Recent reports of the acquisition of Lebanon-based insurer Hoaster Gebhard & Co. by Michigan-based High Street Insurance Partners are, in a way, greatly exaggerated.

“It’s more of a partnership,” Hoaster Gebhard president Chris Gebhard told LebTown on Wednesday. “It’s not all that exciting. Nothing is changing.”

According to coverage on Tuesday from BizNewsPA, “Hoaster has been acquired by High Street Insurance Partners, a Michigan-based firm that has been buying up independent brokerages. Terms of the transaction, the fourth this year for High Street, were not disclosed.”

High Street Insurance Partners, in a release, said it was expanding its operations into Lebanon “with a new partnership” with the local brand.

State Senator Chris Gebhard is also president of Hoaster Gebhard & Co., which recently announced a partnership with a much larger insurance agency. (File photo)

Hoaster Gebhard & Co., which operates at 719 Quentin Road, Lebanon, provides auto, home, business, and life insurance to the region. Gebhard, who also serves as the state senator representing the 48th legislative district (Lebanon County and parts of Berks and Lancaster counties), joined the century-old insurance agency in 2000.

Gebhard said he will remain president of Hoaster Gebhard and will continue “making the decisions.”

“The benefit to us is we now can access a whole lot of resources from a big organization,” he explained. “We have resources, and we can act like a big company, but everything is run at the local level. You don’t lose any of your small-town DNA.”

Partnerships such as this between big and small companies are becoming more common, Gebhard said.

“It’s a trend that we’re seeing across our industry,” he said. “You still have all of the local control. … There are benefits to being big, and there are benefits to being small.”

The name Hoaster Gebhard & Co. will remain the same, Gebhard added, and customers won’t see any changes in local operations.

Since its founding in 2018, according to BizNewsPA, High Street Insurance Partners “has acquired more than 160 insurance brokerages and generally keeps them operating under their existing names.” High Street is backed by Abry Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm.

In a statement, Gebhard said the local agency is “excited what this partnership will bring to our clients. High Street’s industry expertise and resources will be invaluable as our team looks to expand our client-focused services across Central Pennsylvania and beyond.”

The press release from High Street Insurance Partners notes that Hoaster Gebhard & Co. “is a community-focused independent insurance agency that has built an excellent reputation supporting individuals and businesses in the local community for over 100 years. Hoaster Gebhard’s Property & Casualty expertise for business insurance is enhanced through the offering of tailored risk management and risk mitigation solutions across multiple industries.”

“Hoaster Gebhard’s community-based culture fits the mold of what we look for in our partner agencies,” High Street founder and CEO Scott Wick said in a statement, “and their expertise in crafting risk management strategies for businesses across Pennsylvania and beyond make them an excellent addition to our Northeast region.”

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Tom has been a professional journalist for nearly four decades. In his spare time, he plays fiddle with the Irish band Fire in the Glen, and he reviews music, books and movies for Rambles.NET. He lives with his wife, Michelle, and has four children: Vinnie, Molly, Annabelle and Wolf.


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