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FierceCEO.com Interviews Hagerty Insurance CEO, McKeel Hagerty

FierceCEO is a fantastic blog and information portal geared towards business executives and produce must-read articles on topics executives say they care about most.  FierceCEO is a great source for news, analysis and data on running a business.

They recently interviewed the CEO of Hagerty Insurance, the global leader for collector car and boat insurance.  The CEO is none other than McKeel Hagerty himself and Fierce CEO sat down with him for an in-depth interview that we found fascinating.

The interview apparently kicked off with the notion that the future will only have self-driving cars.  To that Mr. Hagerty dismissed the idea.   “There will always be people who enjoy cars and want to drive,” Hagerty told FierceCEO.

Folks are always going to enjoy driving classics and other vintage or collectable automobiles.  And Hagerty Insurance will continue to be there to make sure owners are Insured and protected.  Hagerty Insurance currently covers more than 1.4 million vehicles ranging from $40 million Ultra rare racing collectors to the average Joe’s entry-level $3,000 ride.

Hagerty continued to tell FierceCEO that his staff of over 1,000 works together to keep their insurance rates very competitive amongst the industry.  Specifically, Hagerty says his company writes its specialty policies through 30,000 agents worldwide.

When asked about the challenges of insuring cars that are rare or for parts that are becoming scarce, Hagerty responded by saying “Getting parts for cars that haven’t been made in decades is not as hard as one might think. You’d be surprised at people’s ability to find things.”

Parts can also be fabricated using modern technology, he said.   We have been following that trend as well for some time.  Especially all the new 3D printing technology that is now being used to create otherwise hard-to-find vintage car parts.  We wrote an article earlier this year on how new 3D printing technology is keeping old classic cars road ready.

Hagerty Insurance was originally founded by McKeel Hagerty’s parents more than 30 years ago.  What began as an insurer of wooden, classic boats expanded their horizons in the early 1990s to cover classic cars as well.  It was 1997 when McKeel Hagerty took over as CEO.

According to the interview, Hagerty discusses how he had other plans besides following in his family’s footsteps.  Before he entered the Insurance world, McKeel Hagerty had goals of becoming a priest and a philosophy professor.  In the end, he is happy with the career choice that he has made.

“I can’t think of a more fun job,” he said. “And we’re just taking more market share.”  The insurance company has grown tremendously and now has international offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada in addition to its U.S. offices.  Just this year Hagerty has hired 120 employees to join the team.

“When employees grow, the company grows,” Hagerty said.

Being the CEO of the world’s largest collector vehicle insurer would lead you to believe that McKeel has a fondness for classic cars and you would be right.  In the interview he disclosed that he has a collection of around 25 cars.  His very first car was reportedly a red 1967 Porsche 911 S that he paid $500 for when he was 12 and restored with his dad.  We also found it fascinating to learn that Mr. Hagerty drives his 1930 Ford Model A which he often drives to work!

When asked if he had an all-time favorite car, his response to FierceCEO was “It’s a sports car in general,” Hagerty said. “But not one in particular. Every car has different characteristics. It just sort of depends on the mood you’re in.”

Finishing up the interview, FierceCEO asked which of this year’s models are going to be tomorrow’s collectibles?   “We look for vehicles that push boundaries and beg to be driven,” he said.

We recently published another article where McKeel Hagerty was discussing two classic cars that he expects to skyrocket in value over the next decade.

Here are the top five cars, in ascending order, that Hagerty listed in the FierceCEO interview:

Audi RS 3 ($54,900)

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE ($69,995)

Dodge Challenger SRT Demon ($85,000)

Honda Civic Type R ($34,100)

Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk ($86,000)

You can read the entire FierceCEO interview with McKeel Hagerty here plus hear the answers to five more questions asked during the interview they called “Fast Five with McKeel Hagerty”.