Gebhardt Insurance Group

Oscar Perez/PinalCentral

Gebhardt Insurance Group

CASA GRANDE — The COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on many small businesses last year and this, including Gebhardt Insurance Group.

Stephen Gebhardt said employees worked from home during the shutdown in March of last year and returned to work wearing masks in May.

Gebhardt also knew that some of his customers’ small businesses were feeling the pinch from the shutdown, which is why he started two Facebook groups, Casa Grande-Maricopa Takeout and Delivery, which currently has nearly 6,000 members, and Go Grande, which currently has more than 12,000 members.

Gebhardt said he created the groups to draw attention to, support and encourage other people to support local small businesses. Both groups featured local sales, deals and events by local businesses during the lockdown and continue to do so.

Gebhardt also has thousands of Facebook fans who like to watch the live video feed from several cameras he has posted at intersections around town. He originally installed the cameras to draw attention to the city’s busiest intersections but the footage has also helped motorists provide proof of what happened in an accident.

“I wanted to help the community if something went wrong,” he said. The Casa Grande Police Department even watches the feed to keep an eye on emergency situations.

Gebhardt said it’s just part of his way of treating everyone — employees, customers and the community — like family. He and his group again have been voted as finalists for multiple categories in the Greatest of the Grande contest.

Gebhardt has been providing a variety of home, life, auto, business, renters and medical insurance products to the Casa Grande community for just over a decade. He started in the insurance business in 2003 after helping a man find begonias in the garden department at Home Depot. The man suggested that Gebhardt had the skills to do well in the insurance business.

Gebhardt eventually left Home Depot to work as an insurance agent for a local company. He worked for the company for a few years before leaving to start his own company, in 2008.

His company offers 53 different kinds of insurance products. He is very particular in the agents he hires and trains for his business. He believes that both his customers and his employees should be treated like family.

He said the hardest part of his business is finding the right employees. The kind who really care about customers first and are willing to go the extra mile to make sure the customer understands the insurance they have.

“We really do care,” he said. “I am available anytime by cellphone. I’m always here to help.”

He expanded the business last year by opening a new office in Maricopa, which he said is doing very well. They also started offering customers help with signing up for and finding the right Medicare plan.

Some other changes that have been made to the insurance industry include car insurance companies that offer coverage based on the mileage a person drives rather than a flat rate and homeowner’s insurance that covers a flat amount, say up to $5 million, for any damage that is covered by the policy, instead of specific amounts for certain repairs.

The best way for someone to find an insurance policy that meets their home, life, auto, business or rental needs is to come visit with one of his office’s many agents, Gebhardt said.

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Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa is a reporter covering the city of Casa Grande and the surrounding area, as well as Central Arizona College. She can be reached at sadams@pinalcentral.com.