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Family insurance.

Family Insurance Dill Brothers

Wayne and David Dill are in the same room again. First it was the bedroom they shared with two other brothers while growing up in England, Ark. They next shared living space when college student David moved in with Wayne and his wife of two months in Monticello.

They're now on the 13th floor of the Rogers Building. In a corner office with a spanning view of water, freeways and building, they are back together again, their desks but a few feet apart.

The pair, operating as Dill Brothers Insurance, have become two of the state's hottest agents, with gross premiums last year of more than $12 million.

By operating in specialized areas - Wayne in insurance for the trucking industry and David in big-money, tax-favored life insurance and estate planning policies - they are on track for a $50 million agency by the year 1995. Nevertheless, they're a couple of twang-talking neighborly types who fit in as well at the local coffee shop as they do in their prestigious office.

"We were born in the same house," says David. "I was in the kitchen, Wayne in the bedroom. And still, he can't get me out of the kitchen and I can't get him out of the bedroom."

And, "He knows everything that's going on in my life, and unfortunately, I know everything that's going on in his," Wayne says.

Wayne, 43, and David, 42, mix down-home humor and business when they talk insurance. This approach is part of their relaxed style. During a recent interview - the last appointment on a frantic Friday - they lounged and slouched in a conference room, the knots in their ties slipping loose, the starch in their shirts growing weary.

They describe themselves as insurance "brokers" who represent several companies who try to fit customers with an appropriate policy. "We don't sell insurance," David says. "We help people buy insurance."

The agency has 15 employees, including two who are certified public accountants, one with a master's degree in business and one who is a certified financial planner.

They specialized in big-ticket items; the average premium is more than $100,000 yearly. "We're not out in the mom and pop market," David says. "There's nothing wrong with that market...that's just not what turns us on."

The state Insurance Commission doesn't rank insurance agents, but David is in the top 600 producers out of more than 19,000 agents in 400 companies in 52 countries in the Million Dollar Round Table insurance organization and tops in the state in the group. Wayne says he is "very, very near the top" of insurance agents with the trucking industry in Arkansas.

Some insurance agents are a tad skeptical the company can reach $50 million. Even at $50 million, the company wouldn't top Rebsamen Insurance, which does more than that. Terry Burnett of Burnett Insurance Corp. says his company is a competitor of Dill Brothers and has done similar volume.

"We have found them to be an aggressive, sales-oriented company," says Burnett, explaining his company has a concentration of coverage on firms with less than 50 trucks, while the Dills have some of the largest trucking companies.

Wayne says selling insurance to the trucking industry (he pronounces it "in-dustry") had a stigma as shady and risky business. He recalls that at insurance "in-dustry" conventions, "I'd be standing around by myself and I'd hear people say, `He writes truck business.' Like I had AIDS. We decided to come out of the closet: We write truck insurance business and are damn proud of it."

David sells insurance as a tax-sheltered investment and offers plans that pay inheritance taxes for estate planning. He says the plans are conservative. "We think pigs get fat, but hogs get slaughtered."

Packing The Premiums

Both have been in the business 20 years, starting with insurance companies. Wayne set up Dill Brothers in 1981, but was the only Dill brother in the agency. David joined him in January and they are ahead of a schedule set to bring in $8 million a year in new premiums; some major national companies in Arkansas see less than $3 million in new premiums yearly. The Dills hope to have the business packed with $50 million in premiums by 1995.

"Which is a big damn agency," David adds. "I'll promise you."

PHOTO : TALKING DILLS: Selling comes naturally to David (left) and Wayne Dill.

PHOTO : David Dill: Tops in the state in the Million Dollar Round Table insurance organization.

PHOTO : Wayne Dill: He writes truck insurance and is damn proud of it.
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Title Annotation:Dill Brothers Insurance
Author:Hathorn, Clay
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Apr 23, 1990
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