DRS Insurance Group was founded in 1968 by W.O. “Hoot” Gibson in the small community of Bartow, FL. Like his father (Omah Gibson) before him, Hoot Gibson built his agency around a core set of values and an unyielding commitment to service to the community.
Amalex, Inc., specialized in coverage for the industrial risks of the phosphate and citrus industries in central Florida. The firm exhibited the unique ability to place difficult and unusual exposures.
Steven Gibson joined his father’s firm in 1985 to serve as Vice President and Director of Marketing. The younger Gibson provided the company with a new sense of direction and a commitment to growth.
In 1989, the agency became Gibson Insurance Group, Inc. With increased staff and resources, Gibson moved the firm to a more specialized focus with a strong emphasis on complex accounts. Gibson Insurance Group gained a reputation as a major writer of Trucking risks and targeted Professional Liability coverage for Architects/Engineers, Attorneys. In 1991, they began writing Garage Liability and Workers Compensation for the Automotive Industry.
In 1994, Gibson left the family business to join Universal Underwriters as an Account Executive. It was during his tenure with Universal that Gibson sharpened his automotive expertise and developed a unique understanding of the exposures facing the Dealership community. Excelling in both Property/Casualty and F & I production, Gibson achieved Presidents Club levels and was named Top Gun for his production in 1995.
In 1997, Gibson returned to Florida to work for John Deere Insurance Company. He quickly parlayed his skills in the Dealership arena into becoming the MVP and the Top Producer countrywide for Deere/Sentry. A perennial Presidents Club Award winner, Gibson continued to lead John Deere/Sentry Insurance Company in all areas until his departure in 2001.
Returning to the family agency and re-directing the Agency focus to the Automotive Industry, Dealer Risk Services was created. With almost a total focus on the Automotive Industry, DRS became a highly-regarded provider of Risk Management Services and insurance placements for the Dealer community nationwide.
Utilizing his creative expertise and connections within the reinsurance community, Gibson and his Team developed a Dealer Owned Group Captive to counter garage insurance market deficiencies.
The newly formed Captive provided Dealers with extraordinary coverage and the opportunity to participate in underwriting profits. Formed in 2006, the Dealer Management Group initiative was a Cayman based Captive providing coverage to dealers nationwide. Gibson and his firm served as the Program Manager for the Captive.
Beyond the Dealer Community
With the formation of DRS Insurance Group in 2013, the firm expanded its services to provide for the insurance needs of our local community, both Business and Personal. DRS is consistently seeking and hiring the ‘’best of the best’’ in personnel and contracting with quality insurance carriers to handle specific business placements.
DRS will continue to be a strong player and resource for the Dealer community…but, also welcomes the call for expertise in other areas.
While many Insurance Firms are being purchased by larger Agencies, DRS has developed a perpetuation/succession plan that is both family and employee based. As a 50-year-old Agency with roots dating back over 100 years, there will be Gibsons in the office for years to come. As well, DRS is constantly looking for ways to develop and maintain an ownership program that promotes and provides for the company’s long-term goals.
The Next Generation
Since 1912, the Gibson family has been involved in the insurance industry. My uncle (Ellis Gibson) and his brothers (Clyde and my grandfather ‘’Omah’’) operated a successful agency in our hometown of Bartow, FL. My Dad (“Hoot’’) worked at the family agency in the 1950’s as did my uncle (Robert Gibson). Insurance has always been a part of my life in some form.
When my father left to begin his own agency in 1968, I never thought I would be drawn to the insurance industry. But, it was inevitable and has been most rewarding in the people I have met and the bonds of friendship developed.
The past 50 years provide a legacy of our family’s commitment. It is a commitment to excellence in professionalism, integrity and unyielding service to those with whom we work. For me, it is our family heritage and one in which I am most proud.
From the Gibson family and all of us at DRS, we thank you for the opportunity to serve your insurance needs and look forward to working with you in the years to come.
Steven P. Gibson