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Our History

Always adapting. Always growing.

We started as an eight-person firm in Illinois and now have over 400 employees stretched across eight locations across the Midwest.

The 1970s

In 1971, Don Horton, a crane operator who moved from Idaho to Chicago after World War II, decided to leave the construction industry and pursue insurance. He teamed up with his brother, Bill Horton, and Bill’s wife Joan to officially form The Horton Group in Orland Park, IL. There were eight total employees who specialized in auto and home insurance for individuals.

The 1980s

Don’s son, Glenn Horton, joined his father’s business as an account executive in 1980. He would go on to become the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board in 1984.

In 1982, we experienced rapid internal growth and evolved into a diversified full-service agency. We began offering products such as business insurance and employee benefits programs.

The 1990s

We became established as a regional insurance agency in 1995, acquiring other brokers, operating from multiple locations and creating a regional presence. We continued diversifying and pushed into Wisconsin in 1998, increasing our client services to include in-house claims advocacy and paralegal work.

The Early 2000s

In 2004, we acquired BearPaw Inc., an employee benefits firm founded by Chicago Bears linebacking legend Dick Butkus. As a result, we expanded our voluntary benefits (such as long-term disability, auto and homeowners’ policies) that supplement what most companies offer employees. This was an instrumental year in terms of growth for us – earlier that year, we also acquired Independent Risk Managers, a property and casualty and employee benefits consulting firm.

We expanded our specialties in 2005, offering  new practice groups focused on construction, manufacturing, transportation, public entities and restaurant/food service clients. We also welcomed Dan Horton, Glenn’s son, to the agency as a Client Service Representative.

We also established a stronger presence in Wisconsin, building a new 30,000 square-foot facility in Waukesha in 2006. This eventually led to our first acquisition in the state the following year.

Horton employee with his arms crossed speaking with a co-worker in a Horton breakout room setting

The 2010s

Our business continued to grow throughout the Midwest. We announced a strategic merger agreement with the firm Cassady, Neeser & Brasseur in 2012, adding a new office to South Bend, Indiana. And we expanded our footprint to Minnesota in 2019, opening an office in Edina.

During this time, Dan saw an immense opportunity to grow his family’s business and began immersing himself in different departments, such as sales, marketing and managerial operations. He served as Chief Marketing Officer in 2014, Chief Sales Officer in 2016 and President in 2018.

The 2020s

In 2020, Dan took the reins as Chief Executive Officer (which he still holds today). Despite the economic downturn during his first full year as CEO, Dan’s leadership and strategic initiatives helped us reach record-breaking sales in 2020 ($9.9 million).

We continued to grow our presence in Indiana, opening a new office in Indianapolis in 2021 (which would then move to Noblesville in 2022).

Today & Beyond

Today, The Horton Group is a nationally recognized insurance broker, ranked by Crain’s Business Insurance as one of the 50 largest in the country. With the expansion of our firm, we are now able to offer insurance, employee benefits and risk advisory solutions for our customers, specializing in 27 different areas. By doing this, we can dive deep into specific topics and ensure we are providing the most cutting-edge products and services.

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Jason Haas, Taft-Hartley, insurance broker.