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Best Places to Work in Insurance 2013: Great American Insurance Group

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Best Places to Work in Insurance 2013: Great American Insurance Group

Health and wellness, as well as a focus on work-life balance, are paramount for Great American Insurance Group and its 4,496 employees.

The Cincinnati-based insurer offers two fitness centers at its headquarters, as well as fitness facilities at its satellite offices and discounts on gym memberships. Employees also receive rebates for participating in weight-loss and smoking-cessation programs, and Great American offers matching health care contributions for employees who complete biometric screenings as part of its wellness program.

For workers who aren't feeling well, Great American provides an on-site wellness center where employee can visit a nurse practitioner for medical checkups. A prescription concierge service delivers medications right to employees' desks.

“It's really been a great feature for pretty much everybody that's used it,” said Keith Seger, divisional vice president of operations in Great American's annuity division.

Employees say Great American has a generous paid-time-off program in which they are encouraged to take vacations. The company provides a flexible scheduling policy, employees say, which allows them to attend school events or take family members to doctor appointments.

“I wanted to be able to have a great career but also have a great career at home as a mom, and Great American has allowed me to do that,” said Shelly Gillis, senior vice president and chief administrative officer with American Financial Group Inc., the parent company of Great American.

Executives at Great American have an open-door policy that allows employees of all levels and seniority to talk with them. That open communication, as well as a general sense of camaraderie at Great American, helps employees understand and support the company's objectives.

“You really feel like you're working toward a common goal, and you understand how your contribution matters,” said Ashley Lurtey, senior production underwriter in Great American's property/casualty division.

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Education is promoted among Great American employees, who receive public recognition and financial rewards for completing insurance-specific certifications and classes. Young professionals also can participate in leadership development programs to build their careers within Great American.

“The focus on continuous learning and opportunities is something that continues to keep me motivated and enjoying working here everyday,” said Jessie Fleetwood, division vice president of human resources for Great American.

Great American aims to make work fun for its employees outside of business hours. Its annual holiday parties have included such performers as Tim McGraw, Harry Connick Jr. and Lionel Ritchie. Employees also can participate in an annual company baseball game at Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball team.