From left, Sean McGrath, Chip Siegel, Steve Alinikoff and Brian Corbett at the office of Eastern Insurance in the East Mountain Corporate Center. Alinikoff’s Security First Insurance joined with Eastern Insurance in September.Aimee Dilger/The Times Leader
PLAINS TWP. – Two local insurance agencies have merged, expecting their combined expertise to make a stronger overall company.
The tie-up of Eastern Insurance Group and Security First Insurance Inc. of Kingston occurred on Sept. 15. All four Security First employees, including owner Steve Alinikoff, were brought over to Eastern Insurance, located in the East Mountain Corporate Center, and now work alongside Eastern’s 40 workers.
Security First, which operated for 35 years under Alinikoff, is now defunct. And Alinikoff said he’s fine with that because he has no doubt he made the right decision for his company, employees and his customer base.
“It’s bringing together two mature companies to better serve all of our clients,” Alinikoff said.
Paul “Chip” Siegel, who along with partner Brian Corbett and a local investment group purchased Eastern Insurance from Wilkes-Barre-based Penn Millers Insurance early this year, said the life insurance and financial planning strengths that Security First has will make Eastern Insurance stronger.
“It seemed like an absolute perfect match,” Alinikoff, of Kingston, said. “If we do it right, we can be a premier outfit.”
Siegel, of Shavertown, who serves as chief operating officer for Eastern Insurance, said that while his company was involved in life insurance and financial services, it was an area they wanted to expand on. Knowing that Security First specialized in those matters, a dialogue was started and the merger went through a month ago.
“We couldn’t be happier with it,” Siegel said. “Their skills really strengthen us and take us to a higher level.”
Siegel and Corbett had sold Eastern Insurance to Penn Millers just eight years earlier. Corbett, of Dallas, started his own insurance agency with offices in Nanticoke and Shavertown. Siegel stayed on with Eastern to oversee operations. The two decided to find an investment group and buy the company back earlier this year.
Alinikoff said the discussions started shortly after the group purchased Eastern in January.
Eastern has in excess of 30,000 accounts including a few hundred that were customers with First Security.