Reliance Partners, one of the nation’s fastest-growing commercial insurance agencies in the transportation and logistics space, has once again earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list.
The Chattanooga, Tennessee-based company celebrates its sixth consecutive year on the list of the fastest-growing privately held firms in the U.S., ranking No. 1,559 this year for its 302% three-year growth.
“When you think of an insurance agency, images come to mind of mahogany wood walls and a bunch of people in offices, but we look quite a bit different from that, given the background of a lot of our leadership having been in a freight brokerage or trucking space,” said Reliance Partners President Chad Eichelberger, adding that the company takes risk management to the next level with a seasoned team of safety experts.
“We’ve got a strong and diverse culture — one of the more diverse insurance agencies in the country — as 36% of our employees identify as a racial minority. We have 25 languages spoken within the organization and a workforce representing over 30 nationalities.”
Eichelberger attributes the agency’s success to its sharp focus on serving only the transportation and logistics sector, unlike its other competitors at scale. Projections have Reliance Partners on pace to write around $330 million in total premiums this year.
Inc. 5000 ranks companies according to the percentage growth of their annual revenue over a three-year period, meaning 2021 listees must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2017.
To qualify for Inc. 5000, companies must be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit and independent — not subsidiaries or divisions of another company — as of Dec. 31, 2020. The minimum revenue required to make the list in 2020 was $2 million.
2021 has been an ambitious year for Reliance Partners, as it recently moved to a new headquarters in downtown Chattanooga. “We’ve made big investments this year in both our physical office locations and in personnel,” Eichelberger said.
Reliance Partners also rolled out usage-based logistics insurance solutions this year, allowing freight insurance to be booked on a per-load basis and distributed through a TMS or load board.
“From a technology standpoint, there’s a lot of opportunity in the insurance industry in terms of more automation and utilization-based programs, so we’re trying to be at the forefront of that innovation; we feel that we’re positioned well to have success in that area,” Eichelberger said.
In addition, the agency broadened its insurance offerings through the acquisition of Borderless Coverage, a North American cross-border insurance provider. Reliance Partners now offers automated, cross-border and Mexican cargo insurance to carriers, brokers and shippers with full coverage from the moment of pickup until final delivery without any disruptions of coverage at the border.
“Reliance Partners has a large presence in Texas — it’s our largest state in terms of total written premiums, so the opportunity to acquire Borderless Coverage was very synergistic and just made a lot of sense on paper,” Eichelberger said. “We view cross-border trade between the U.S. and Mexico as an area that’s going to grow significantly; we’re bullish on that market.”
Maintaining a high ranking on the Inc. 5000 list isn’t an easy task, but Eichelberger expressed confidence in Reliance Partners’ workforce, believing employees’ dedication to serving the trucking industry will further build on the agency’s success.
“We’re projecting to write around $480 million in total premiums next year, so we’ll certainly continue to grow and make the list for years to come,” Eichelberger said.
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