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Higginbotham launches expansion with Fountain, Parker, Harbarger & Associates

FORT WORTH, Texas — Higginbotham, a Texas-based insurance, financial and HR services firm, has teamed up with Fountain, Parker, Harbarger & Associates of Huntsville.

Combining more than 175 years of industry experience and innovation, the two firms join the Higginbotham/WRM Group collaboration to solidify a presence across Alabama, according to a news release. In November, Higginbotham announced an affiliation with the WRM Group, a consortium of long-established independent agencies in Alabama, including Birmingham and Tuscaloosa.

With FPH&A, long established in tech- and aerospace-centered Huntsville, Higginbotham Chairman and CEO Rusty Reid said he found a partner that shares his firm’s commitment to client service, team support, community investment, and carrier relationships.

“They are 103 years old, the largest independent agency in North Alabama, and they got that way by treating carriers and clients as trusted advisers and friends,” Reid said of FPH&A. “They’ve been with some of their carriers for 50 to 100 years. Best of all, they’ve been part of the development of Huntsville as a ‘best place to live and work’ right from the start.”

FPH&A Principal and Administrative Manager Mark Harbarger said his firm’s long relationship with the growing Huntsville community was part of the decision to seek out a collaboration with Higginbotham.

“As our city keeps getting voted a top place to live and work, we knew we needed world class support to continue our legacy of service,” he said. “We met with a lot of different options, and Higginbotham quickly rose to the top. They hit all the essentials we were looking for: an emphasis on employees, on community, and on making the relationship with our clients more meaningful through their Day Two Services, which maintain a responsive relationship through the life of each policy.”

FPH&A Partner and Manager of Commercial Lines John Freisen spoke about the benefits the two firms will share through the collaboration.

“One of the aspects that’s really exciting for us is the number of Higginbotham partners available across Alabama,” said Freisen. “We’re looking forward to working with those other agents, building off the energies we share and learning from the unique experiences. For instance, at FPH&A we have specialized experience in coverage for high tech groups, which are typically contracted with the government and carry a unique exposure basis.”

FPH&A owner and head of Personal Lines Connie Waldrip said, “We also specialize in personal insurance for the executives at those firms, and we work with a nonprofit group across the country to provide insurance for Child Advocacy Centers. We insure about 150 of those across the states, which definitely brings something special to the equation.”

Harberger said the association will provide a boost to the company.

“We knew we could compete with anyone from an agent standpoint, but we couldn’t always compete with the services offered by the bigger brokers,” Harberger said. “Now we’ve got the horsepower, so we’re going after those accounts. We’re hard workers here in Huntsville. When we set a goal, we exceed it.

“With Higginbotham behind us, we’re shooting for the moon.”

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