Category Archives: Insurance

Brooks Insurance moves to East Central

WICHITA — Jennifer Martinez-Brooks is looking for more space and a new clientele for her Brooks Insurance with her move to 5050 E. Central.

Her office has been at 564 S. Oliver for six years, and Martinez-Brooks says she’s done mostly nonstandard auto insurance there. That means a lot of her clients were high-risk clients.

“We’re just trying to maybe target a different customer base,” Martinez-Brooks says. “I’m looking for the more preferred market where people are packaging their home and auto together.”

She says she’s working around some remodeling at her new space.

Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Commercial Insurance Group is now Chapple Insurance Group

UPDATED — Commercial Insurance Group’s new Florida office isn’t the only one that’s going to be known as Chapple Insurance Group.

The Wichita office has changed its name, too.

“There was a group out in California that had trademarked CIG,” says senior vice president Brent Wasson.

“With the presence of social media … I think they caught wind that we were using that same thing,” he says. “They sent us a cease-and-desist order.”

There were other companies nationally that had been using that name as well.

“So we weren’t alone in that deal,” Wasson says.

Picking a new name wasn’t easy, he says.

“We put names in a hat.”

Each one already seemed to be taken, though. Wasson says Chock Chapple, who owns the 10-year-old company, was reluctant to name the business for himself.

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Aflac regional office moves from west side to O’Rourke Title Building downtown

WICHITA — The regional Aflac office has moved from the west side to 2,010 square feet at the O’Rourke Title Building at William and Broadway.

“We just wanted to get downtown,” says regional manager Kathy Wiedemann.

She says part of the reason is to have a more centrally located office, but also, she says, there’s “just a little bit more energy downtown.”

Not to mention there’s also the Cafe Bel Ami factor. The restaurant is located on the building’s first floor.

“You know, we just got done eating lunch there,” Wiedemann says of her first day in the new office on Monday.

“It’s just so convenient,” she says. “It’s fun being down here.”

Tony Utter of Utter Commercial Real Estate handled the deal.

Wiedemann says there’s been extensive remodeling and painting in Aflac’s new suite except for her office, which once belonged to Pat O’Rourke of O’Rourke Title.

“I’m sitting right now in his old office,” Wiedemann says. “I didn’t touch his office because I just like it the way it is.”

She says it has old, wood paneling.

“It might sound kind of ugly, but it’s really not,” Wiedemann says.

“Imagine all the deals that went on back in the day when he was in here,” she says. “So it’s kind of neat to be in his office.”

Chris Morgan to move his Farmers Insurance office near Douglas and Grove

WICHITA — The Chris Morgan Agency, a Farmers Insurance Group affiliate, is moving near Douglas and Grove.

Chris Morgan is leasing 1,560 square feet at 2320 E. Douglas. That’s up from the 900 square feet he currently has at 5231 E. Central.

“I quickly transferred over here to take over an agency that was already existing,” Morgan says of his current space.

He says in addition to being larger, his new space will save him about $600 a month.

Brent Madison and Patrick Ritchie of J.P. Weigand & Sons handled the deal.

“Eventually, years down the road, I would like to get my own stand-alone office that I have built and own,” Morgan says.

For now, he likes the proximity he’ll have to East High School, where he’s going to sponsor home games for football, basketball and soccer.

“Now we’ll be located right across the street from them.”

Willis Group Holdings realigns its Willis of Greater Kansas office

WICHITA — Willis of Greater Kansas, which is an insurance brokerage firm specializing in employee benefits and property casualty business, is undergoing a few changes.

Parent company Willis Group Holdings, which is based in New York and London, is doing the realignment.

“What we’re simply trying to do — it’s not complicated — is just allow for more client focus in Wichita,” says Paty Daves, the regional partner for Kansas.

Daves is based out of the firm’s Overland Park office.

Former Wichita managing partner Eric McCurley has been reassigned. Daves says he can’t say what McCurley’s new title is yet, but he’ll “be more growth focused.”

“He can focus more on growing the business, and that’s really what we’re trying to do,” Daves says.

He says the Wichita office had too much administration.

“Admin doesn’t create value for our clients,” Daves says. “We’re just trying to refocus our people on clients, and that’s the bottom line.”

He says the company, which has about 40 employees in Wichita, isn’t losing workers but is creating more time for them to serve clients better.

“We’re investing in Wichita,” he says. “You’ll see us adding people in Wichita.”

He can’t say how many jobs that may mean, but the positions will be in client service and sales roles.

“We’re actively searching for people right now.”

Insurance Specialist Group expands at Wilson Estates Office Park

WICHITA — Insurance Specialist Group has moved into almost 4,000 square feet in the Bank of Kansas building at Wilson Estates Office Park near 21st and Rock Road.

Previously, the company had 1,400 square feet at the building.

“We really only had room for basically five of us,” says partner Paul Masterson.

The company, which is an independent insurance agency, has seven employees including Masterson and partner Jeff Dodds.

The new office can accommodate about 15 workers.

“We have room to grow,” Masterson says.

Adam Clements of Builders Inc. and Patrick Ahern of Grubb & Ellis/Martens Commercial Group handled the deal.

Insurance Specialist Group also has a Hutchinson office that DJ Kauffman opened in June. It’s not a franchise, Masterson says, but it is Kauffman’s operation.

“DJ’s been a perfect fit.”

Masterson says he and Dodds are open to having similar arrangements elsewhere.

“We’re always looking for good opportunities.”


Insurance Partners of Kansas to move to first permanent space

WICHITA — Father and son Jerry and Eric Johnsen are opening the first of several permanent branches for their Insurance Partners of Kansas.

They started the company, which represents 35 insurance carriers, in February and temporarily were in the Equity Bank building at 7701 E. Kellogg.

They’re now moving to permanent space at 707 N. Waco.

“This is the first of four branches we’re going to have,” Jerry Johnsen says. “We’re going to put a branch in all quadrants of the city.”

They plan to do that within two years.

Jerry Johnsen has been in the insurance business for 38 years. He says he likes the flexibility of being able to offer customers multiple policy carriers in order to find the best fit.

Brian Gaddis of BG Properties handled the deal.

International Pizza Hut Franchise Holders Association chooses Kansas City firm over IMA for insurance coverage

WICHITA — Wichita has lost another piece of Pizza Hut business.

The International Pizza Hut Franchise Holders Association is ending its 18-year relationship with IMA.

The association isn’t commenting, but sources say the group recently notified IMA that it isn’t renewing its contract after it’s up in early July.

Lockton, a Kansas City, Mo.-based global insurance group, won the new contract for property and casualty insurance.

Representatives of Lockton and IMA declined to discuss the contract.

“We just don’t comment about client relationships,” says Kurt Watson, IMA president and chief operating officer.

Not all members of the International Pizza Hut Franchise Holders Association participate in the insurance program, though it’s available to any member who wants it.

The new contract, which was the result of a competitive proposal process, reportedly is a one-year deal that likely will be renewed.

State Farm Insurance agent Nick Schneider to open new office

WICHITA — State Farm Insurance agent Nick Schneider has leased 1,600 square feet at Occidental Management’s Auburn Pointe at 135th West and Maple.

“You couldn’t ask for a better location,” Schneider says. “Brand new. It’s a growing area of Wichita.”

His goal is to be open by Oct. 1.

Schneider worked in finance for a decade and has been with State Farm in another office for the last year and a half.

He’s originally from Haven, which is outside of Hutchinson.

“I’m a local kid,” Schneider says.

So will he try and draw business from Wichita and the area around where he grew up?

That’s not how Schneider puts it.

“That community’s given me a lot. I’d like to give back.”

Tyler Office Park to locate near Douglas and Tyler

WICHITA — Dale Walker of Midwest Insurance Agency is working on plans for a new 4,500-square-foot Tyler Office Park near the northwest corner of Douglas and Tyler.

“It’s at the architect’s right now, so we’ll probably get started in the next couple of weeks,” Walker says.

He currently leases space for his office at 4715 W. Central.

Walker plans to move his office to 1,500 square feet at his new property.

He’ll have two more 1,500-square-foot spaces to lease, or he’ll lease the entire remaining 3,000 square feet to one tenant.

Don Piros of Landmark Commercial Real Estate represented Walker in the transaction.

Landmark’s David Leyh and Gary Snyder represented the seller.

Mike Love Construction is the builder.

“I just want to own my own office building,” Walker says.

He’s not sure how easy it will be to find tenants.

“That’s a tough question. In this economy, I don’t really know what to expect.”

Walker has owned office buildings in the past.

And with construction costs down, he says it makes it easier to build.

“This is as good of time as any.”