Agency Backstory

This is how it all began.


While in junior high school, Derek Wirz begins rating insurance policies in the family insurance agency on an IBM® computer supplied by Travelers Insurance Company®.  Yes, there were computers back then.  The funny thing is he used 5 ½ inch floppy disks for rating policies.  Do you remember these?


Starts Entrepreneurship Class – University of Tennessee Chattanooga and discovers a passion in a college class of owning his own business.


Begins career in family insurance agency and decides that the agency business is for him!  Cutting his teeth on construction insurance policies.  He sells his first commercial insurance policy to contractor, Thad Hunt. (Pictured here 25 plus years later.)



Derek’s father, Paul, teaches him the business by ordering a portfolio of every coverage form that the agency sold.  Everyday was a “coverage class.”  He encourages him to obtain multiple insurance designations, including the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC).


Buys his first insurance agency to focus on construction company insurance coverage.


He got tired of filing files, he programmed one of America’s first Agency Management Systems to manage the agency he had just acquired.  Having the computer experience from the earlier days, he saw how databases could change the way agencies were managed.


Merges the agency into the family agency. A business with roots as far back as 1882.


The “Barnett Bank” decision causes a bank “feeding frenzy” over successful insurance agencies. Banks began calling on the family agency to “sell out.”


The family business is sold to a bank owned insurance agency and mom and dad retire. Derek stays with the acquiring agency as an insurance producer.


Begins writing an insurance text book on the weekends and evenings.  The idea behind the book was to help business owners understand their exposures to a loss and how to protect these exposures with the proper insurance policies.


Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam commissions a report by the experts at Work Comp Strategies on how to solve many problems, particularly in Tennessee and Derek’s epiphany goes off.  The report simply stated that “Expanding education will result in the best outcomes…”

Early 2013

Derek assembles some of the best thinkers in America that understands Workers Compensation from all angles.  One of the partners said “Workers Comp will change when all employers treat Workers Comp like they are self-insured – spending their own money for all claims…”

Late 2013

Policyholder drops premium by over $130,000 annually by simply executing just a few of the hundreds of things taught in the curriculum.

February 14, 2015

Derek and his team launch the first state specific training program for employers across the State of Tennessee through their Learning Management System. The program can be accessed by logging on to


October 16, 2015

Derek started The Southern Agency using the 7 Step Process.