1918: Agency Roots in Iowa
The history of the Denver Branch traces back to 1918 in Iowa, when O. B. “Mac” McKinney opened an agency in Cedar Rapids to write residential fire insurance for Town Mutual Dwelling Insurance Company. McKinney began writing for EMC in the early 1920s, and by 1928, he was one of its strongest producers of auto and casualty business.
1940: Expansion into Denver
In 1935, McKinney moved to Denver and opened the McKinney Fire Insurance General Agency, writing for EMC and four other mutuals. Within two years, EMC had become dominant and was perceived to be getting the best business. As a result, the other companies severed their connections with the agency, leaving McKinney writing new business solely for EMC. His loyalty was recognized when he was named to the EMC Board during a proxy fight in 1937. To service the agency, EMC established a Denver Claims Office in 1940.
1981: EMC Takes Ownership of Branch
After Mac McKinney passed away, the agency was left to Mrs. McKinney; when she passed away in 1981, EMC bought the agency. The agency was combined with the claims office, at which point it became the Denver Branch with five employees and Roger L. Ford as branch manager. Ford served as branch manager from 1981 to 2008, when he retired, and Dennis Prindiville took over the branch manager position.
2001: Making a Habit of Excellence
The Denver Branch is a five-time recipient of the Hynes-Gunn Challenge Cup, which recognizes the lead EMC branch office for its ability to produce profitable business through joint underwriting and claims operations. The branch received the award the first year the award was instituted in 2002, as well as in 2003, 2005, 2009 and 2010, receiving the Hynes-Gunn Cup more times than any other EMC branch office.
The Denver Branch currently serves territories in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, and has 53 employees and 127 agencies. The branch writes approximately $45 million in premium, of which 85 percent is in commercial lines and 15 percent in personal lines.