In 1944, a young Frank M. Schultheis, Sr. must have shocked friends and family when he left a secure and well-paying job in produce sales to start his own business. He had received customer referrals from his father-in-law, William “Bill” Kuhlenschmidt of Boonville, Indiana, who held public office and sold insurance “on the side.” The first Schultheis Insurance Agency office opened in the front room of the home on S. Runnymeade Avenue in Evansville where he lived with his wife and their four small children. Frank organized the customer files for his small business in an old apple crate, and thus began the growth of the family business.
The types of insurance coverage available in those early days were less extensive than we’re familiar with today. Frank Schultheis offered customers fire and wind damage insurance – the precursor to homeowners insurance – with an option to add liability coverage. Auto insurance was available though not yet compulsory; still, some customers had the foresight to purchase this protection. Farm insurance was another area of coverage Schultheis offered his customers. His experience and guidance helped customers select the types of coverages they needed to protect their family farms.
Operating as an independent insurance agency, Schultheis was able to offer customers insurance products from a variety of companies with coverage tailored to the needs of the individual. Frank Schultheis’ business philosophy of offering his customers the best coverage available, good value, and excellent customer service created steady growth for the Schultheis Insurance Agency. And in 1959 Frank’s son Alton W. Schultheis (known to friends, family, and associates as “Bud”) joined the company.
Over the years, the Schultheis’ business grew as the insurance industry responded to people’s needs for protection from a variety of risks. Fire and wind insurance became the more comprehensive package of coverages known today as homeowner’s insurance. Auto insurance became a more extensive type of policy as well, and sales of this coverage expanded significantly when state laws mandated coverage for all vehicles driven on public roadways. Liability coverage categories especially grew in response to legal decisions. Staying abreast of society’s changing needs, Schultheis and other providers now offer policies and riders to cover such risks as business directors’ & officers’ liability, employment practices liability, and even terrorism coverage which became a new offering post-9/11.
Contributing to the growth of the Schultheis Insurance Agency, a third generation of family members took their places in the business. Bud’s son Kenan Schultheis joined the business in 1981 and his brother Brett soon followed in 1982. The diligence and enthusiasm of these new partners allowed the agency to expand even more during the last decades of the twentieth century. Then, just before we rolled over into the twenty-first century, a fourth generation joined the agency in the person of Kenan’s son, Benjamin Schultheis, who became a member of the team in 1999.
An important mission of the Schultheis Insurance Agency is dedication to the betterment of the industry and the community. Therefore, we maintain membership and participate in the activities of the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana, the Better Business Bureau, and the Southwest Indiana Chamber. Schultheis is also a founding agency of the Associated Risk Managers of Indiana, a network of insurance agencies throughout the state that allows each member company to meet the specialized needs of businesses of all sizes. We’re a Trusted Choice agency, a network of the finest independent insurance agencies dedicated to providing the best service and highest degree of integrity in all dealings with their customers. And Schultheis also belongs to the Independent Insurance Agents of Evansville, a group of companies focusing on community issues such as school safety, and providing scholarships for local high school graduates.
The Schultheis’ dedication to the industry and their customers has been recognized by awards received by the agency and its associates. The Schultheis Insurance Agency was recognized as Independent Agency of the Year by the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana in both 1996 and 2007—the only agency in Southern Indiana to have received this award. In 2005, Bud Schultheis was named Agent of the Year by the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana. And in 2006, in recognition of his leadership in philanthropic and industry-related activities, Kenan Schultheis received the Harry P. Cooper, Jr. Industry Image Award from the Independent Insurance Agents of Indiana.
From a few files in an apple crate some 70 years ago to a client base of more than 27,000 customers today, Schultheis’ growth has proved that providing dependable, quality insurance products that fit the individual’s particular situation, good value, and around-the-clock claim service creates trust and confidence for customers. As we look toward the future, the Schultheis Insurance Agency will continue to respond to industry developments in the types of insurance coverage available and to provide the ultimate in customer-responsive service.