Featured Agency: USI-Oklahoma

Featured Agency: USI-Oklahoma

Fire: It is the start of so many stories in the insurance industry. Yet, for Larry Brown, the president and principal agent at USI-Oklahoma, there are actually two fires that shape his choices today. 

The first was a 3 a.m. house fire. The fast-moving flames required Brown’s client to rescue his daughter, who was trapped on the second story. 

After the initial shock, Brown received a call, “Am I covered?” Brown felt terrible. “You never want a client to walk out and wonder if they have coverage.” 

He was helping his client transition to a new carrier for better rates and service. That afternoon Brown discovered that due to an error in communication, his client was actually double insured.

Brown, who started his insurance career as an underwriter, sorted through the mess. He advocated for his client and finessed the situation until both carriers agreed to work together. “Being an underwriter first, I knew that small details matter. You have to be very, very careful about what you do and how you do it.”

The second fire was more personal. Lightning hit the beautiful family home the Browns built and burned it to the ground. “It was two years and two days to the day after it was finished being built,” Brown said. “But it made me a better, more compassionate agent. It helps me give people better advice today because they know I have lived through it.”

That compassion and dedication to relationships is what sets USI-Oklahoma apart. “We are very much about our clients, whether it is a $300 personal liability with six-months coverage or a million-dollar oil client, we work with them on a personal level. We get to know them and treat them with the personal respect and courtesy they deserve.”

Building connections is part of a 100-year-old legacy that Brown is proud to carry on. USI-Oklahoma was originally founded in 1921 by James S. Overman, to serve the small-town community of Cleveland, Oklahoma.

Overman Insurance was owned and operated by family members until Brown purchased it in 1995. Under his leadership, the agency has grown in volume from $2 million to $15.3 million. There are now four locations serving customers in a wide range of industries from oil and gas to logging and trucking. To help even more customers find the right partner, Overman Insurance Agency merged with USI in January 2022.

Byron Smith, a regional vice president at Columbia Insurance Group, said he’s excited to help USI-Oklahoma achieve that goal. “Our organizations have enjoyed a longstanding and mutually prosperous relationship. Even though I have only worked with USI-Oklahoma a few years, it’s clear they serve their clients with extraordinary care and compassion,” Smith said. “I am excited to watch USI-Oklahoma build on their success.”

Those long-term connections are why Brown likes working with Columbia. “The relationships and our communication that is open, honest and truthful,” he said. “I talk with a lot of Columbia agents in Oklahoma, and I hear the same thing: you deliver that every day. Columbia’s people are its strength, and I hope that continues.”