These are the times that try insured souls (see this week’s cover story), but the insurers who cover them are blessed, by all accounts.
Case in point, the growing business at Haymond Insurance of Searcy, Springdale and Marianna, where business has been booming.
“We’ve been blessed in every way,” company President Ralph Haymond said from Searcy. “Our agency in 2020 was a $40 million premium company. In 2021 it was $44 million, and now we’re at $48 million. A lot of that is that rates have changed, but business has been good.”
A good deal of the growth has been in trucking company insurance, a niche Haymond has filled for 30 years, and now the exclusive domain of his Marianna branch. “It’s big for us,” Haymond said. “Of the nearly $50 million in premiums we have right now, $18 million is in trucking.”
Greg Hatcher, CEO of The Hatcher Agency in Little Rock, wasn’t quite as specific with numbers, but he agreed. “Business is very good. Insurance is one of the few industries where you couldn’t really tell there was a COVID pandemic. In other words, people have to buy insurance. They have to buy groceries. We were blessed not to be affected too much.”
Andrew Meadors, CEO of Sunstar Insurance of Arkansas, emphasized his firm’s growth and acquisitions. “Yes, business has been good at Sunstar,” which is based in Memphis but has 90 employees at a dozen agency locations in Arkansas. “We have a private equity partner, Brown Brothers Harriman, which has been wonderful to work with, and we are buying insurance agencies where we see strategic fits. Sunstar Insurance Group has made 22 acquisitions in our 10-year history under the leadership of Casey Bowlin. We’ve grown the company from zero to $110 million revenue commissions in 10 years across six states. It’s a great story.