Co-founder of collector automobile insurer referred to as a visionary

Frank Hagerty, a Detroit native who co-founded one particular of the nation’s biggest collector automobile and boat insurers, died Tuesday at his property in Traverse City. He was 79.

Hagerty and his wife, Louise, founded the Hagerty Insurance Company, LLC, in Traverse City in 1984. Below the leadership of Frank Hagerty and the couple’s son, McKeel Hagerty, now CEO, the company grew from a little insurer into an worldwide business that also publishes industry magazines and value guides.

Frank Hagerty grew up in Detroit loving Ford vehicles. He graduated from Cooley High College and earned a organization degree from Michigan State University in 1955. That very same 12 months, he married and he and his wife opened a general insurance coverage agency in 1956. They ultimately sold it and opened a specialized business to insure collector cars and boats in 1984.

“He had this notion to commence this specialty enterprise that was surrounding his passions,” McKeel Hagerty mentioned Wednesday. “He was often a automobile guy.”

Frank Hagerty’s first classic auto was a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, which he bought from a junkyard for $ 225. The auto remains in the family members today.

Larry Moss, chairman of the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s in Plymouth, called Mr. Hagerty a “visionary” in the discipline of car collector insurance coverage.

“Years in the past, when Frank started out the company, no 1 really did significantly with collector vehicles,” Moss mentioned. “He grew to become the go-to organization for anyone who had a automobile that you did not drive everyday.”

The insurance business is a sponsor of the yearly car present.

“It’s been instrumental in supporting major occasions like ours and supporting vehicle collectors in numerous approaches all across the country,” Moss stated. “Frank was a buddy of the hobby and he will be missed.”

McKeel Hagerty, who took above as CEO right after his father retired twenty many years ago, said his father created at least one journey a year back to Detroit for events this kind of as the Concours and the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Frank Hagerty was capable to enjoy his passion until finally the finish of his existence, his son mentioned. He recently rediscovered a 1948 Ford Sleeping Bear Dunesmobile and brought it residence to northern Michigan. The vehicle, Dune Automobile #9, took First Location in the seaside vehicle class at the 2014 Amelia Island Concours d’;Elegance in Florida this month. Frankrodein the car to the award platform.

In 2013, Fortune Magazine named Hagerty 1 of the best 50 small or medium firms to perform for in the country. Nowadays the business has much more than 600 employees, a United kingdom office and ideas to double its operate force in the coming years.

“To think about this minor concept they had … to increase it to have above 600 staff I’m proud to be at the helm,” McKeel Hagerty mentioned. “It’s truly cool to know so a lot of of those suggestions came from him.”

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