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. Two employees Angela Janus and Joyce Helsel have been honored by IIAI as the Customer Service Representative of the Year by the association as well.
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.