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Featured Agency: Independent Insurance Group

At Independent Insurance Group, it’s all about living out their values and keeping their priorities in order.

“We have created a culture of care,” says agency president Allen Sparks. “We make sure to do what we know is right. We put God first, our family second and our jobs third. We hold each other to high standards because we know our actions speak louder than our words.”

Living out these values permeates all they do. In business, Sparks says he constantly reminds his employees they are “comprehensive, professional insurance agents, not insurance peddlers.” This means providing their clients comprehensive coverage, not just the lowest price.

“We meet others where they are and try to get them where they want to be,” Sparks says. “We share lifelong relationships with our clients.”

Based in Dallas, Texas, Independent Insurance Group has been holding themselves to these values for more than 27 years. The agency began when four direct writers decided to form an independent agency. They focus on commercial insurance with a diverse clientele and have found their niche with trade contractors.

The agency encourages continuing education for their employees and local business owners. Each month, the agency holds informational seminars on topics including insurance, financial planning and tax issues. Over the past four years, Sparks estimates they have had more than 5,000 attendees. The agency transitioned to virtual seminars in the face of the pandemic.

Employees are also encouraged to volunteer regularly and are given opportunities to do so through the company.

Recently, the agency became part of First United Bank, an exciting venture that has allowed them to broaden their product offerings. In addition to commercial insurance, Independent Insurance Group now offers personal lines coverage, employee benefits and financial planning services.

“The Bank has really shown an interest in us,” Sparks says. “They send us their client’s insurance needs, and we’ve seen a lot of exciting growth that way.”

As Independent Insurance Group has continued to grow as an agency, so has their partnership with Columbia Insurance Group. Since 2016, they have seen steady growth year after year and became a Pinnacle Agency for the first time in 2020.

“With Columbia, from the bottom, up, every person we interact with is wonderful,” Sparks says. “Everyone has helped us become successful.”

By attending events held by Columbia’s Austin Branch, Sparks appreciates the chance for fun ways to get to know Columbia and the local competition. Along the way, he’s been particularly grateful for the relationship he’s built with Territory Manager John Moreland.

“I have really enjoyed our partnership with Independent Insurance Group,” Moreland says. “They work hard and meet the goals we set each year, and now, after 5 years, we are proud they are one of our valued Pinnacle Agencies. Their culture and company values closely mirror ours, so we are a good match for each other. One value we both agree on is we like to have fun.”

With steady growth and a whole lot of fun, both Columbia and Independent Insurance Group are looking forward to more years of working together.