Traverse City Record-Eagle

Latest News - Mobile

December 29, 2013

Hagerty Insurance poised for more growth

TRAVERSE CITY — It’s hard to miss the signs of success at Hagerty Insurance these days.

Perfectly polished classic cars and motorcycles sparkle like diamonds through show windows at company headquarters on Cass Street. The business’ exterior is one of the most noticeable commercial properties in Traverse City with its brick and glass facades.

The goings-on at Hagerty convey vibrancy, with dozens of workers in and out company doors at any given time, headed to the on-site gym, expansive cafeteria or high-end office space to labor at an insurance model so successful it regularly draws the attention of media outlets like CNBC, CNN and The Wall Street Journal.

But it wasn’t always like this.

Hagerty Chief Executive Officer McKeel Hagerty remembers when the fate of Hagerty Insurance’s car coverage business was in serious doubt.

“The first few years didn’t go well at all,” Hagerty said. “On the auto side ... we were actually thinking about shutting the business down. In 1994 it was losing a lot of money, and it was very, very hard.”

The Hagerty family stuck with it and some marketing experts recommended a new advertising campaign to feature full-page advertisements in national car and hobby magazines. Ads were placed and what followed was an astonishing stretch of growth for a company that is one of northern Michigan’s most significant employers, with more than 500 people on the payroll.

“Our (advertisements) just looked so different, and the phone just rang off the hook,” Hagerty said. “Its been an incredible journey since then.”

McKeel Hagerty discussed the company, its keys to success, and what the future holds.

Read the full story in today’s Record-Eagle Business section on page D1.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1" Trailer is Here! Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years