ADVERTISEMENT

Geico Corp., one of the nation’s largest auto insurers, seeks to add more than 500 new jobs to its Amherst operations center as it targets and serves more customers in New Jersey and New England.

Geico wants to hire “as many qualified applicants as we can get” for its sales, customer service and claims operations, as well as for its Geico Agency, said Kirk La, assistant vice president at the Amherst facility. The agency, a newer venture for the company, sells other companies’ insurance policies for lines of business that Geico doesn’t offer, such as homeowners or renter’s insurance.

“You name it. We have lots of opportunities for folks,” La said. “We’re growing.”

All employees in sales, service and claims roles must be licensed insurance agents or adjusters, but he said Geico will pay for the training and licenses. “We cover all of the training expenses,” he said.

The addition of the new jobs marks the latest success for Geico, which came to Western New York with great fanfare in 2004, promising to hire 2,500 workers for a new regional service center.

The Washington, D.C.-based insurer currently employs about 2,400 workers at its service center, located in Uniland Development Co.’s CrossPoint Business Park off North French Road and Millersport Highway.

The addition of the new jobs will bring that tally up to about 3,000. The $40 million, 251,000-square-foot facility can handle as many as 3,800 workers, La said. He said that more than half of the second floor of the facility is empty, giving it plenty of room to keep adding employees.

The Amherst operation services more than 1 million customers in New Jersey and all six New England states. The company is the No. 1 auto insurer in New Jersey and Connecticut and the second-largest in Vermont, but is fourth or fifth in the others. So executives see plenty of room for growing the company’s market share, even “in the states that we are No. 1,” La said.

“We’re going to keep hiring, so we’re looking for folks to keep coming through our doors and filling out an application,” he said. Interested applicants can go online to the company’s website, at www.geico.com, or visit the facility’s front lobby.

Founded in the 1930s as Government Employees Insurance Co., Geico is the nation’s largest direct-marketer of auto insurance, the third-largest auto insurer overall and 10th largest property and casualty insurer. The company has 27,000 employees in 12 regional offices nationwide, serving 11 million customers and insuring 17 million vehicles.

Geico is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which also owns The Buffalo News.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com