Insurance Agency Celebrates its 20th Anniversary

Memphis, Tenn. – In 1982 when the National Association of Realtors (NAR) warned real estate brokers that those who did not diversify their business would probably not survive, Crye-Leike Realtors’ co-founders and owners, Harold Crye and Dick Leike, took heed and formed Crye-Leike Insurance Agency, Inc., along with many other divisions to become a full service real estate company.  Since then, many independent insurance agencies have sold, merged or just could not make it. But today, Crye-Leike Insurance celebrates its 20th year in business while Crye-Leike celebrates its 25th anniversary.

“Back then, Crye-Leike was a real estate company with only 200 sales associates and four offices,” said Lynn Alford, Crye-Leike’s first insurance broker who has been with the agency since its establishment 20 years ago. “Some people said it couldn’t be done [a real estate company starting an insurance agency]. But when you put a challenge like that in front of Harold and Dick, they’ll go for it.”

“In Memphis, where Crye-Leike started, there were several ‘old line’ real estate insurance brokers that preceded Crye-Leike Insurance, like Boyle Investments and E.H. Crump,” recalls Steve Brown, vice president and general manager of Crye-Leike, Inc. who, 20 years ago, began as a Crye-Leike sales associate. “But, Crye-Leike was one of the earliest real estate firms to ’round out’ the full service concept, establishing such additional services as property management, mortgage, insurance and commercial services. Harold and Dick were trailblazers and survivors as a result of NAR’s prophecy.”

“We realize how important the real estate transaction and the real estate agent is to our business success,” said Alford. “Being a corporate entity of Crye-Leike, our insurance agency’s lead source of referrals is through Crye-Leike’s sales associates. Inevitably, business our insurance agency secures results from someone who bought a property from a Crye-Leike sales associate. Our insurance agency doesn’t have a prospecting problem which is a nice problem to have.”

Since the 9/11 terrorist attack, Alford has found that insurance is a topic that people have opened up to when before it was harder to sell.

“9/11 has caused our insurance agency to reevaluate the way we do business,” said Alford. “We are taking a reactive approach by paying much more attention to solidifying relationships and providing more service with our existing customers.”

Crye-Leike Insurance Agency Inc., an independent and full service insurance center, serves the insurance needs of more than 5,000 families and over 300 business concerns in West and Middle Tennessee as well as northwest Mississippi and West Memphis, Arkansas.

With an experienced staff of 12 insurance professionals, Crye-Leike Insurance Agency represents a variety of A and A+ rated insurance companies that specialize in property and casualty insurance as well as life and health.

“Crye-Leike Insurance Agency represents a carefully selected group of financially sound, reputable insurance companies, and we place our customer’s insurance coverage with the company that offers the broadest coverage at a competitive price,” said Buddy Hill, vice president and general manger of Crye-Leike Insurance Agency Inc.

“Customer service is our No. 1 concern: we take pride in our reputation of providing our clients with excellent service, which includes assuring that our customers receive prompt claim service.”

The insurance carriers Crye-Leike Insurance Agency represents includes: Allied Insurance, Safeco, Fireman’s Fund, Kemper and Royal & SunAlliance, all for home and auto insurance in Tennessee as well as AAA Insurance for home and auto insurance within Mississippi and Arkansas; Golden Rule for individual health and term life as well as annuities; Zurich-Kemper for commercial and life insurance; Progressive for auto and recreational vehicle insurance; Chubb, an insurance provider for more high value homes; UNUM/Provident for disability income insurance; American General for variable, life and annuity products; Blue Cross/Blue Shield for individual and group health insurance; and Exchange Mutual for homeowners and vacant dwellings insurance.

The agency has experienced continued growth since its establishment in 1982. “In looking over the past 20 years in business, technology has played a key role in allowing our agency to grow because it has afforded us to be much more competitive in our pricing,” said Hill.

For the past five years, the agency has grown to about $ 4.5 million in annual premium volume with 65 percent in property and casualty insurance products, including life, health, auto and homeowners and the remaining 35 percent in commercial business insurance.

Crye-Leike Insurance Agency Inc. is a division of Crye-Leike (, a full service real estate company for 25 years. Officers are: Harold E. Crye, president; Dick Leike and Buddy Hill, vice presidents; and Brian Robinson, secretary-treasurer.

Crye-Leike is the nation’s 13th largest real estate company and the largest serving Tennessee and the Mid-South. It has a network of over 2,200 sales associates and 57 branch and franchise offices located in 26 counties throughout a five-state Mid-South region in Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia. Crye-Leike attained sales of $2.95 billion and 20,768 closed transaction sides corporate wide in 2001.


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