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By Marcia Lane
Photo by Melissa Roby
The slogan for Herbie Wiles Insurance says it all: “The House That Trust Built.”
In 1961, Herbie Wiles formed his business as an independent insurance agent. He came into the business with experience, his father having been a State Farm agent beginning in the 1940s. However, after his father’s death, Herbie Wiles decided he was going to be an independent agent. By 1961, he had opened his own office in St. Augustine. Today, son Doug Wiles continues the business which bears his name.
“Dad started out using his only his name and elbow grease and a lot of hard work,” said Doug Wiles of his father.
“Our number one goal is just to do the best we can for the clients we have,” he says. The company’s employees keep that goal in mind as they make changes and update systems, looking for better ways to serve customers.
That customer service got a workout during recent hurricanes. While Hurricane Matthew brought a number of flood claims, the more recent Hurricane Irma saw more claims for wind damage. Part of what the agency could do for those customers was to educate them and help walk them through the process. In the aftermath of Irma, when customers started filing claims, many did it with a new confidence because they understood how the process worked, and that the Wiles’ staff was there for them.
The firm is involved in the community and enjoys taking part in it. In addition to his service within the local community, Doug Wiles served in the Florida House of Representatives for eight years.
“I think it’s important for all of us to give back when we can,” Doug Wiles said, noting how good St. Augustine has been to the families and staff. (They have over 35 employees) “It’s just the right thing to do.”
Incidentally, the two houses from which Herbie Wiles operated his business for so many years, are now at the Old Jail as part of the historic, on-site buildings. But, “The House That Trust Built” lives on, albeit in another location.
Herbie Wiles Insurance • 400 North Ponce De Leon Boulevard • (904) 829-2201