Core Insurance, Insurance Technology
PR Newswire | August 21, 2023
The team from Houston's Iscential, a premier independent insurance agency, risk management and financial services firm, has joined forces with Fort Worth's Higginbotham, the largest independent insurance, financial and HR services firm headquartered in Texas and one of the top firms in the country. This strategic move allows access to enhanced services for Iscential clients and adds a second Houston team to the Higginbotham roster.
As Higginbotham celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, Chairman and CEO Rusty Reid continues looking toward the next milestone. Reid champions strategic growth for the company by bringing aboard agencies and teams that enjoy strong reputations in their local markets and share the same energy, culture, values, and commitment to service as Higginbotham.
"Iscential fits perfectly into our national network of firms," Reid declared. "I could not be more pleased to bring them into the fold. They are a firm with impressive growth and an incredible reputation for client service. Our partnership with Iscential will allow both of us to better provide enhanced services to our clients for years to come."
Warren Barhorst, CEO of Iscential, also looked to the future as he searched for a company that could bring long-term organizational continuity to the business he founded 30 years ago. But his search was complicated by what he found in the marketplace.
"There were a lot of agencies to choose from," said Barhorst. "But when we started taking a closer look, we realized that so many companies are driven by stock price rather than customer and employee care, and they're not run by insurance people.
"Then we looked at Higginbotham," Barhorst continued. "Not only do they have the long-term, proven performance we needed, but they also have the right culture. They're employee-owned. They're sales-driven and customer-focused. And best of all — they're run by insurance people. With Higginbotham, we found a partner that values what we've built, values our culture and associates, and wants more than a financial transaction."
Barhorst noted that he was particularly excited to now be able to offer Higginbotham's wide array of services to Iscential clients: "When we looked at the Higginbotham services, there was no question — they've done what we were trying to do on a smaller scale, and they've done it right."
Reid elaborated, "At Higginbotham, we've strategically and diligently built the in-house services for risk management, benefit plan administration, HR services, and more, and we're looking forward to offering these solutions to Iscential clients."
"Despite the obvious benefits, the decision to team up with Higginbotham was surprisingly emotional," Barhorst concluded. "Higginbotham kept telling us it'll be business as usual, and they were right. Except they're enabling me to refocus on the parts of the business I love most. If you're a baker and you like to bake, you want to make cookies. You don't want to sit at your desk alone doing paperwork. Today, I got to make the insurance version of cookies: I got to be back with clients all day long."
Dowling Hales acted as exclusive financial advisor to the sellers in this transaction.
Iscential is an independent insurance agency, risk management and financial services firm dedicated to helping individuals, families and businesses protect their most valuable assets. One of the largest writers of Nationwide property and casualty insurance in the country, Iscential was founded in 1993 by current CEO Warren Barhorst and his wife. With roots planted in Houston, Iscential has grown to encompass over 140 associates and is licensed in over 38 states. Visit iscential.com for more information.
Employee owned and customer inspired, Higginbotham is a single source solution for insurance, financial and HR services. The firm was established in 1948 and ranks by revenue as the nation's 21st largest independent insurance firm. Serving thousands of businesses and individuals through locations coast-to-coast, Higginbotham's approach to finding insurance, employee benefit and risk management solutions is more individual and less institutional. By understanding customer priorities, eliminating inefficiencies and committing to transparency, Higginbotham is a place that leads with values so value leads. Visit higginbotham.com for more information.
Core Insurance, Insurance Technology
PR Newswire | August 07, 2023
Today, NEXT Insurance, a leading digital small business insurer, announced it is expanding its insurance offerings for small businesses with the launch of commercial umbrella/excess liability in 41 states, and the expansion of liquor liability coverage in 7 additional states. Commercial umbrella/excess liability insurance includes the same coverage, conditions, and exclusions as its underlying general liability policy, and provides coverage when that policy's per-occurrence or aggregate limits are exhausted. This expansion will be launched on a direct and agents channel, furthering NEXT's commitment to customers while providing the best possible experience for agents.
NEXT's umbrella/excess liability coverage will sit over customers' general liability policies and provide higher limits for coverage offered in that policy, ensuring small businesses can get the protection they need from a potentially catastrophic loss due to a lawsuit. Customers will be able to add this optional coverage to a general liability policy post-purchase to easily modify their insurance needs as their business needs continue to grow. Often, umbrella/excess liability coverage is required due to a contractual obligation, like a new construction client requiring higher limits on general liability to take on a project, or moving operations to a new building and a landlord requires an umbrella/excess liability policy. With this expansion, instead of needing to call to make policy changes, customers can now self-serve, adding umbrella/excess liability coverage to their policy in the Customer Portal, providing them the tools to tailor their coverage to satisfy new insurance requirements instantly.
NEXT is also furthering its commitment to restaurant small business owners with the expansion of liquor liability coverage to 7 additional states including Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Missouri, Minnesota, Utah, and Iowa. Liquor liability is a crucial protection for small businesses that manufacture, sell, or serve alcoholic beverages. Available as a part of NEXT's general liability coverage, NEXT's liquor liability covers losses resulting from the intoxication of customers and is designed for small businesses such as cafés, diners, pop-up restaurants, and fine dining.
On the launch of umbrella/excess liability coverage, Jack Ramsey, NEXT Insurance Vice President of Agent Business, shares:
"We're launching umbrella/excess liability coverage to help entrepreneurs thrive. As businesses grow, their liability insurance needs change, and as a carrier, we want to make sure we're able to continue to support our customers' growth. We're confident that this highly-requested umbrella/excess liability offering will address the demand we've seen from both customers and agents who require this coverage for contractual obligations, and we are excited to be able to offer this expansion ourselves with the aim of being a one-stop-shop for our small business customers."
This news follows NEXT's integration with Ivans Download™ for General Liability and Workers' Compensation policies, and the recent strategic hire of Jack Ramsey as the company's Vice President of Agent Business. NEXT is doubling down on its commitment to the needs of agents and customers alike by quickly iterating and reacting to feedback, providing an unparalleled digital experience to help them thrive and expand their business.
About NEXT Insurance
NEXT Insurance is transforming small business insurance with simple, digital and affordable coverage tailored to the self-employed. Trusted by over 480,000 business owners, NEXT offers policies that are easy to buy and provides 24/7 access to Live Certificates of Insurance, additional insured, and more, with no extra fees. Revolutionizing a historically complicated insurance industry, NEXT utilizes AI and machine learning to simplify the purchasing process and provide more affordable coverage. Founded in 2016, the company is headquartered in Palo Alto, has received a total of $881 million in venture capital funding, is rated "A- Excellent" by AM Best and has been recognized by CNBC Disruptor 50, Forbes Fintech 50, Inc.'s Best-Led Companies, and Forbes Best StartUp Employers. For more information, visit NEXTInsurance.com.
Core Insurance, Risk Management
Newswire | July 25, 2023
ALKEME, a Top 50 Insurance Brokerage, announced the acquisition of the Paul Kinan Insurance Group and Wiggins Farha Insurance Group, both full-service insurance agencies operating out of Placentia, California, and Wichita, Kansas, respectively.
Tracing its roots back to 1986, Paul Kinan Insurance Group has a long track record of success in Southern California built on its strong customer service philosophies. The company provides a wide variety of property and casualty insurance solutions to individuals, families and businesses.
Wiggans Farha Insurance Group is an independent insurance agency serving the state of Kansas and the Midwest region as a subsidiary of Paul Kinan Insurance Group.
"Paul Kinan Insurance Group and Wiggans Farha add more industry-leading insurance brands to our growing platform" said Curtis Barton, CEO of ALKEME. "They have an amazing, highly experienced team and an approach to customer service that fit in perfect with the ALKEME culture."
"We are excited to join forces with a national-scale partner to expand the resources and capabilities of our group," said Paul Kinan and Greg Locy of Paul Kinan Insurance Group and Wiggans Farha, respectively. "As the insurance industry is changing every day, it made perfect sense to take advantages of the many benefits we can pass along to our clients by working with ALKEME."
ALKEME helps insurance brokerages realize sustainable growth and success through the creative use of innovation, shared services, consultation, and marketing. Our proven methodology, unmatched expertise, and externally validated results have quickly propelled us into the top-50 privately held insurance agencies in the U.S. Partners across the country rely on ALKEME's proven platform coupled with experience, resources, and long-term perspective to help them realize sustainable growth and success in a rapidly modernizing insurance world. Based in Ladera Ranch, California, and backed by GCP Capital Partners, ALKEME serves thousands of clients with a wide range of offerings including P&C, Benefits, Surety, Risk and Wealth Management.