Introducing an agent-owned alliance of insurers offering selective protection to consumers

KNOXVILLE, TN – ATM, LLC, announces Fortified, a collaboration of independent insurance agencies, coming January 2023. The move unites 54 independent agencies throughout the Southeast US, including the states of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

headshot of joe craven, ceo of fortified insurance alliance

Earlier this month, Fortified named Joe Craven chief executive officer of the alliance. Craven has a long tenure in the insurance industry having worked with companies such as Travelers and most recently Grange Insurance.

In his previous positions, Craven worked closely with independent agencies to provide coverage for their clients. It was his familiarity with independent agencies and their struggles that drew the attention of the Fortified board.

“Independent agencies are the foundation of our industry. They’re small businesses that work hard to provide the best coverage possible for their clients, but unfortunately being a ‘small’ business can make it harder to develop partnerships with carriers,” said Craven.

“Fortified is a collection of independent agents with similar core values,” Craven continued. “By uniting, we are a stronger force in the insurance industry. We are dedicated to keeping the independent insurance agency system competitive and prosperous for generations to come.”

Based on 2021 market share data, independent agencies remain a key player in the industry by placing the majority of all property and casualty business. The report shows growth in percentage written by independent agents in almost all lines of coverage over the past 5 years.

“Independent agencies exist to serve their clients,” said Lou Moran, III, owner of Inter-Agency Insurance Services in Knoxville, TN, and Fortified founding partner. “We build trust by ensuring they have the coverage they need. Which in turn means they come back when they need more, and they are consistently recommending us to those in search of coverage.”


Fortified aligns independent agencies to reinforce and enhance their role in the industry. The alliance is committed to uniting its member agencies to bring the best insurance and risk management solutions to clients. Combined Fortified agencies write over $2.6 billion in insurance premiums for more than 225,000 clients throughout the United States. Learn more at