Our History

The Avery Way


In 1899, J. Clifton Avery started his journey in the insurance industry eventually founding the J. Clifton Avery Agency. His son Howard joined the firm in the mid 1930s and eventually, Howard’s daughter Mary and her husband Thomas O’Dowd, took the reins.

In the 1980s, Mary and Thomas’ son, Tod returned to Wolfeboro after eight years of military service to join the firm making Tod the fourth generation in the insurance industry. Tod worked in every possible role at the agency. Gaining a firm understanding of how to analyze asset needs for everyone’s unique portfolios, advise on protection essentials, and advocate for Avery’s clients.

Vicki came aboard shortly after marrying Tod, her inquisitive nature and operational strengths partnered well with Tod’s innate desire to educate Avery clients to allow them to make the best decisions for asset protection.

Together the pair are consistent in their approach to lead, serve, and manage the organization.

Tod and Vicki’s shared management style and desire for continuous improvement has influenced Avery’s success.

With more than 100 years of dedication, the Avery Agency has met the insurance needs of the community with great pride. Tod and his wife Vicki continue to follow the long history of offering quality service to families and businesses alike while staying current with the ever-changing insurance landscape.

At the end of the day, nobody does it better than Avery.


Tod and Vicki lead Avery Insurance with a strong commitment to community, people, and process and offer clients the independence to choose the insurance company best suited to their unique insurance needs.


  • 1899, J. Clifton Avery started in the insurance business.
  • 1904, J. Clifton became partners with Judge Sewall Abbott, and formed the Abbott and Avery Insurance Company located in the Tricky Block behind Railroad Avenue.
  • 1921, Judge Sewall Abbott retired from the insurance business and the agency was renamed the J. Clifton Avery Agency, as it is known today.
  • 1930, J. Clifton’s son Howard joined the firm and was renamed Avery and Son.
  • In 1951, the agency relocated to the SP Peavey Block on Main Street, now known as the Avery Block.
  • 1963, Howard’s daughter Mary and her husband Thomas A. O’Dowd join the firm.
  • 1993, their son Tod joined the firm making it a fourth generation in the insurance business. 2000, Tod’s wife Vicki begins her career at Avery.
  • 1999, Avery celebrates 100 years of protecting client assets.
  • 2006, Avery opens a second office in downtown Portsmouth, NH.
  • 2019, Avery launches a New Orleans presence.

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