About us

About Us

WHA is licensed to conduct insurance business in 48 states, with over 40 licensed agents who are each uniquely trained to specialize in a specific type of coverage. Combined, our team can meet almost any insurance and risk management need you may encounter. We hold both insurance and consulting licenses, and we can frequently offer clients the choice between commission or a fee, provided that clients meet the requirements for fee-based services. This can translate into services that are significantly less expensive than those based on standard insurance commission. And for those clients who are only looking for Risk Management, our services are available for a fee or at an hourly rate. We believe that we can best serve you through a thorough understanding of both our industry and yours. It’s not uncommon in the insurance industry to encounter agents who simply “talk insurance” at their clients, but our involvement with your trade associations allows us to talk with you about your industry and how it relates to your specific needs. In 1979, WHA was one of the first West Coast insurance agencies to adopt the idea of agents as specialists in their given field. This offers three key advantages to our clients: 1. Rather than a “generalist” agent, clients are serviced by a specialist who has targeted their time and training to specific areas of risk. That superior market and coverage knowledge can then translate into more accurate coverage options at better rates. 2. Specialization allows our agents to focus their time on your specific trade language and needs, which elevates our communication with you from “talking insurance” to a valuable, supportive conversation. 3. Our specialists are active in many of your trade associations and support groups, which supports your industry and helps keep us on the cutting edge of your needs. Today, each of our licensed agents and consultants are singularly focused on the needs of one of 14 specific industries.

History

WHA (Wilson Heirgood Associates) was established as an all-lines insurance agency by Hobart Wilson in 1950. In 1979, WHA adopted its specialized take on insurance, with licensed agents and consultants who are singularly focused on specific industries. In 1980, WHA got involved with the trade associations tied to each specialty, and by the mid-1980s we were honored to be regular lecturers on important issues unique to several of those trade associations. Our involvement helped place our staff members on several insurance company agency councils. In the 1980s, we developed a separate risk management company—Alexander & Alexander—that today is a section of WHA. In 1990 WHA developed its first partnership with associations in order to provide risk management services tailored to those trade associations’ needs. Those original partnerships are still in place 30 years later, and are now accompanied by several new partnerships in Oregon and Washington. The 2000s saw WHA expanding its licensing outside of the Northwest. Today we are licensed in 48 states. We also expanded risk management services from solely traditional insurance-based risk management to include non-insurance-related services. The first phase of this expansion was based on the High Reliability Organization (HRO) approach to risk management. In the 2010s, we further expanded our risk management strategy to include Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and adopted Sidney Dekker’s “Just Culture” approach to workplace culture. Most recently, we have added some key components utilized by the FAA, known as Safety Management Systems (SMS). In 2017, WHA brought Alexander & Alexander in-house as a separate division, which allowed us to offer more comprehensive Risk Management through WHA contracts, when appropriate, or separate the Risk Management services when it best met our clients’ needs. During this same year, WHA also expanded our inspections to include nine new tools, which added more depth to this service. The tools used include:

Equipment

  • Air Monitor
  • Dosimeter
  • Drone
  • GFCI Receptacle Tester
  • Impact Tester
  • Infrared Temperature Monitor
  • Laser Measure
  • Moisture Tester
  • Thermal Imager
  • Video Camera
  • Voltage Meter
  • Voltage Tester

Function

  • Air quality monitoring
  • Sound level monitoring
  • Building inspections, property survey
  • Verify proper operation and circuit grounding
  • Fall surfacing testing of playground surfaces
  • Measure temperature
  • Measure height, length, width, depth
  • Moisture testing for possible mold
  • Emissivity measurement
  • Building inspections, equipment inventory
  • Electrical voltage testing
  • Verify existence of voltage