Spokane Journal of Business

Western Insurance acquires two Spokane agencies

Company eyes four more acquisitions in three years

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Western Insurance Associates Inc. has acquired two agencies in the past month and expects more to follow, says company principal Drew Hodgson.

The rapidly growing insurance company acquired the Wilson Insurance Agency Inc., at 507 W. Francis, as well as a Spokane agency operated by Linda Bain, formerly a property and casualty business within Benefit Consultants Northwest Inc., of Spokane, Hodgson says. 

Western completed both acquisitions in early May. Hodgson declines to disclose terms of the transactions. 

Last November, Western also acquired the Dovel Insurance Services Co., located in Clarkston, Washington, Hodgson says.

Hodgson declines to disclose Western’s annual revenue, but says the company saw a year-end revenue growth of 20% in 2019 over 2018, not including returns from the November acquisition.

The company is on track to see over 20% growth in annual revenue this year as well, Hodgson says.

“We’re working on some acquisitions right now with some agents who are looking at retirement,” he says. “Those help you grow a lot faster, when you start buying other agencies.”

The acquisition spree is largely driven by the large number of baby boomers in the insurance industry looking to sell their agencies and retire, Hodgson says. Western is currently in discussion with five business owners about acquiring their companies, he adds.

“We’re in a really unique time with all of the baby boomers retiring,” contends Hodgson. “There’s a window of opportunity for a lot of businesses right now, and once they’re retired and done and sell their agencies, there won’t be as many opportunities to do that for a while.”

The Wilson and Bain acquisitions took about 14 months to complete, Hodgson says.

“My three-year vision for this is that we would do about four more acquisitions over the next three years,” he says.

The company currently has 13 employees but plans to add two by the end of June, Hodgson says.

Western offers personal and commercial lines of insurance, farm and crop insurance, surety bonds, and life insurance.

Western now boasts five offices in Eastern Washington, with two in Spokane, and one each in Fairfield, Rosalia, and Clarkston. Its main office is located at 1212 N. Washington.

Western was founded in 1916 as Fairfield Waverly Insurance. The company has traded hands twice: first in 2009 and then in 2016, when it merged with Hodgson & Associates to become Western.

The company remains committed to maintaining offices in small towns around Washington, Hodgson says.

“Our motto is big-time value, small-town service,” he adds. “My vision for the future is to continue expanding and continue being involved in those small towns.”

Natasha Nellis
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Reporter Natasha Nellis joined the Journal in May 2018 and covers real estate and construction. Natasha is an avid reader and loves taking photos, traveling, and learning new languages.

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