The Morris Agency becomes Peak Insurance

Published 6:11 pm Saturday, November 12, 2016

By Alaina Denean Deshazo | The Selma Times-Journal

The Morris Agency is getting a new name, Peak Insurance.

After serving the community for many years and adding agents and agencies along the way, owner Jere Peak and his son, Owen, are forming Peak Insurance.

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In 2013, the Morris Agency and Tate, Heinz, Ellis and Sexton combined to become one entity, and they will now represent Peak Insurance.

“It has been our goal to market both of these respected agencies under one brand,” Jere said.

Peak Insurance is a combination of O.M. Hendricks, which dates back to 1902, The Day Agency, C.W. Hooper Agency, Mallory Privett Agency, Mabry Securities, Hardy & Heinz Insurance, The Bradbury Agency, Hendricks & Tate, Doug Chandler Agency, The Morris Agency and Tate, Heinz, Ellis and Sexton.

“We’ve gone from all these great names, and now we’re consolidating all these agencies under one name,” Jere said.

Jere said George Tate, Chris Heinz, Aubry Ellis, Paul Ellis, Joe Sexton, Mallory Privett and Catesby Jones are some of the people that got the insurance agency to where it is today.

“Catesby Jones … comes in every day and is still an important part of our agency,” Jere said.

Jere began his career in insurance after graduating from Auburn University in 1976 with a degree in marketing. In 1977, he entered the insurance industry with the encouragement of Charles H. Morris and worked at Gulf America Fire Insurance Company in Montgomery.

He moved back to Selma in 1981 to work with his lifelong friend, John Morris, at the Morris Agency. In 1982, he became part owner of The Morris Agency and in 2012 became the sole owner.

“In 1986, Jimmy Hughes became a partner in the Morris Agency and operated as a partner until 2013 … and Jimmy is still an important part of the agency,” Jere said.

“He and Catesby are great ambassadors for the agency.”

Owen followed in his father’s footsteps and received a marketing degree from Auburn University in 2007. He immediately began working as a claims representative with Auto Owners. In 2011, he began working for a large insurance broker in Birmingham marketing commercial accounts. Owen decided in 2012 that moving back home to Selma to work with his father at The Morris Agency was the right thing for him.

“I’m very flattered that my son wanted to enter into the insurance businesses, and more importantly to work with me at Peak Insurance,” Jere said. “Owen has done an outstanding job of educating himself in the insurance industry and is considered one of the top professional young insurance agents in the state. I am very proud to have him working alongside me here, and I know will help continue to success of this agency.”

Jere said having a great relationship with his son is what makes their partnership work as well as it does.

“I’m proud that I have the same relationship [with Owen] that John Morris had with his dad Charles Morris and that they were able to work together,” Jere said.

Owen said going into business with his father was a no-brainer, and he couldn’t see himself anywhere else.

“Going into work with my dad and to work in what we consider our family business, there is no other field or industry I would want to work in for that reason,” Owen said. “We’ve got a great relationship and it’s a blast. As this will one day become my agency, I am counting on him and I do take great pleasure in the fact that he can be my mentor.”

Jere said that he is excited about the future of Peak Insurance, and he strives to provide the community with the quality work that he and those before him have done the past 100 years.

“It is important to us, that we continue the great service that has been provided by all those agencies that have been our predecessors. We want to continue to add the professionalism and great claim service that customers have enjoyed in Selma the past 100 years plus,” Jere said. “We appreciate the business and the successes that we have had and look forward to serving the insurance needs of the community for the next 100 years.”