Cottingham & Butler has a long, rich history, starting with Dixon Cottingham, who opened the doors of D. Cottingham insurance agency on the upper banks of the Mississippi River in 1887. The agency’s main focus was to offer personal insurance to local community members. In the early 1900’s, Dixon’s son, John Cottingham, joined the company and the firm became know as D. Cottingham & Son.
During the early stages of the depression, John Cottingham’s youngest daughter, Barbara, married Ellis Butler, who later joined the business with his father-in-law. The firm became known as Cottingham & Butler. It was during this time that the business’ primary lines of insurance included fire, wind, and auto. A few years later, Ellis took over the family business and moved the company in the direction of focusing on larger commercial accounts.
In 1957, current Chairman, John E. Butler joined the family business as one of three employees. He and his brother, Peter, created an insurance niche specializing in poultry insurance in addition to the commercial insurance and life insurance business. Ellis passed away in 1964 and a few years later, Peter took over the management of the poultry business, and John took over the commercial business.
Since then, John has continued to lead the firm through many changes and innovations, all with the intent of serving our clients in the best way possible. Through the years, in addition to our brokerage services, we have developed employee benefits and property & casualty third-party claims administration services, safety & loss prevention services, health care coordination services, and have formed captive insurance solutions. What once began as a small, main street insurance agency from the Midwest, has now evolved into a national firm offering a full suite of integrated property & casualty and employee benefits insurance solutions.
Today, Cottingham & Butler maintains that spirit of innovation and has grown to become the 5th largest privately held broker in the U.S. and the 23rd largest insurance broker in the U.S. with clients expanding across 47 states and over 1,000 employees nationwide. Leaders, Andrew Butler, Executive Chairperson, David Becker, CEO, and John Butler, Chairperson continue to inspire growth and prosperity through deep insight and a commitment to providing superior service and innovative solutions to our clients; this is a part of our history and a commitment we make to our future.