Original Crane Agency Building

The Charles L. Crane Agency was founded in 1885, making it one of the oldest independent insurance agencies west of the Mississippi River.

Our story began when Charles Crane, the son of a steamboat captain, moved to St. Louis and began writing river marine insurance policies for barge owners traveling the Mississippi.

Those policies began a life-long relationship with the St. Louis community that has stood the test of time. Over the next several decades, Crane Agency would continue to provide insurance and risk management services to generations of local businesses and families, growing to become one of the country’s largest independently held full-service insurance brokerage firms.

Today, the agency that still bears Charles Crane’s name continues to hold fast to his principles of honesty, fairness, and family. Crane has 89 Brokers and more than 180 team members, proudly serving 22,000 clients throughout the United States and overseas.  We are recognized as one of the largest and oldest independent insurance agencies in the country, offering a full suite of insurance and risk management solutions.  For over 135 years, our Brokers have continually adapted to the changing business landscape, bringing new technology and expertise to our long-standing tradition of customer service.

When you combine a 135-year legacy with a personal approach and the latest expertise, you get much more than just an insurance broker. You get security, you get stability and you get an advocate.  Crane is your advocate in an uncertain world. ®

Our Mission

At Crane Agency, our mission is to be the premier independent insurance agency for our clients, our team, and our communities every day.

Our Values

We are a family that supports one another and works together toward a common goal.  We value open communication.  We are respectful and kind.

We are dedicated professionals that strive daily to exceed expectations.  We value long-term relationships with our clients, our employees, and the communities we serve.

At our core lies an entrepreneurial spirit that inspires us to be the best.  We are fierce advocates for our clients, our community, and each other.

Our Leadership

Tom Berra, Jr. – President

Tom Berra, Jr. – President

Tom Berra, Jr. joined Crane Agency in June of 1988 and quickly began producing business under the guidance of his father, Thomas J. Berra. Through his hard work and dedication, success came at a rapid pace. In 1993, Tom became a Principal at Crane, which afforded him an opportunity to contribute to the management of the agency, while continuing to grow his business and service his existing clients.In January of 2016, Tom Berra, Jr., was named President of Crane Agency. In his current role, Tom provides leadership throughout our organization. His primary responsibilities include partnering with agency leadership to support Crane’s long-term growth goals.

Joel Karsten, EVP – Secretary

Joel Karsten, EVP – Secretary

Joel started his professional career in the insurance industry as a captive agency for a national insurance company. During his first year, he spend all his time developing his knowledge of the industry, before ever soliciting his first client. Seeking growth, in 2003 Joel identified Crane as the best national, full-service independently held insurance firm to support the ever-changing needs of his clients. In 2011, he became an agency Principal, and has served on Crane’s Board since 2012. Today, Joel holds the position of Secretary, and in his current role partners with Tom Berra, Jr. to provide leadership throughout the agency.

Our Management Team


Jeffrey Brand

Chief Financial Officer

Dave Linhardt Chief Marketing & Growth Officer

Dave Linhardt

Chief Marketing &
Growth Officer

Tim Wells EVP, Employee Benefits

Tim Wells

EVP, Employee Benefits

Greg Stanley VP, Surety & Fidelity

Greg Stanley

VP, Surety & Fidelity

Dina Buxton Director of Communications & Development

Dina Buxton

VP, Quality Control

Margot Gruenewald, Director of Human Resources

Margot Gruenewald

Director of Human Resources

Steve Boehm Director of Information Technology

Steve Boehm

Director of Information Technology

Don Hennen Director of Risk Management & Claims

Don Hennen

Director of Risk Management & Claims