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Chip Hoover




To some, it might be enough of an achievement to grow a local, one man insurance office into one of the largest agencies in Middle Tennessee.

Not to Chip Hoover, senior vice president and head of office for J. Smith Lanier & Co.; a Marsh McLennan Agency LLC company’s Murfreesboro, Tennessee office.

For him, the Murfreesboro office is in a unique position to continue its rapid growth while also offering commercial insurance clients’ unmatched resources for the middle market industry.

“Our competitive advantage is our location, our people and our in-house resources,” he said. “As Middle Tennessee continues its boom, mid-size companies need an insurance partner that can provide additional tools for opportunity and growth. We successfully bridge the gap between what the global firms offer and the advice, solutions, and programs that smaller businesses require.”

As the southeastern hub of Marsh & McLennan Agency, J. Smith Lanier & Co. has provided business insurance and employee benefits expertise to its clients for nearly 150 years.

One of the fastest growing offices within J. Smith Lanier, the Murfreesboro office provides commercial insurance, employee benefits, and risk management services to over 500 businesses throughout Middle Tennessee and nationwide.

“Our clients include financial institutions, healthcare, law firms, manufacturing, public entities, private schools, restaurants, multifamily, and so on,” Chip said. “In addition to designing and servicing our clients’ commercial insurance coverage, our local staff provides onsite risk exposure assessments, fire and safety assessments, development of corporate safety programs, a proprietary defensive driving course, and numerous other risk management related resources.” Included within Chip’s impressive clientele are numerous commercial contractors throughout greater Nashville.

“While the construction industry has rebounded from the financial crisis, margins have generally remained tight,” he said. “A shortage of skilled labor and risk of subcontractor default are concerns, adding more uncertainty to the mix. Where we separate ourselves is our deep construction industry expertise — leading analytics and predictive modeling engines so our contractor clients can determine which risks to retain or transfer in order to make optimal risk-finance decisions.”

Along with leading the Murfreesboro office and managing his own book of business with annualized premiums of over $10,000,000, Chip directs several national insurance programs for the insurance industry itself.

“We insure the insurer,” he said. Hoover is referring to a national program that he and a colleague in Chattanooga developed seven years ago specifically for insurance companies. “Insurance companies purchase coverage too,” he said. “When we developed the program, J. Smith Lanier already represented a handful of insurance carriers as commercial clients. So we decided to try our hand at building a national program specifically for this industry niche.”

Today, their program represents insurance company clients in nearly every state and provides coverage for Insurance Company Professional Liability, Directors & Officers, Fiduciary Liability, and Cyber Liability, to name a few.

Chip, a ninth generation native of Rutherford County, credits his parents, David and Kathy Hoover, for much of his success. “When I graduated from MTSU in 2002, I didn’t know what I was going to do for a career,” he said. “Like a lot of folks in this industry, I sort of fell into it.”

When Chip entered the industry at 22 years old, his father, an insurance agent with Tennessee Farm Bureau, told him to have a plan, know where he was going, but to never forget where he came from.

“It was simple but sage advice as there hasn’t been a day since when that counsel hasn’t come into play in some form or fashion,” he said. “Murfreesboro is home.” Chip holds numerous professional and local charitable board memberships. He has served on several insurance company national advisory committees and currently serves as Secretary and board member of the Insurors of Tennessee. Chip is a past Board Chair of Murfreesboro Main Street, Inc., co-founder and board member of the 100 Club of Rutherford County, and former board trustee for Oaklands Association. He is a member of Sportsman’s Club of Murfreesboro and active with the parents associations of Discovery School at Bellwood and the Webb School.

Chip is married to Aimee Hoover and they have four children: Sawyer, Eleanor, Cecilia (“Cissy”), and Mary Edwards. They are members of St. Pauls Episcopal Church and enjoy spending time with family, watching MTSU athletics, and time on Center Hill Lake.

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