Gene Berger and Rick D'Aprile have started a new insurance company for the amusement industry. Based in San Antonio, Texas, Amusement Entertainment Risk Insurance Agency, (A.E.R.I.A.), officially opened shop March 14th, 2017. A.E.R.I.A. will provide midway liability, automobile, workman's compensation insurance, inland marine, (cargo), and excess liability insurance. "We are fully back in business to help people the way we always have for the last 30 years," says Berger.
Combined, Berger and D'Aprile have about 60 years of insurance experience. Berger started working in the insurance industry in the early 80s; he provided insurance for tow trucks and towing companies. Later, in the summer of 1985, he had the opportunity to interview with Allied Specialty Insurance Agency and was offered a job. Aft
er working with company for 10 years in Florida, he relocated to San Antonio, Texas where he resides today.
D'Aprile was working in the life insurance business starting since 1985. He interviewed with Allied Specialty Insurance Company in 1988 after hearing about insurance specializing in the amusement industry. During D'Aprile's high school and college summers he worked at an amusement park and fell in love with the business. So having an opportunity to work for an insurance agency specializing in the amusement industry was a good fit for him. D'Aprile became a Vice President of the company in 2000 and he was promoted to President of Allied in 20014, where he worked until 2014. Berger and D'Aprile both left Allied Specialty Insurance Agency in 2014, working in other facets of the insurance industry. This year, they returned to the service the industry with their new company.
During their time in the insurance industry, Berger and D'Aprile's admiration of the amusement business grew and played a role outside of their regular work. Berger once served as the President of the St. Louis chapter of the Showmen's League of America and D'Aprile just ended his term as President of the Miami chapter of the Showmen's League of America this past February. That love of the business helps them to understand the needs of their customers and they say that with this specialized knowledge and immersion in the business, they are best suited among their peers to work in the mobile amusement industry.
A.E.R.I.A is licensed in most states and Berger says that he and D'Aprile are working toward gaining licenses in the remaining jurisdictions. To get the word out about their new company, Berger and D'Aprile are pounding the pavement: they each have trips planned to visit fairs and carnival companies to talk to potential clients and ask them about their needs. D'Aprile and Berger are planning on attending future industry events and Gene also plans to attend the St. Louis Showmen's League Spring Dinner this year.
Following A.E.R.I.A.'s incorporation in mid March, the company welcomed its first two carnival clients. The company signed New Jersey based Campy's Blue Star Amusements followed by All County Amusements of Long Island, NY. Their first two customers under the new company have been friends and Berger and D'Aprile look forward to visiting with many of their long time colleagues and acquaintances in the near future.
According to Berger and D'Aprile, A.E.R.I.A.'s focus is their client-driven work ethic and integrity; "Our service and dedication to the client cannot be matched by any other company," says D'Aprile. A.E.R.I.A. assures quality of service; they are partnering with multiple A+ A.M. Best rated insurance companies so that all client needs can be met. "Rick and I just love the business. There's nothing else I'd rather do. I still want to be a part of it and I enjoy doing it," says Berger. A.E.R.I.A. is currently focusing on getting contacts in each state and talking to potential clients about amusement industry needs.