Family Owned Business profile: Biggs Insurance Services

Insurance company’s commitment to community is a major part of their principles

Biggs Insurance
Courtesy of Biggs Insurance Services

It all began in 1935 with The Whitfield Company when Whitfield Sr. brought on his sons Harold and Glen to help manage their insurance and realty firm. In 1953, they were joined Don Biggs, who set out to help grow the insurance side of the business. After many years of partnership with the Whitfields, Don acquired the agency from them and created Don & Biggs Associates – now Biggs Insurance Services.

Located in downtown Vancouver at 916 Main St., Biggs is an independent insurance broker, meaning they have access to multiple markets and companies. Between their three departments – personal, commercial and benefits – Biggs employs more than 50 industry professionals. The current president of the company is Rich Biggs, who is one of Don’s sons. Other owners of the business include Dave Anzellotti (executive vice president of Property and Casualty) and Tyson Fuehrer (executive vice president of Life and Health).

Rich Biggs was elected president this year after being with the company for more than 20 years. Biggs Insurance also welcomed Rich’s son Nolan Biggs this year as a new personal lines agent.

“At Biggs, we feel that when people see your family name in big, unmistakable letters on the side of your building, they see that you’re putting stock by that name, and they naturally have a greater willingness to place their trust in you,” Rich said. “Plus, as a businessowner, the knowledge that you’re part of an ongoing legacy ensures that integrity and community are at the center of everything you do.”

Rich said that since Don’s purchase of the insurance entity from the Whitfields in 1968, he set out a plan to perpetuate his business locally. He said Don strove to both transition ownership to his partners, who felt like family themselves, and to invite the possibility of one day having some of his kids join the business.

“He (Don) knew that a family owned business needs to provide more than just a service or product – it needs to provide an opportunity for family members to invest in the business’ future, by proving it has something to offer as both a career and as a vital part of a growing community,” Rich said.

The decision to keep the Biggs Insurance business in Vancouver stems from the fact that the Biggs family has always had its roots here, Rich said. Don grew up in Vancouver, and after traveling the world during his assignments in the Merchant Marines and Army, he returned back to Vancouver, as he felt there was so much opportunity to be part of a great community.

Rich said commitment to community is a major part of the company’s principles. He said they are proud to invest in many worthy nonprofits, both financially and as an agency and as individuals with donations of their time. Biggs is also involved with several community organizations promoting growth in the Southwest Washington region, including the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Identity Clark County and the Columbia River Economic Development Council.

Something that Rich said sets Biggs Insurance apart from other companies is its 85-year history, as well as the fact that they strive to make Biggs a fun and rewarding place to work for their team members.

“We love investing in our people and recognizing their potential,” Rich said.

“Our plans (for the future) include continued growth – we’ll continue to keep up with the ever-evolving world of insurance products for our clients, and we’ll continue to align with what is happening in our community and the world around us,” Rich said. “Throughout it all, Biggs will proudly maintain its presence on Main Street of Vancouver.”

Joanna Yorke-Payne
Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start

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