When family-owned insurance company Hylant was founded in Toledo, Ohio, 83 years ago by entrepreneur Edward P. Hylant, he intentionally made the client the top priority.
Hylant’s mission statement was then and still is: To strengthen and protect the businesses, employees and communities of our client family by embracing them as our own.
A lot has changed over the last eight decades, but that focus on the client remains the same.
“Our overall structure of providing that personal level of service and really learning about our clients and then combining that with expertise from specialty and risk advisors is what sets us apart,” says Clay Jennings, president of the Fort Wayne office. “The combination of our ability to establish the personal connection with the client in the local marketplace while also bringing national and global expertise to the table through our risk advisors is a huge advantage for us.”
Jennings joined the Hylant team 22 years ago and was named president of the Fort Wayne office in 2009. He said maintaining the company’s original philosophy about clients is crucial, but so is setting Hylant apart from the competition in other ways.
“Twenty years ago, we looked very similar to our competitors, but over the last 15 years, we’ve really focused our attention toward specialization, both in industry and risk,” he says. “We established 12 risk practices that offer very specialized expertise in areas such as captives, cyber, environmental, executive risk, property & marine, small business and surety, to name a few. We also have 17 industry specialty groups, allowing Hylant to offer specialized services to basically all major industries.”
While Hylant’s areas of specialization and expertise continue to expand, so has the company’s footprint, which now includes 14 offices and more than 700 employees in six states throughout the Midwest and southeastern parts of the country.
“We’ve spent a lot of time and energy reinvesting in our firm and employees to provide world-class service and expertise,” says Jennings. “For the most part, everyone here in Fort Wayne and across Indiana has a significant amount of experience with the firm and/or the insurance industry. We place a large emphasis and financial backing toward training and ongoing education. At any given time, you can find one of our employees in the process of some type of continuing education or new designation that they’re working on within the industry.”
Another way Hylant is reinvesting in the firm is their in-house client engagement strategy that was created to allow client executives to better customize plans for each client’s unique needs.
“The client engagement strategy takes both an internal and external, holistic approach to look at both clients and prospects. We brainstorm to determine what we can do to improve their program by honing in on their individual needs and ask ourselves what changes could possibly benefit themWe do that internally with our risk advisors and specialty groups and then we meet with the client to discuss some of those thoughts and concepts to see if it would be a good fit for them.”
Jennings and his colleagues recognize that in order to deliver strong service, they have to be a strong teamFor that reason, he said taking care of employees and providing a positive work environment has always been important.
“Hylant has been recognized numerous times as one of the ‘Best Places to Work,’” he says. “We recently received notification from business insurance that we were awarded that honor for the 10th year in a row now for the insurance industry, which is as long as they’ve been presenting the award. In the state of Indiana, across all industries, we’ve also achieved that honor six years in a row.”
Now in its fourth generation of being a privately held, family-owned operation, Hylant has become an iconic name in the insurance industry. Jennings believes the future will be nothing but bright because they’ve retained the common values that were established 83 years ago.
“We have an ongoing commitment to growing our business the same way we’ve been doing it all these years, while continuing to reinvest in the future and maintain our loyalty to the community.”
Address: 6714 Pointe Inverness Way, Suite 100 Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804
Phone: (260) 969-3900
Years in Business: 83
Number of Employees: 700+ nationwide
Products & Services: Business insurance, employee benefits, personal insurance