The Southern Agency

The Southern Agency was founded by agent Derek Wirz. Derek created a framework of insuring a business by “systematizing” the way a business buys insurance and views their exposures. This is because the insurance industry applications do not give quite enough information about the applicant’s “back story.” This framework is what The Southern Agency calls The Southern Agency Underwriting Narrative.

When one of our agents submits an application with this narrative for the business, it will give the underwriters the feel of being on a tour of your daily operations. The Southern Agency has created this formula by highlighting your business through the 9 P’s of insurance. This builds confidence in the underwriters decision. The “9 P’s” include:

  1. Profile – brief description of business operations
  2. People – brief overview of the people involved in the business
  3. Product – an overview of what the business makes or does
  4. Process – an overview of how the business operates
  5. Plant – an overview on the building and equipment the business uses to operate
  6. Prevention – an overview on steps taken to mitigate hazards and reduce risk – additionally, we show that you have a Pre-Loss and Post-Loss Plan of action
  7. Pain – what the current shortcomings are in the current policy
  8. Price – we do not set the premium but we negotiate and this system helps – a lot
  9. Persuade – this is your forum to convince the underwriter that you are an excellent risk and how sincere you are

This creates a top-of-the-stack applications for your business. That’s what every business needs but few will ever get.

We work for you.

Meet Our Team

Derek Wirz | President & Producer

Derek is a licensed insurance agent in most states across the U.S. He writes all lines of insurance, while specializing in commercial lines. Over his 40+ years in the business, Derek has always been passionate about meeting his client’s needs.

Derek is active in many associations having served as the President of the Professional Insurance Agents of Tennessee, and as a Trustee of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents. He holds many designations including the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and the Certified Workers Compensation Professional (CWCP).

Derek graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC). He is married to Tracey, and they have two children.

Tracey Wirz | The Southern Agency

Tracey serves as our agency’s manager and financial officer.

Tracey graduated from the University of Tennessee (UTK). She is married to Derek and they have two children.

Chris Cain | The Southern Agency

Chris is the Vice President of The Southern Agency, where he is in charge of Operations and Claims. He is licensed both as an adjuster and an agent in multiple states. This gives our clients a guide to preventing claims, identifying risks that need to be covered, as well as providing assistance to both our clients and carriers when a claim occurs.

In addition to his duties at The Southern Agency, he has recently served on the State of Tennessee Bureau of Workers Compensation Telehealth Advisory Committee as well as the Utilization Review Advisory Committee that helped develop the rules and statutes. In addition, he serves on the United Heartland Insurance Company Claims Advisory Council. Previously, he served as President of the Tennessee State Claims Association, and 15 years as President of Chattanooga Claims Association.

Chris has over 30 years in the insurance industry involving multi-million-dollar property and liability claims, as well as large risk pools and self-insured employer claims. At the age of 25 he became Workers’ Compensation Division Manager for a multi-line, third party administrator. He worked at this company for 27 years handling workers’ compensation, liability, property, and bond claims.

He graduated from University of Tennessee Chattanooga and holds a B.S. in Finance with a minor in Economics. Chris and his wife, Stacey, have two children. Tyler is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and currently serves as a Naval Flight Officer for the P- 8 Poseidon. Lauren is a Business Major at University of Tennessee Chattanooga and is the current President of the American Marketing Association Collegiate Chapter. Chris and Lauren have a podcast together called, Work Comp Chaos.

Kelly Taylor | The Southern Agency

Kelly began her insurance career in 1999 and is a licensed professional. She is the agency’s Client Service Manager, working closely with our account managers and producers to keep the agency running smoothly.
In her free time, Kelly enjoys spending time with her family. They enjoy activities that range anywhere between hiking trips in the mountains to lounging on the beach.

Brandon Crowe | The Southern Agency

Brandon is a licensed insurance agent. He has over 10 years experience in leading a team or division throughout his career. Brandon is currently our Personal Lines Manager while being committed to serving our clients with their home, auto, life, and personal insurance coverages. 

Brandon is passionate to provide the best service that each client deserves to receive. His humble and openness presents each client the opportunity to structure the most accurate policy to best fit their nee