Before the typewriter was common, with business savvy and handsome handwriting, Fred Offenhauser and his partner Kelsey founded our agency in 1882 in the railroad town and timber town of Texarkana. By 1904, Offenhauser & Co. shared a building with the Texarkana Board of Trade and was writing insurance throughout the region. Texarkana as a border town was full of saloons and gambling joints, so many insurance companies shied away. With perseverance, the agency grew to represent more than 50 companies and Mr. Fred was elected president of the National Association of Insurance Agents, as well as president of the Texas and Arkansas agent associations.
By the roaring 1920s, Offenhauser & Co. became a leader in insurance and risk management services for publically owned electric utility companies, as well as businesses, homes and autos in the Four States Area. We were among the first to insure utilities as an industry pool, a forerunner to captives. We were also among the first to create proprietary policies that broadened coverage, and to do business with Lloyds of London. By the middle of the century, we had created our claims and fire protection engineering departments. Our claims department still exists, advocating and settling claims for clients.
Fred’s son in law, Josh R. Morriss, Sr., Josh R. Morriss, Jr., and now Don N. Morriss followed Mr. Fred serving as managing partner/CEO and state association president. Other partners continue to serve in leadership roles in the insurance industry.
Today, Offenhauser & Co. is “Your Insurance Leader” providing risk management and insurance solutions to public and private companies as well as individuals. Our six locations and El Dorado, AR affiliate, United Insurance Agency do business in a majority of states with direct access to domestic, London and Bermudian insurance markets Our well credentialed staff has advanced degrees or designations such as Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Associate in Risk Management (ARM) and Registered Professional Liability Underwriter (RPLU). Areas of excellence include risk management, construction including contract surety, schools, distribution, retail, wholesale, medical malpractice, manufacturing, oil and gas, employee benefits, executive risk (directors and officers, employment practices and cyber liability), employee benefits, estate planning and personal insurance.
E-mail, websites and Facebook have replaced Mr. Fred’s handsome handwriting, but our commitment to clients is brighter than ever. That’s why we say, “Serving You Since 1882”.