Property & Casualty Market Continues to Climb

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 12:00 am  

Floyd Morgan

First Arkansas wasn’t on last year’s list of the largest insurance agencies, but it should have been with more than $51 million in total premium written.

First Arkansas President Michael Carter told Arkansas Business last week that it looks like the beginning of a hard market for commercial lines, which means rates will rise.

“Different companies are trying to get rates, and depending on competition, that’s not always working for them,” Carter said.

Carter said First Arkansas’ growth during the past few years has come from its life and health side.

Most of the firm’s life and health premium written is for commercial employee benefits, voluntary benefits and life and health lines for commercial companies.

“We’re still sitting back waiting to see what Obamacare is going to do to that side of the business,” he said. “I’m not sure anyone really knows at this point.”

Carter said the company is focusing “on organic growth as opposed to purchasing another agency somewhere in the state.”

It has offices in Hot Springs, Hot Springs Village, Dumas and Fayetteville.

Dropping off this year’s list is Town & Country Insurance Agency Inc. of Jonesboro. It was owned by Liberty Bancshares Inc. of Jonesboro, the parent company of Liberty Bank of Arkansas. Last month, Home BancShares Inc. of Conway completed its purchase of Liberty.

“We came with the purchase,” said Floyd Morgan, who is now the agency manager for the firm, which now goes by Centennial Insurance.

He said being branded as Centennial Insurance “opens a lot of doors [for] a lot of opportunity for growth.”

He said it was too early to say what the growth opportunities might be for the company. Town & Country’s name changed on Oct. 24.



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