Nies Insurance is sold to Portland company

Purchase expected to increase available services

Nies Insurance Agency, Inc., of Camas, Vancouver and Battle Ground has been purchased by Fullerton & Company, Inc., of Portland.

Fullerton is a subsidiary of Brown & Brown, Inc., of Daytona Beach and Tampa, Fla.

“We’re going to continue to operate under the name Nies Insurance,” said Nies President Jerry Nies. “We have a long term lease [for the building in downtown Camas]. Service to our local community in Camas, Washougal and the greater East County area, will remain pretty much exactly the way it is with the same staff.”

Don Dire and Nikko Listek are the primary agents of the Camas office, assisted by a customer service staff of two. Nies’ wife Marilyn plans to retire, as the administrative/accounting operations will relocate to Portland.

Nies, 62, said the total number of staff in the Camas location will probably grow as the office increases the number of services it offers.

Customers can choose from insurance policies by Kemper, Met Life and others, in addition to Safeco, Travelers, Mutual of Enumclaw, Progressive and Hartford.

“Nothing is changed for the customer coming through the door,” Nies said. “The overall number of people working at this office will increase. I will still be here, fully involved in the operations with an office in Camas.”

Nies also has offices in Vancouver and Battle Ground.

Overall, there are 24 Nies employees at five locations.

“There is no downsizing going on down here at all,” Nies said. “I’m getting old. This is a perpetuation plan. It just secures the future of the company and brings a bigger selection of insurance companies, products and services to our customers.

“This is a great partnership,” he added. “They have strengths that will fill gaps with the weaknesses we might have. They have strength in the commercial insurance business. They are much bigger than we are in that arena, which is why we went looking for them.”

In 2010, Nies’ revenue was $2.7 million.

That includes two iQ Credit Union branches that will remain in Vancouver but operate with new signs and the name insureQ.

“We have over 17,000 insurance policies amongst the Nies part of this operation in the greater Clark County community,” Nies said.

Brown & Brown is a publicly owned corporation, founded in 1939.

“They own insurance agencies and keep them in their local communities and operate them for the long term,” Nies said. “The Brown family is still a major stockholder. It is a billion dollar company.”

Nies Insurance was started in 1972, in Battle Ground. It was a partnership that involved Jerry, his father Ira and mother Leona. In 1988, the company expanded to Camas by purchasing Community Insurance. Shortly after that, Jerry purchased the building from the local chapter of Odd Fellows.

In June 2008, Nies Insurance employees celebrated the completion of a remodel at their office at 506 N.E. Fourth Ave., in downtown Camas.

Two years later, Nies Insurance was honored for contributing to many local organizations, programs and events as it was named the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce “Business of the Year.

Nies offers personal auto and home insurance, as well as life and health, business insurance, bonds, and annuity and 401K retirement planning products. For more information, call 254-2220 or log on to www.niesinsurance.com.

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