The Origins of The Insurance Group
The Insurance Group's origins are traced back to 1898 with three long-standing agencies in Columbia, Missouri: the Columbia Insurance Agency, the Conley Myers Agency and Rollins & Rollins. Rollins & Rollins eventually bought the Columbia Insurance in 1922 and rechristened itself Rollins & Vandiver.
These two names have notable historic connections to Columbia as two of the major roadways are named for Rollins' and Vandiver's family members. Rollins' family included James S. Rollins, considered "the father of the University of Missouri" for his successful effort in getting the University of Missouri to be located in Boone County. A member of Vandiver's family, Willard Duncan Vandiver, is credited with making the declaration that gave Missouri its motto, "The Show Me State" ("I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.")
Charles Digges, Sr. came on board in 1946 and the agency later changed its name to Rollins, Vandiver & Digges. Gary "Skip" Grossnickle joined the agency in 1971 after a very brief flirtation with the NFL and Charlie Digges, Jr. entered the mix in 1979 after a career as a pilot. In 1981, Rollins, Vandiver & Digges and Conley Myers Agency formed The Insurance Group. The agency stayed in the historic Guitar Building in downtown Columbia until 2007 when it moved into its state-of-the-art facility in south Columbia.