Collective Insurance Group

Experienced, Independent & Established

Collective Insurance Group was founded with the goals of meeting the needs of clients while providing a superior product with personal service at competitive rates. Being privately owned and operated allows Collective Insurance Group to be a true Independent Agent for its clients. Collective Insurance has the ability to outperform others by being able to avoid the issues and conflicts associated with publicly owned and venture capital backed firms.

Collective was established by Carlton Smith for the primary purpose to be an Independent Agency focused on its clients and personnel. Having past experience as a managing principal in a large Independent Agency as well as a stockholder in a large publicly traded broker, Carlton knows from personal experience the advantages an independently owned insurance agency can provide it's clients and employees.

Specializing in surety bonds and large, heavy casualty accounts, Collective Insurance Group has the experience and resources to procure your commercial insurance and surety bond needs. While many “Agents” state they have proficiency in these areas, they are only able to “network” your needs to insurance carriers and surety companies, relying on those carriers to advise what is needed for your program.

Collective has the ability to analyze and underwrite in-house to assess your needs before “sending to market”. Our knowledge and personal relationships with insurance and surety underwriters allow Collective to advise and secure a market relationship "custom tailored" for your needs, providing a long term advantage for you and your firm.

Collective Insurance Group — Helping Build Your Success!


J. Carlton Smith, Jr.

Having graduated in 1988 with a B.B. A. degree from Millsaps College, Carlton came to Nashville under the thought he would work a few years and return to his hometown of Jackson, MS. However, the employment for the Thornton & Harwell Agency along with the great environment of Nashville resulted in Nashville being called home since 1988.

Climbing the ranks at Thornton & Harwell becoming the Bond Manager and then a Managing Principal, allowed for specializing in construction oriented, heavy casualty insurance and surety bonds. “Ed Thornton, Jim Harwell and Wade Thornton provided a great foundation for me to learn the trade. I am forever grateful for giving me support and the opportunity to be successful in our industry.”

After the sale to publicly traded BB&T Insurance Services, Carlton continued to oversee the agency as Agency Manager while also being part of BB&T’s specialized construction unit. His tenure with BB&T continued for 11 years, after which Carlton departed to rejoin the independent agency side. The founding of Collective Insurance Group has allowed Carlton to establish a true independent agency without any restrictions or corporate atmosphere generated by large brokerage firms. In most instances, an independent agency can outperform a large corporate organization in regards to product, service, and rate. “In today’s competitive environment it is paramount to have this ability.”

As a 2nd generation independent agent specializing in construction and heavy casualty accounts, Carlton most enjoys the personal relationships established with his clients. While growing up, Carlton learned the value of personal relationships as he was able to accompany his father, the late “Skip” Smith, on many client visits. “Dad was a principal in the Bottrell Agency in my hometown of Jackson, MS where he specialized in providing insurance and bonds for construction firms. Being very personable and generous, Dad had great relationships with all of his clients. Most of them had large construction yards with big trucks and heavy equipment. Things that were exciting to see as a young boy as well as enjoying the generosity extended by his clients as we visited.”

“As those memories and experiences are a large part of my life, I strive to emphasize the personal service and relationships as part of Collective Insurance Group’s main focus.” As part of this focus, it allows Carlton to also enjoy many of his favorite activities which include hunting, fishing, hiking and travel. When not spending time with clients, Carlton also enjoys spending time with his wife, Rebecca, and three children- J. Carlton, Nash and Brawner.

We look forward to having an opportunity to meet with you