CHAPP, FCCI Celebrate 20 Years of Profitable Agribusiness

CHAPP-office
In the late 1950s, longtime FCCI leader and current board member G.W. Jacobs was in the eighth grade in Frostproof, Florida.
While G.W.’s father was a foreman of a logging company in the Frostproof area, G.W. began bagging groceries at a local grocery store. During that time, he became friends with Norman C. “Bucky” Payne III, whose father owned the grocery store.

Bucky married Cindy Crawford who, in 1976 – along with her father, Ed Crawford – formed CHAPP, Inc. in Dundee, Florida, to assist citrus harvesters in securing workers’ compensation insurance for their businesses. In 1984, CHAPP expanded to include a second agency, Citrus Insurance Services, Inc.
Bucky and G.W. reconnected many years later. Over the course of discussions on agribusiness, one topic they would return to was how CHAPP was limited by only being able to write workers’ compensation insurance. G.W. assured Bucky that FCCI would be able to offer all coverages, which would, in turn, enable CHAPP clients to secure all of their insurance products through their agency. By 2000, CHAPP had rolled its entire book of business over to FCCI.
“The people we work with have become our family. We trust them with everything. It’s more than just a business relationship.”
Bucky Payne, circa 1980s
“G.W. wanted to work on a handshake,” Bucky said. “The lawyers wanted to memorialize our relationship in an agreement. We didn’t need one. We just trusted each other.”
It may be unusual for an insurance agency to have an exclusive arrangement with a carrier but, for 20 years, that is exactly the relationship that CHAPP has had with FCCI Agribusiness. A Chairman’s Club agency for FCCI, CHAPP and Citrus Insurance Services have continued to write and retain profitable agribusiness through adherence to high underwriting standards and rigorous safety activities.

After the turn of the century, the agricultural world was rocked by greening disease. This has decimated the citrus industry and reduced the crop to a fraction of what it was. The connection with FCCI, and resulting expansion into all lines of coverage, could not have come at a more fortuitous time. CHAPP is now writing agribusiness coverage in 26 states.
“Our partnership has been a blessing – we couldn’t have survived without FCCI,” Bucky said. “The people we work with have become our family. We trust them with everything. It’s more than just a business relationship.”
“From the start, we felt that FCCI had the same goals and would go above and beyond for their customers. Their business philosophy is the same as ours,” Bucky continued. “They stand behind their promises, they work hard to do everything they can, they take care of people and they go above and beyond to settle claims to the satisfaction of the customer.”
“A lot of policyholders want to be with CHAPP and FCCI but they don’t meet CHAPP’s standards,” said Mary S. Roberts, FCCI’s senior business development specialist, Agribusiness. “They have to have excellent risk management, strong safety practices and they must be committed to doing things the right way.”
“CHAPP understands the business and knows all the players – they are profitable and very good at what they do,” Roberts continued. “They’re also really great people. We’re excited to have had this partnership in place for 20 years. We are looking forward to the future!”
(L-R) Bucky Payne, G.W. Jacobs and Cindy Payne, 2007
In May, CHAPP and FCCI teammates were presented with a special video prepared by Craig Johnson, FCCI chairman of the board, president and CEO, Lisa Weiland, FCCI president of field operations and chief operations officer, and G.W. Jacobs, during a special celebration in Winter Haven, Florida, to mark two decades of writing profitable agribusiness together.
Cindy Payne notes that her father would be happy to see the current state of the agency he helped found and guide in its early years.
“He would be really proud – especially of the integrity on all sides,” she said. “I hope the people who read this do take it to heart. If they’re not working with a carrier like FCCI, they should consider it.”
Bucky Payne, 2014
The staff of CHAPP, 2017
(L-R) Bucky Payne, Ed Crawford, Cindy Payne, CHAPP, Inc., circa 1980s
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