Back in the early 1990's, one of our computer programmers
talked endlessly about a new method of communicating that would (in
his words) someday revolutionize business.
Though none of us had heard much about this concept, he was
passionate and determined to persuade us to make a small
investment that would (he was convinced) yield a large
return at a later date. The technology was the
Internet, and he was asking us to spend the modest amount of
money needed to secure the web address www.guard.com.
Since we placed a lot of faith in him (if not yet in the
idea), we followed his advice, reaped many benefits, and
had the wisdom of this message reinforced many times:
listen to your people!
Luckily, we learned this lesson early.
Just before the turn of the century, someone said, "If we could just stop
handling all this paper, think of the time, money,
all-around waste, AND TREES we could save!" After the
initial laughter subsided (because we are, after all, an
insurance company), we set about eliminating our paper, reducing our expenses,
and increasing our productivity enough to enter a half dozen
new states without a commensurate growth in staff.
Now that we are totally electronic, we know who has had
the last laugh!
These stories have several morals that reflect upon our
We recognize that some of the best, most important ideas
come from the people doing the daily work of the company
so we maintain an open-door policy.
We understand that different, "outside-the-box" concepts
should never be ignored, especially those that are held
most passionately by a member of our staff.
We value technology and have generally been on the edge
We appreciate the need to plan ahead and position ourselves
for the future.
We are receptive to change.
We expect to grow and be successful, and we are confident
in our ability to overcome obstacles that stand in our way.
GUARD is an organization built upon the combined efforts
and hard work of many talented individuals committed to
excellence. We issued our first policy in 1983.
At that time, we had one insurance company subsidiary
which was licensed in one state (Pennsylvania), had
about 15 employees, and issued Workers' Compensation
policies with a total premium of $680,000. Today,
we have four insurance companies and write business
throughout the country. In 2013,
approximately 300 employees wrote 73,000 policies for $502 million in premium. To accommodate this growth, the GUARD Complex in downtown
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, has expanded from a portion of one building to four,
and we have added several smaller satellite offices.
Our unique culture and work environment have been critical to
our success. Being named the #2 Best Place to Work in PA
among larger companies in a process based in large part upon
is both a measure of the mutual respect that exists and the
excitement of helping to build a young company.