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For 75 Years, Griffith E. Harris Insurance Has Put People at the Center of Their Business

When Griffith E. Harris, Sr., founded his Greenwich, CT, insurance agency in 1946, he put personal service with integrity at the core of the company’s philosophy. Following in his father’s footsteps, 75 years later, Griff Harris, Jr., continues to give back personally and professionally through his significant involvement in local nonprofits and charitable organization in Greenwich. Harris sat down with Serendipity to discuss how his company’s philosophy has made his business flourish for 75 Years.

Your firm is a family business and an integral part of the community for two generations. How would you say that is reflected in your business?

Griffith E. Harris, Sr., was an active member of the Greenwich community, serving as first selectman and volunteering with a number of local nonprofits.

My father was born and raised in Greenwich.  He loved our town, in particular he loved Cos Cob, where he was raised. He was very active and involved. As a past First Selectman of Greenwich in the late ’50s and ’60s, Griff Sr. accomplished many significant improvements to our town. He spearheaded the creation of the golf course, the Cos Cob Marina and Quarry Knoll Senior Housing just to name a few.

My grandfather, his father, Sam Harris, was also very involved in local Greenwich government, like the Parks and Recreation Board and other volunteer organizations; so it’s a family culture, I guess. When he started the agency in 1946, giving back to the community through local government and nonprofits became an integral part of who he was and, therefore it became an integral part of the company’s identity.

I have dedicated a big part of my life towards volunteering and non-profit organizations in our community. I enjoyed serving on the Board of Directors for Meals on Wheels, United Way Development Committee, Lions Club, Sound Waters, Griff Harris Charity Golf Tournament, and the Greenwich Parks & Recreation Board. In addition, I really enjoyed coaching youth baseball and ice hockey for more than 25 Years.

 I think a lot of people want to do business with local firms who give back. A business niche of ours is handling insurance for nonprofit agencies like the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich and Meals on Wheels just to name a few.

Tell us about your company’s philosophy of “personal service with integrity.”

We start on the premise of being honest and altruistically motivated. Our clients’ needs come first. Additionally, we strive to create a client-first culture. I am very fortunate to have an amazing team of insurance professionals that consistently go above and beyond to provide our clients with a high level of personal service. When you call our office, you do not get an answering machine…ever. That’s a philosophy my dad believed in, and when I took over the agency in 1999, I made sure I maintained that level of customer service experience. 

As with all companies, advances and innovations are made over the years to adapt to changing needs of the community. How has your firm evolved?

Aside from increasing talent, technology and branding since 1999, one of the other elements that have dramatically shifted in our community is specialization for high-net-worth clients. Greenwich is a unique place in terms of successful people with significant assets: large homes, automobiles, second homes, third homes. We have established a special division for High Net Worth clients. Though we try to treat everybody like they are VIP, there is a certain level of personal assets and multi-faceted exposures that requires more significant risk management and insurance program implementation to properly manage their needs.

How would you describe your relationship with clients?

I love insurance. I am still having fun doing it. I avail myself to clients 24/7. My cell number is on my business card. If you are calling me on a Sunday night at midnight, it’s probably pretty important, and that is exactly the time that our clients needs a fast response to address their concern.


Griffith E. Harris Insurance of Greenwich
137 East Putnam Ave., Cos Cob, CT

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