After 13 years as an insurance broker with a major insurance company in southern California, Will Griffin received notice on a hot day in July 2022 that he had 30 days to shut down his thriving office in Lakewood as part of the company’s plan to eliminate all brick-and-mortar locations. As a five-year veteran of the Marine Corps, he had dealt with his fair share of unexpected surprises, but the sobering realization that he and his employees would be out of jobs in one month was a sudden jolt. Griffin called his colleague, Dan Calimquim, at their Long Beach location only to learn he received the same notice.


“I had 17,000 customers at the time, so I knew I had to figure out something very quickly,” said Griffin. “Dan and I had worked together for several years, so we were on the same page with coming up with a swift solution. And the solution was to buy a Freeway Insurance franchise.”

As luck would have it, the timing was perfect to explore opportunities with Freeway Insurance, a division of Confie, the largest independent personal lines agency and broker in the U.S. Griffin learned that Freeway was in the beginning stages of franchise development in 2022 and was in the process of registering the brand in states throughout the country. After years of operating more than 800 corporate-owned locations, Freeway was convinced franchising could help the company expand on a wider scale nationwide.

“We were only opening about 30 corporate locations per year,” said Alex Trachtman, Freeway’s SVP of Sales and Operations. “We realized franchising would allow us to expand in areas of the country where we wanted to have a bigger presence.”

Although Freeway’s enormous brand recognition was a factor in Griffin’s franchise decision-making process, he was also impressed by the company’s recognition of veterans. Confie’s CEO Cesar Soriano served in the military worldwide, including Southwest Asia as a Military Intelligence Officer in the United States Army. And while other franchisors offered small veterans discounts, Freeway’s was significant. Griffin learned the regular price for one franchise location was $25K, but for veterans it was affordably priced at $15K. Griffin and Calimquim signed franchise agreements for the Long Beach and Lakewood locations in November 2022 and by March 2023 they were holding grand openings as among the first Freeway Insurance franchise locations.

“Freeway was a match made in heaven because we were still reeling from having to shut down our offices so suddenly,” said Griffin. “And after being with my previous insurance company for so long, we felt strongly we had to go with a brand with huge name recognition and high ratings in the industry. I wasn’t going to open a Will Griffin Insurance agency, because no one has heard of me. But everyone has heard of Freeway!”

Trachtman noted that Freeway’s brand recognition stems from a number of factors, including a massive national advertising campaign and a high TrustPilot rating of 4.6. The company’s sponsorship of Mexican race car driver Daniel Suárez and Trackhouse Racing for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season has bolstered enthusiasm with Hispanics and racing fans on a national level as well.

“Daniel Suárez has added another dimension of brand awareness for Freeway,” said Trachtman. “Whenever he makes appearances at events, we see hundreds of people lining up for his autograph, and some of them are asking him to sign little Freeway cars. And of course our franchisees are always interested in attending races or meeting him when he travels to their areas.”

Since Griffin and Calimquim kicked off the franchise development plan in southern California, Freeway has expanded to 31 locations, including 17 in the Golden State. According to Trachtman, four locations are in Florida, while Georgia and Tennessee have two units and Illinois, South Carolina, and Colorado have one each. Growth has steadily grabbed the attention of multi-unit investors and franchisees with nine additional locations planned in Georgia. Freeway is aiming for a total of 36 locations by the end of the year and projecting 400 in the next five years. While other insurance agencies are only selling policies online or on the phone, Freeway is capitalizing on knowing its customer base prefers to do business in person.

“You could say it’s part of the Hispanic culture,” noted Trachtman. “Of course we offer options to purchase online or on the phone, but we have thousands of customers who like to meet someone, shake hands, and know who they are doing business with. Eliminating the language barrier is important, so we have solved this by having many bilingual agents. It’s all about giving our customers options and making them feel comfortable.”

Meanwhile, business is thriving for Griffin and Calimquim, who both say owning a Freeway franchise is the best decision they’ve ever made.



“We’ve seen consistent growth with auto insurance, so we plan to offer homeowners, commercial, and other policies down the road,” Griffin said. “The support we receive from Freeway when we need it is invaluable.”