An interview with Long Island’s veteran insurance agent, Tony Salvaggio, the owner of Twin Forks Insurance, after its recent relocation to Bellport, New York.
Question: So how did you get into the insurance industry?
Actually, I was lucky to have had a great guidance counselor at Brentwood High School back in the 70s. I enrolled in a work-study program and received my Bachelors of Business Administration degree in 1978 from the College of Insurance, which is now a part of St. John’s University.
Thereafter, I worked for several years for General Accident Insurance Company and then, for Aetna (which was eventually bought out by Travelers). In 1993, I co-founded an insurance company with a partner and enjoyed 17 years in Islip Terrace, New York.
I opened Twin Forks Insurance, in 2010 and relocated to beautiful Bellport in November, 2016.
Question: What brought Twin Forks Insurance to Bellport, New York?
To be honest, after over 20 years in the Islip Terrace area, it was a little hard to move. The people were wonderful and because of their loyalty we still service those clients. But with our building on the service road of Sunrise Highway, I always felt something was missing in really connecting to the community on a different level.
Because I live out east on the North Fork, the idea of moving Twin Forks Insurance to a small-town atmosphere a bit further east on Long Island was really appealing. When I found an office building in Bellport—right in the middle of the bustling town– it just felt like the right fit. And it is.
Question: What makes Twin Forks Insurance special?
I’m very fortunate that my two sons have joined me in the business. Brett, 25, is a Personal Lines CSR and Anthony, 31, is the Commercial Lines Manager.
I’m proud of the hard work the entire Twin Forks Insurance team does on behalf of our customers and the way everybody gets along so well personally and professionally.
Beyond our quality staff, what makes us special is our continued accessibility to and relationships with our customers. Unlike a massive and faceless insurance conglomerate, we are there when our customers call for advice and we pride ourselves on our ability to handle hard-to-place insurance. The agency writes both business insurance and personal insurance customers, including life insurance.
Question: So what do you like to do when you’re not working?
Like many Long Islanders, I enjoy vegetable gardening in the warmer months. Living on the North Fork of Long Island, known as a wine destination, I planted grape vines about 10 years ago and tried my hand at winemaking which keeps me pretty busy. In the winter, I like to ski and tackle various home projects.
Question: Without naming names, can you talk about a particularly memorable claim?
Well, one of the things I’ve always liked about being an insurance agent was being involved in people’s lives. I enjoy protecting them, but doing so at affordable prices so they would have money left to go out and enjoy their life.
As for a memorable claim, I actually can name a name here without any privacy issues. It’s Sandy, as in Hurricane Sandy. But it wasn’t just one claim that stands out. When Sandy hit, we were in the Islip area, a relatively short distance from so many customers along the South Shore whose lives were impacted by flood damage.
In response to the unprecedented devastation, approximately 300 storm-related homeowners’ insurance claims were logged. My team worked tirelessly, making sure each and every customer was satisfied and that nobody fell through the cracks. We also got involved to help them get FEMA aid. So for us, it’s not just selling–it’s being there when it’s time to make a claim.
With over 30 years in the insurance business, Tony Salvaggio and the team at Twin Forks Insurance can help you with your personal and business insurance needs. Call us at 631-224-1000 or toll-free at 1-888-455-2880 for a free, no obligation comparison quote or to discuss purchasing a new policy.
From our offices in Bellport New York, we serve individual and business customers throughout Long Island, New York City, and in the Tri-State area and we look forward to welcoming you to the Twin Forks Insurance family.