Updated: Aug 4
Kiefer Insurance Agency has our backs, and our backsides covered. In our high fire-risk community, having a reliable and steadfast insurance partner is not only the most frequently sought-after service, but the value of the partnership is supported by the peace of mind it provides, especially during the summer months.
But there’s more to it than that. For two decades, John and Tonie Kiefer have been passionate supporters of our community. Stepping up once again for their 14th year as Platinum sponsors of the 49er Festival, the Kiefers are frequently found with their sleeves rolled up, pitching in to make the greater Groveland area more pleasant and desirable for all who choose to live, work, and vacation here, or dream of having their own little slice of our heaven.
One of the most challenging aspects of the local insurance business is simply the environment we choose to live in. The state of California has seen a dramatic increase in wildfires and the resulting destruction over the years has made the insurance industry make extensive precautionary changes to what conditions they will and will not accept to insure. This, and the high rates increases, have made it very difficult for many homeowners, not to mention the challenge for second home/short-term rental owners to locate affordable coverage.
We asked Kiefer Insurance Agency about their approach to the escalating costs of fire insurance in our area, particularly for potentially new clients.
“When we review our current clients’ policies, we look for ways to help reduce premiums, whether with higher deductibles, discounts or reduced coverage limits, says insurance veteran John Kiefer. “Some new clients have been quite surprised when we tell them that they are better off staying where they are.”
Kiefer adds that they still offer the suggestions mentioned as ways to help reduce overall premium costs. He adds, “We are always on the lookout for other insurance companies that are willing to write business in our area at affordable rates.”
While “Bundling” seems to be the popular catch-phrase on TV ads these days, Kiefer gives it to us straight. “Most companies offer "Bundling" as a cost incentive.” So, whether it’s Home/Auto/Life, Good Driver/Safe Driving, Senior Driver/Defensive Driver certificate,. Claim Free, 3.0 GPA for student/youthful drivers, bundling is always a good idea but not necessarily a unique benefit.
For many years, one of the 49er Festival’s most popular attractions has been John and Tonie Kiefer’s archery booth. This year, sadly, they are retiring from that event. Tonie Kiefer explains, “When teaching archery, we are in very close proximity and light contact with students. The lines and crowds that form for our annual "Archery Arcade" made this all but impossible due to CoVid.” She adds that they will look to bringing back the Archery Arcade when they are able to enjoy it without concerns for the physical proximity required. “We enjoy it almost as much as the shooters, who have ranged from 3 years old to 80,” says Tonie. “Many who thought they wouldn't be able to shoot an arrow, see that they can."
Little known fact about the Kiefers: They both enjoy upland bird hunting and while hunting out of state years ago, hunted behind a breed called Vizsla and fell in love with them. So much in fact, that they now own a few of these popular, good-natured pointing dogs. While they do occasionally breed their dogs, they choose to do it only when they believe the match will improve the breed. “All our dogs have hunt titles,” says Tonie. “It’s part of the fun to get out with other Vizsla owners and watch the dogs do what they were bred for.”
John and Tonie Kiefer found each other later in life and share similar passion for the mountains, the joy of hunting, and their dogs. Together, they have three furry children who require tremendous amounts of love and attention. But not so much that this pair doesn’t have time for their community, and we’re always curious about what drives that community spirit.
“We enjoy the 49er Festival and what it does for and brings to our community,” they said. “We want to ensure that our personal participation, and our ability to provide financial support through our sponsorships helps the Chamber keep the Festival free and offering a great day out for our community.” As business people, John and Tonie Kiefer are quick to mention that the popularity of the 49er Festival and associated visibility and advertising as major sponsors has helped bring Kiefer Insurance Agency to where it is today.
Sponsors since 2008, past winners of the 49er Festival Parade BEST FLOAT, and frequently found helping with participant registration, traffic control, downtown decorating, or you-name-it, Kiefer Insurance Agency always has our backs. When the 49er Festival was canceled at a late date in 2021, Kiefer Insurance Agency chose to reallocate the majority of their sponsorship credit not to this year’s Festival, but to the Chamber’s Downtown Highway 120 Beautification project, writing a new sponsorship check for 2022.
Businesses supporting our community. It doesn’t get better than this. Thank you, Kiefer Insurance Agency.
Look for John and Tonie on September 17 helping with the Parade and volunteering at other Festival activities.