Higginbotham Enters Kentucky by Combining With the Underwriters Group, Inc.

The Louisville Insurance Broker Becomes a Higginbotham Partner

Higginbotham, one of the largest independent insurance firms in the U.S., and The Underwriters Group, Inc., a U.S. Top 100 Broker in Louisville, KY, have joined forces. Both firms provide full-scale commercial and personal insurance, employee benefits and human resource solutions. The deal adds additional states to Higginbotham’s expanding presence across the southeast region of the U.S.

Higginbotham is strategically growing by partnering with independent insurance firms that complement its service model and add scale to its operation, which now spans 13 states. With 75 employees, The Underwriters Group, Inc. services the insurance, risk management and employee benefits needs of customers and brings expertise in construction, architects and engineers, dealerships, finance and insurance, distilleries, captives, manufacturing, employee stock ownership plans, excess workers’ compensation and self-funded benefit plans to the Higginbotham platform.

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Founded to serve the underground mining industry, today The Underwriters Group, Inc. is a leader in complex and high hazard risk exposures, prioritizing customer service and innovative solutions in risk management and loss prevention. Joining forces with Higginbotham and gaining access to its expanded loss control and employee benefit support services gives The Underwriters Group, Inc. even more horsepower to serve its clients, employees and community.

The Underwriters Group, Inc., insurance agency is one of three subsidiaries included in the transaction. Also joining Higginbotham are Underwriters Services Corporation, a third party administrator for self-funded benefit plans, and Employment Dispute Resolution Systems, LLC, a provider of alternative dispute resolution programs for employment agreements. The privately held firm principals are brothers Stuart and Scott Ferguson and the late Bruce Ferguson Sr, who represent the third generation of management of the 80-year-old firm. The brothers spun off their managed care and workers’ compensation TPA subsidiaries in a separate transaction.

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In a joint statement, Stuart and Scott Ferguson said, “The similarities in our core values and the commitment to both client services and employees brought us together. We like the ‘can-do’ attitude and the inclusiveness of all employees being eligible to participate in ownership and be rewarded by the firm’s growth. We are pleased to merge our equity with Higginbotham and are excited about the future for our clients, our associates and our combined firm. The Underwriters Group and Higginbotham match up well and the future is bright.”

Higginbotham Chairman and CEO Rusty Reid said, “This partnership brings together two insurance brokers listed among the top 100 in the nation, and our combined strength will give us an even greater competitive advantage as we make our foray into Kentucky with such a well-established local firm. But more than size and competency, it’s their culture of service that makes us a good match. We put people first, whether it’s our customers, employees or communities.”

Higginbotham named Stuart Ferguson a managing partner and Scott Ferguson and Bruce Ferguson, Jr managing directors, and they will continue leading their existing offices as The Underwriters Group, Inc., A Higginbotham Partner, while forging growth opportunities in the Southeast region with Higginbotham.

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