An endeavor together
In every business transaction you conduct, person you meet and problem you encounter, the decisions you make should be simple, according to Ron Assise, President of Personal Insurance at The Horton Group. “It’s about treating people with respect,” says Assise.
The Horton Group specializes in insurance, employee benefits and risk advisory services. The firm has a broad footprint, with approximately 400 associates and 12 offices starting with their headquarters in Orland Park, in Chicago’s south suburbs. Assise heads the agency’s personal insurance division, an area that has been his passion and specialty for over 30 years.
Ron has been with Horton for 12 years. After working in the life and financial services side of the business, Ron founded his own insurance agency from scratch as a way to continually put the client at the center of his work. For Ron, the insurance transaction goes well beyond a contract. It’s about relationships, whether that be with his internal team or with his clients. When his agency merged with Horton in 2006, he brought this philosophy to the forefront of Horton’s personal insurance team.
Driven, excellent, together
At Horton, Ron found what he had been looking for—strong, smart leaders at the front of their industry, who also bring a sense of purpose that Ron believes is crucial to a successful business. “You can have all the technology in the world, but if you don’t have the right people and the right culture, it’s not that valuable,” Ron says. “The right people make all the difference in the world.” Even as a large agency, Ron believes that the team at Horton brings a down-to-earth, roll-up-your-sleeves approach to making things happen, which is one reason he feels so passionately about Horton.
The agency’s three core values are driven, excellent and together, and these words are painted in bold along the main hallway of their office. They serve as a constant reminder to employees and clients alike that collaboration will produce exemplary work and push them toward the future.
Putting clients’ interests first
With his clients, Ron believes that doing the right thing means helping clients to rest easy, knowing that when the unexpected happens, they have a partner they can trust. He says it’s important to be “tremendously diligent” from the beginning with clients to understand their coverage needs. “There’s only one thing worse than saying, You’re not covered, and that’s, You’re not, but you could have been.”
Hearing those words isn’t easy, which is exactly why Ron urges individuals to work with a broker who takes time to understand their risks. “When the unexpected happens, we can control a great deal of what happens next,” he explains. Ron believes in asking the right questions of clients, every time—because doing so can help agents to identify risks and eliminate gaps in coverage.
Another way The Horton Group sets themselves apart for clients is as a member of Assurex Global. Assurex Global is the world’s largest privately held personal lines, commercial lines, and employee benefits brokerage group. With almost 50 North American partners and over three decades of experience, they share resources and a global network to bring solutions to clients. The Horton Group is Assurex Global’s Chicagoland partner, and Ron is a founder of the Private Client Practice Group, which now has 33 members and brings together local and international expertise in this space.
Partnering founded in confidence
When Berkley One, a Berkley Company, launched in November 2017, The Horton Group was a partner of choice to work with them in building their business. The relationship was well-suited, founded on the very principles both companies hold in high regard.
For starters, Ron notes how Berkley One started with an engaging and refreshing approach. “From my first dealings with Berkley One, it all centered on engagement, in involving the agent in the process.” It also came down to relationships that they could have confidence in. He adds, “The people that Berkley One put in place to start the journey were beyond reproach.”
It’s no surprise that Ron’s values are embodied in the countless other employees at Horton, from sales executives to client specialists to safety consults; all of whom prioritize the client as paramount, a tenet that Horton and Berkley One both share. Berkley One couldn’t agree more with Ron—the relationship is a “natural fit,” one to which both are looking forward as they aim to serve their clients for years to come.
The Horton Group is an insurance, employee benefits and risk advisory firm specializing in home insurance, auto insurance, umbrella insurance, specialty and recreation insurance, life insurance, individual health insurance, business insurance, and employee benefits.