The Next Generation

The DeHayes Group insurance agency in Fort Wayne commits to serving the community today and tomorrow.
Sep 7, 2018
Jennifer Blomquist
Jeffrey Crane

The corporate name for The DeHayes Group is NxtGen, LLC and it’s a name with a purpose.

“We intentionally came up with that name of ‘next generation,’ because it fulfills our commitment to internally perpetuate this agency to stay locally owned,” says Dave Relue, a managing member of The DeHayes Group. “The four managing members are now the third generation owners of the agency. We are still the largest locally owned insurance company in northeast Indiana.” 

Relue and the other three managing member partners say everything they do today works toward making tomorrow’s generation better. Ironically, everything they’re working toward for the future is heavily built upon the past.

“David DeHayes founded The DeHayes Group in 1982 as a property and casualty insurance company in Fort Wayne,” says Relue. “The company grew and expanded and in 1985, Bill Rush joined the group and then bought the company from DeHayes in 2005. Unfortunately, Bill unexpectedly passed away two years ago, but we are passionate about keeping Christian values at the forefront of this company, just as Bill did. We take what David DeHayes started, what Bill enhanced and we constantly work to improve the business for the benefit of our clients.”

The vast majority of The DeHayes Group business is commercial property and casualty and group benefits, with the smaller percentage of it focused on personal insurance. “Our premium size on commercial property casualty ranges from $500 to $6 million,” says Nick Groves. “We are committed to the community and we are not going to turn any company down from reviewing their insurance risks.”

From a group benefits perspective, “we built this agency to help an employer with any facet of their business, be it 401(k), Medicare, employee benefits or workers comp. There’s not a product or service that our agency can’t facilitate for an employer,” says Kevin Burns.

The four explain that in order to grow the agency, they sometimes have to invest in things that may not necessarily be insurance-related.

“On the benefits side, we’ve invested in two areas,” says Burns. “We started our own wellness company called NxtGen Wellness, which is committed to not only the wellness of our clients’ employees, but also toward improving the health of those employees. The members say the program is more of a holistic approach to improving people’s lives and lowering the costs for employers.”

“Second, we’ve invested in data analytics through a company called Vital Incite. This system enables us to design better benefit plans for employers based on that data. We’re very excited about this venture, utilizing a company used by both the state of Indiana and Purdue University. So, we’re offering a product to employers that much larger employers in the state are using to design their benefit plans,” Burns shares.

Bringing national resources to the local table is one of the things that differentiates DeHayes from other agencies.

“We’ve invested in national organizations which allow us to bring tools, resources and experts from a national level to our area,” says managing member Nick Groves. “Those organizations include Keystone® Insurers Group and United Benefit Advisors, or UBA®. We have partnered with them on a national level to benefit us here locally.”

“It’s extremely important to us to remain local, but it’s also very difficult to do that,” says managing member Jeff Pikel. “We have some pressure from other companies that want to buy us. We have something that’s very successful, so we are constantly being sought after, which is certainly a compliment.”

As a local agency, it is a challenge because they have to compete with huge national agencies.

“To contend with larger organizations, we’ve come up with a master plan for the coming year which includes hiring both a claims manager and a loss control engineer,” says Pikel. “The big firms offer that, so we need to as well.”

“Our reach is global,” says Pikel. “We have local clients, national clients and even some international clients. By using intellectual capital from within our organization as well as intellectual capital through our partnership with Keystone® and UBA®, we can serve our clients of today and will continue to bring that to the generation to come.”

The Compass…leading you in the right direction

Commercial Property & Casualty Insurance: We work with our clients to develop a strategy to avoid, reduce and transfer risk.

Employee Benefits: We have the knowledge to consult and advise on medical, voluntary and ancillary products to develop a strategic employee benefit package to meet our client’s needs.

Personal Insurance: We offer coverage to fit each client’s unique needs with homeowners, auto, motorcycle, personal umbrella/excess liability, boat, motorhome, recreational vehicles and more.

NxtGen Wellness: A complete and compliant corporate wellness program.

DeHayes OSHALogs: We have the tools to assist with your company’s safety culture.

Financial Services: The DeHayes Group can assist you with developing a strategy to help you reach your financial goals.

Education & Seminars: Our seminars are designed to help avoid and reduce risk with topics such as cyber liability, employee handbooks and Affordable Care Act compliance.

Medicare Senior Benefits: Let us help you navigate the Medicare and supplemental senior insurance landscape. 

The DeHayes Group

Address: 11118 Coldwater Road Fort Wayne, Indiana 46845

Phone: (260) 424-5600


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