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Behind the List with Rance Block of Block Insurance Agency Inc.Expanding services and stimulating the economy

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Rance Block, president of Block Insurance Agency Inc. in South Whitehall Township. The business has been family owned since its founding.
Rance Block, president of Block Insurance Agency Inc. in South Whitehall Township. The business has been family owned since its founding. - (Photo / )

Keeping up-to-date insurance for your business or home is imperative.

Throughout the Greater Lehigh Valley, there are many agencies designed to work closely with you to find the best solutions for your insurance needs.

Here to answer this week’s “Behind the List” questions is Rance Block, president of Block Insurance Agency Inc. in South Whitehall Township.

Lehigh Valley Business: How long has Block Insurance Agency Inc. been operating in the region and what are its primary services?

Rance Block: Block Insurance Agency Inc., an independent insurance agency, was established in 1952 by my father, Harold Block. Our office was located at Ninth and Walnut streets in downtown Allentown.

In 1965, we relocated to our current location at 2333 W. Highland St. in South Whitehall Township.

Our agency offers all types of insurance for both business and personal clients, with the exception of health insurance, and represents many fine insurance carriers.

LVB: What have been some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that Block Insurance Agency Inc. has encountered throughout its years in business?

Block: Back in the early days through the early 1990s, the Lehigh Valley was a magnet for clothing manufacturers and we insured many of them. As time passed, these factories began closing up, leaving us a big void in our operation.

We had to look for new opportunities to replace this lost business. We decided to expand our offerings to include selling life, disability and long-term care insurance, which opened up all kinds of opportunities for us, along with continuing to write our core business and personal lines coverages.

LVB: With rules and regulations constantly changing, how does Block Insurance Agency Inc. position itself to manage these changes and stay current on the newest trends?

Block: We are members of the IA&B (Insurance Agents & Brokers) organization, which is very involved in insurance education and regulation. The IA&B offers a wide range of courses and webinars to keep us updated on the new changes and coverage being offered in the industry.

In addition, most of our carriers offer training and webinars on their company-specific offerings.

We also subscribe to industry publications which keep us up-to-date on trends in the industry. To maintain a Pennsylvania Insurance License, all licensed employees must take 24 hours of approved continuing education credit courses every 24 months.

LVB: How does Block Insurance Agency Inc. directly stimulate the local economy? How does it get involved with the local community?

Block: We purchase our office products, including automobiles, from local businesses.

I, myself, am very involved as a volunteer with a number of nonprofit organizations and institutions in the Lehigh Valley. I volunteer at the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley, Temple Beth El, Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, Kutztown University and the Parkland High School marching band, to name a few.

In each of these organizations, I have assumed leadership roles, which I very much enjoy doing.

Having lived in our community all of my life, I care very much about it and want to make sure it continues to be successful for the next generation and beyond.

LVB: What does the future look like for Block Insurance Agency Inc.?

Block: I am very excited about our future. We have been serving the Lehigh Valley community and beyond for the past 65 years. I have had the privilege of working with my father and grandfather, along with a very dedicated staff.

We treat our clients like family, and they reward us with referrals. We have excellent markets to accommodate unique risks and know how to get the job done for our clients. We have the respect of our clients and our carriers.

Indeed, our future is bright.

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Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland is a researcher for Lehigh Valley Business and blogs on arts and entertainment in the region.

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