History

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Our history starts with our President John Witherspoon's interest in an up and coming sport called SCUBA diving in 1976. During this time, John worked with various shops and dive boats throughout the southeast and Caribbean. While working in the industry, he achieved more than 500 dives as Master Instructor with NASE (National Academy of Scuba Educators), NASDS (National Association of SCUBA Diving Schools) and several other certification agencies. He taught Open Water, Advanced OW and several specialties such as underwater photography and videography.

In the mid 1980's, John went to work at the family-owned insurance agency, Gale Smith + Co. John started as personal lines manager but quickly realized that "standard" insurance wasn't for him.  He wanted something different, more exciting. Shortly afterwards, John started offering insurance products for the dive industry.

As manager of the SCUBA department, he put together a program for SCUBA professional liability in 1989 with underwriters at Lloyd's.  A few years later, in 1993, a dive store and boat program was added, giving Gale Smith + Co a full offering of products to the dive industry. John also handled various types of SCUBA manufacturing and service risks. John marketed these products until September 11, 2001, when everything changed.   Gale Smith + Co and John lost a large portion of their program with Lloyd's because of pull back from U.S. risks but were still able to keep the professional liability products. Because of the smaller book of business and the unique risks associated with the diving industry, John and Gale Smith + Co parted ways. This separation was the beginning our company.  Witherspoon and Associates was founded in 2003, and a few years later, in 2008, we were able to offer a full line of insurance products to our customers again. Also in 2008 Dixon Witherspoon and Errean Smith joined the firm.  In 2015, Witherspoon joined AssuredPartners NL to have access to an even broader array of national products and services that protect individuals and businesses.

Throughout the building years, John envisioned offering the most competitive policy prices and coverage, the best legal team to defend our clients and a group of licensed professionals that offer superior customer service. Simply put, John wanted to help divers because he has a true interest in the sport and the people that make it what it is!  This idea has continued though today and our customers have allowed our small company to thrive.


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