Who We Are:
As Louisville’s premier independent insurance agency, Van Zandt, Emrich & Cary creates customized, creative, cost-effective solutions for our clients. We are known for developing and nurturing successful long-term relationships, and managing the risk of more than 6,000 customers through best-in-class business insurance, personal insurance, employee benefits and financial consulting services. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality insurance products and services to our clients with superior customer service at an affordable cost.
To find out more about how we can help you manage your risk at work and at home, contact us online or call us at 502-456-2001.
Louisville, Kentucky-based Van Zandt, Emrich & Cary Inc. traces our roots back to 1914, when one of our original partners, Richard Williams, opened his independent insurance agency, Williams & Henning. In 1949, another of our firm’s co-founders, Jo Van Zandt, returned from World War II and joined the company, assigned to a desk in the hall outside the Williams & Henning office in the Starks Building in downtown Louisville.
Because Van Zandt’s father was a doctor, he began his insurance career by selling a relatively new type of policy that was becoming a necessity in the medical profession: professional liability insurance. With an average premium of just $25, Van Zandt grew this line into one of the largest books of professional insurance written by an independent agent at the time.
Also in 1949, original partner Claud Emrich started his insurance career working with five other agents, sharing office space and secretarial support through Aetna Casualty & Surety. In 1951, he opened his own office. Although Emrich initially sold primarily personal lines policies, he quickly established a niche working with contractors.
In 1960, while still maintaining their autonomy, the Henning & Van Zandt agency and Emrich began sharing office space and expenses in the Starks Building. In 1969, their neighbor in the downtown office tower, Art Cary, who focused his business in the heavy equipment and manufacturing industry, joined forces with Van Zandt and Emrich. The three founders incorporated as Van Zandt, Emrich & Cary Inc., establishing the agency that exists today.
At the time the fledging firm was founded, it was one of the largest independent agencies in Kentucky, offering personal, commercial and life insurance. The founders each excelled in their own areas of focus but were also great friends, making Van Zandt, Emrich & Cary’s success even more rewarding.
In 1982, the Hummel, Meyer & Burks agency merged with Van Zandt, Emrich & Cary. Dick Burks had owned the agency since 1975, but it had been a well-established insurance firm since 1875. Burks still is an active producer at Van Zandt, Emrich & Cary today.
In 1987, the Schlich Agency merged with Van Zandt, Emrich & Cary, bringing producers Paul Schlich Sr. and Rudy Schlich on board. In 2000, The Arnold Group merged with our firm, bringing Mike Arnold into the organization.
In 2007, Van Zandt, Emrich & Cary broadened its offerings by creating an Employee Benefits division headed by Bobby Neutz. Jeff Gates joined the company in 2011 to lead the new Financial Services division.
In 2010, the company’s unprecedented success during the recession allowed us to construct a new, 15,350-square-foot facility at 12401 Plantside Drive in Jeffersontown. It replaced our former location on Bunsen Parkway, which had about 8,400 square feet. Van Zandt had relocated to the East End from downtown in 1982.
In January 2013, Arnold was named president & CEO, with Rudy Schlich serving as chief operating officer.
Because we value the devoted and passionate people who make our company great, Van Zandt, Emrich & Cary was named a Leader in Providing Work/Life Balance in the 2003 Greater Louisville Inc. Work/Life Alliance Awards, and a finalist in Business First’s Healthiest Employers awards program in 2012 and 2013. We also are deeply committed to our community, providing charitable dollars to many local nonprofits each year, and encouraging our employees to give their time to a variety of local causes.
Today, Van Zandt, Emrich & Cary is the 13th largest independent insurance agency in the Louisville region. We have grown to nearly 50 professional producers and support staff, with an annual premium volume in excess of $50 million.