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About Our Agency

Serving Indiana and Chicagoland area for nearly 75 years.


In 1942, the Smith Insurance Agency was founded by the late Charles Smith in Hobart, Indiana. Over the years the agency has experienced steady growth and in 1986 formed a business relationship with the owners of Fleming, Bates & Barber Insurance of Crown Point. Each agency operated under separate corporations; but common ownership between the offices. Today, the Hobart operation is under the direction of Richard Smith who is the nephew of the late Charles Smith and the Crown Point office is under the direction of Mark Bates who is a nephew of a long-time retired partner Gordon Bates.

In 1946, Fleming, Bates & Barber Insurance, Inc., originally known as Fleming Farm Service of Crown Point, Indiana was founded by the late Bruce Fleming. Over the years, the agency has had several business partners and agency names. After 26 years of operating under two separate corporations, the current partners Mark Bates, Richard Smith and Jack Barber decided to consolidate the two entities of Smith Insurance Agency and Fleming, Bates & Barber and operate under a new agency name called Pinnacle Insurance Group. The consolidation of the corporations has the same owners and employees in each respective office. However, now allows simplification of agency operations, internal efficiencies and re-branding two long standing reputable agencies into one common agency name….Pinnacle Insurance Group.

Today, we continue to specialize in Commercial and Personal Insurance, Employee Benefits, Bonds, and Life Insurance. Over the years, our independent insurance agency and employees have been honored with awards such as the 1995 Agency of the Year award presented to us by the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana (IIAI). This prestigious honor recognizes our professionalism, ethics, and commitment to the community. Agency partner Rick Smith was awarded the Agent of the Year in 2009 by the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana. Agency partner, Mark Bates is a past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana which is the largest insurance trade association in the state of Indiana. Several of our past and current employees have been honored by IIAI as the Customer Service Representative of the Year by the association as well.









Pinnacle Insurance Group – We’re the Pinnacle!

Today, Pinnacle Insurance Group continues to expand its client base throughout Indiana and the Chicagoland area. We are proud of our licensed insurance professionals and their commitment to continuing education; expanding their knowledge in the insurance industry.

In July 2007, the agency became a partner in Keystone Insurers Group which is comprised of over 200 agencies throughout a five state area allowing us exclusive access to products and services unmatched in the insurance marketplace. We are part of the fifth largest agency in the country as ranked by Insurance Journal’s list of Top 100 Privately-Held Property and Casualty Agencies with an excess of $1.4 billion of written premium. This provides us the leverage and expertise to develop insurance and risk management programs to meet your needs.

We have our own risk management division called East Coast Risk Management to provide our clients a fee-based risk management analysis of their business with solutions to reduce their insurance cost through a sophisticated and disciplined approach. At some point, a client may have a serious claim and we are proud to have as an extension of our staff a full-time Claims Management Division for large complex losses. This division acts as our client’s claim advocate should a claim become quite extensive and they work at a very high-level with our insurance company partners on your behalf to ensure a fair claim settlement.

At Pinnacle Insurance Group we take pride in our dedication to the communities in which we live and serve our clients. We support a number of civic not-for-profit organizations, educational institutions, local businesses and other groups through volunteerism of employees and financial support throughout the region.

Our Locations

Pinnacle Ins Grp - Hobart

618 E Third St
Hobart, IN 46342
Main office: 219-942-1148

Pinnacle Ins Grp - Crown Point

216 E Joliet St
Crown Point, IN 46307
Main office: 219-663-2483

Our Providers


Pinnacle Insurance Group is always there to help and sometimes just listen. You see they are not just for insurance, they're part of my family. Just ask my wife and daughters where they get their insurance. Client since 1992.
Larry Granzow
The Smith Agency isn't interested in making short term profits on your account, but in developing a long term relationship with you. I have been extremely satisfied with the performance of the staff of the Smith Agency during my association with them.
Dr. Thomas Dykiel
The School City of Hammond has worked with Citizens Management and Rick Smith of Smith Insurance for several years in processing our workers comp claims. The service we receive is excellent.
Diane Schweitzer, PhD, CSRM
I have worked with Rick Smith as our insurance agent for approximately eight years. Rick is very knowledgeable of the insurance needs of public school corporations...The office staff is very cooperative and promptly processes any requests we ask of them.
Rob James, CPA, CBO
I always appreciate a job well done...I'll never change my insurance because of [Joyce] and Rick's team.
Jeff Yergler
I have been a long time customer of the Pinnacle Group Insurance for many years and I have been very pleased with the service that I have received from them. The staff is very professional when dealing with insurance issues that need attention.
Doug Popp
Thank you for taking the time to research all of the quotes for me...I was very impressed with your thoroughness...
Thank you for your amazing response to our claim situation. You and your team made a bad situation a little better. Kudos to the adjuster Derek Cooley that came out to view the damage. He was very professional, informative and compassionate. Everyone involved worked as a wonderful team to help us minimize our lose starting with our agent Mark Bates at Pinnacle Insurance Group to AmeriClean of Merrillville and their crew, and last but not least to your Company and crew. Sincerely grateful, John Jacques and Marie DiCianni Jacques
John & Marie DiCianni Jacques
We want to thank you again for listening to our dilemma on Saturday, recognizing that we were under some serious time restraints, and for sending out the email and following up with it so the adjuster was at our house on Monday, and we were given the OK to go ahead with repairs immediately. All of this made an upsetting situation a manageable one...Thank you again.
Laura and Paul Hutchison