Sometimes, our early beginnings tell the most about us as the years pass. Baron Insurance Group (b.i.g.) started small, like many organizations, deeply rooted in our community. March of 1965 was the birth year of the company– in the home of a noted educator at Manheim Central schools, who taught full time and sold Erie Automobile insurance part time. Ralph Paine Insurance was how the agency initially was known.
As Erie Insurance began to diversify into other product lines, it needed someone full time to handle the additional opportunities. The agency was sold and became Mervin B Brandt Insurance. During this time, the agency location moved from Hershey Drive to Hossler Road. Then, in 1978, it moved to 20 E High St. Manheim PA – where we are happily ensconced to this day.
Keeping its customers foremost allowed the business to grow and prosper. It needed more people to take it to another level, and John Kegarise became a partner in the agency in 1992. Four years later, in January he purchased the agency from Mervin Brandt and re-named it Baron Insurance Group.
Why such a royal name? Baron Insurance Group was named after the founder of the town of Manheim, Henry William Stiegel, who in 1762, purchased the land where Manheim is located. Due to his German ancestry, his initial industrial success, and his living on a scale more elaborate than his plain neighbors, Henry William Stiegel was known as “Baron”. To this day, he is referred to as Baron Stiegel in conversation.
Baron Insurance Group has grown each year. Our name pays homage to our local roots, but we serve clients as far as Philadelphia to the East and Blair County to the West. Technology allows us to assist far-flung customers just as well as those who walk the same local streets as we do.
The finest qualities of the founder of Manheim were hard work, organizational strength, and benevolence. He cared deeply for his family, community, and had a strong faith and commitment to God. At b.i.g., we have similar aspirations as we go about our daily tasks. Doing our very best to serve our clients and the companies we represent is a motivation that has its roots in a higher calling and purpose.
We believe that sets us apart and that you will find it refreshing to do business with us. That’s b.i.g!