App delivered directly to your Android Phone free of charge by going to Google Play.

The insurance app is also available in the Apple Store for iPhones.

* Policyholders must sign up for My PI online at www.pekininsurance.com.

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