Harbor Insurance forms from buyout of 2 insurers

Mar 4, 2009

Treasure Coast Palm–March 3, 2009

By Jim Turner

FORT PIERCE – National City Insurance Group, with four locations from Port St. Lucie to Palm Bay, along with Florida Consolidated Agency in Palm Beach County, have been purchased by a former employee of the Cleveland-based bank, which has merged with PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

The company will be named Harbor Insurance, which has been the corporate name of National City Insurance since National City acquired Fort Pierce-based Harbor Federal Bank in 2006.

The move will close four offices and eliminate about 10 jobs.

Tom Cook, who was part of a company downsizing in March 2008 when he was president of National City Insurance Group, Inc., purchased National City Insurance Group and Florida Consolidated Agency in Palm Beach County. The purchase price was not available.

“Our focus going forward is to create a nimble company that is well-equipped to serve its customers,” Cook stated in a release. “Our customers expect value and quality, and they will continue to receive it.”

The new company already has closed its Palm Bay office and merged the three Florida Consolidated offices in Palm Beach County into a single location in West Palm Beach. The two employees at the Palm Bay office were let go, as were three in Fort Pierce.

Florida Consolidated Agency was the insurance branch of West Palm Beach-based Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust, which National City acquired in 2007.

The company now employs about 30 people.

David G. Willbur, who was the regional manager of National City Insurance and will now serve as a president and manage the commercial lines of the Treasure Coast locations, said other than having fewer offices, the changes should be seamless for customers.

“We got a lot of good experience with a large corporation and that will allow us to be a better smaller insurance agency,” Willbur said. “We’ll be able to make changes and do some technology things quicker than we otherwise would have been able to do.”

Cook, who was president and CEO of Acordia of Northeast Ohio prior to working for National City Insurance Group, advised employees of the changes during visits to each office three weeks ago. He also spent nine years with Progressive Insurance Company.