About Us

A Brief History of Time

Dealers Assurance Company (DAC) began in 1935 when it was formed by Youngstown Steel and Tube in Youngstown, Ohio as Mahoning Insurance Company and arguably became the first captive insurance company in the U.S. From its founding roots, DAC has stayed true to its initial concept of allowing insurance producers to participate in the profits of their business. The embodiment of this concept continued when Mahoning was purchased by a large group of Ohio-based automobile dealers in 1977, who subsequently changed the name to Dealers Assurance Company to more closely represent the new ownership. And even though the type of insurance changed, DAC stayed true to its captive insurance roots.

This ownership remained in place until 2004, when DAC was subsequently purchased by DAC Financial Holdings, Inc. Despite the ownership change, DAC still maintained the same captive concept, and has since gained a national presence and prominence in developing producer-owned insurance and reinsurance programs in the extended warranty and ancillary product space.

Since its acquisition by DAC Financial Holdings, Inc., DAC has grown from an A.M. Best Financial Size Category III company with less than $10,000,000 in Capital and Surplus to a Category VII company with assets between $50,000,000 and $100,000,000 of policyholder surplus. DAC has joined the ranks of insurers that rarely attain this size in such a short time span. DAC is proud of its unique heritage that spans over 80 years, a longevity that few companies can claim, and all the while staying true to its original captive concept while maintaining the A.M. Best Financial rating of A- (Excellent).

 

Management

Jim Smith

Jim Smith

Chairman of the Board

Jim has over 26 years of experience in the insurance industry. In 1985, he founded SouthwestRe, Inc., where he began developing insurance profit-sharing strategies, primarily through insurance and reinsurance programs to insurance producers. These strategies initially included limited-capitalization reinsurance companies, but have grown to include fully-capitalized insurance companies and sophisticated alternative insurance structures. These programs now incorporate over 3,000 producers nationwide, resulting in the formation and management of over 1,000 producer-owned companies. Jim has a BA in Accounting, and has served in a financial and management capacity most of his career. Jim also served on several reinsurance and captive insurance task forces on both regulatory (Consumer Credit Industry Association (CCIA) Producer-owned Task Force) and tax issues (IRS Notice 2002-70, since amended). He continues to be a frequent speaker to the accounting and insurance industries. In his free time, you may find Jim enjoying a good book, watching his favorite sports team, and surfing the Internet. He splits his time traveling between Albuquerque and Dallas.

Jim Smith

Kristen Gruber

President

With a well-deserved reputation for professionalism, high ethical standards and personal likeability, Kristen has over 20 years of experience in our industry. Prior to joining DAC, Kristen spent 13 years with Great American Insurance Company in various Underwriting and Product Management roles, managing dealer aftermarket and risk management products, including excess wear and tear, vehicle service contracts, product warranties and finance reserve insurance. In addition, she has nine years of product development experience on the administrator/broker side of our business. Kristen completed her Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation and earned a business degree from St. Mary's College in South Bend, Indiana, and an MBA from Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. When not working, she is known to spend time curled up with a good book and her two hound dogs. She splits her time between Cincinnati, Columbus and Dallas.

Jim Smith

Kirk Borchardt

GENERAL COUNSEL

Kirk Borchardt is a leading expert on the regulatory, tax, and corporate structural aspects of the service contract and ancillary products industries. Kirk began his 34-year career in 1981 as an attorney in the Chicago offices of Lord, Bissell and Brook, rising to the level of partner and managing partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office. Through his representation of many prominent industry participants, Kirk gained a reputation as a knowledgeable and “out of the box” thinker in addressing common legal and financial issues confronting the industry. Kirk was an original member of the NAIC Service Contracts Act Working Group, whose efforts spawned the adoption of the Service Contracts Model Act, a necessary progenitor to the proliferation of the administrator-obligor corporate structure. Recognizing the potential economic deficiencies of the first administrator-obligor companies, Kirk promoted the adoption of insurance company tax treatment for service contracts providers, which he successfully achieved for his client through the issuance of Technical Advice Memorandum 9601001 by the IRS in 1996, an important milestone in the evolution of the service contract business.

In 2006, Kirk brought his industry knowledge and experience in-house by becoming the President and CEO of Dealers Assurance Company, and remained with DAC through 2013. During his tenure, Kirk oversaw the steady growth of Dealers Assurance Company to become one of the industry’s leading insurers of vehicle service contract providers, and we are very pleased Kirk has rejoined the DAC family. 

Jim Smith

Linda Toy

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Linda Toy has more than 25 years of experience in Life, Property and Casualty Insurance accounting, including an extensive background in reinsurance. Prior to joining DAC, Linda held various leadership positions at the Associates Insurance Group, Price Waterhouse Coopers, and TIG Insurance. Linda has also served on the Financial Issues Committee for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, a trade association for the P&C industry. She has a BA in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of Texas at Dallas. Linda and her husband Greg have been married for 20 years, and reside in the Dallas area with their son, Sean. They have one Golden Retriever and two Yorkshire Terriers they love to spoil, enjoy camping, boating and traveling, and are big fans of the Dallas Cowboys.

Contact Information

We would love to hear from you! Please contact us with your suggestions and ideas, and let's discuss how we can work together to grow your business.

Dallas, TX
15920 Addison Road
Addison, TX 75001
TF: 800-282-8913

Columbus, OH
240 N. Fifth, Suite 350
Columbus, OH 43215
TF: 800-282-8913
DR: 614-459-0364
FX: 614-459-2665