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Monday, Aug. 3, 2015

Insuring Customers

Car Dealer Provides Convenience for those seeking insurance

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Car dealer provides convenience for those seeking insurance

Red River Chevrolet in Bossier City is doing its best to offer customers a one-stop shop for their automobile and insurance needs.

The doors of Red River Chevrolet opened in 1931. And in that time, the dealership has earned many accolades for its service to the Northwest Louisiana area, including being named one of the leading Chevrolet dealership in the area.

And now Red River is working to better its customer service by offering insurance.

The dealer’s agency is named Red River Insurance Agency, and it’s located on the same property as the dealership, 221 Traffic St. in Bossier City. The agency started selling policies at the beginning of 2015.

It’s a business addition that just seems right to Red River’s fourth-generation dealer/owner.

“It always seemed like a good fit,” George Fritze said.

“Customers are already trusting us with thousands of dollars in purchases, [and] we already have a good name in the marketplace.”

Red River Insurance Agency isn’t just set up to provide car insurance, though. Because it’s a full-service, independentinsurance agency, Red River also provides life and medical, along with financial planning and investments, through many different and well-known companies.

“This is pretty unique in the automobile industry,” Mike Brown, manager of Red River Insurance Agency, said.

Brown said other local car dealerships offer car insurance but very few go beyond that. Brown estimates that only 100 dealerships in the United States are as involved in the insurance business as Red River.

“We’re ahead of the curve,” added Brown, who has 34 years in the insurance business.

Both Brown and Fritze said the added insurance options are proving quite popular among Red River’s customers.

And the move from selling an automobile to selling automobile insurance and beyond is actually pretty simple. That’s because all dealerships must verify a driver’s current insurance before allowing a new car or truck off the lot.

But it’s not an aggressive type of approach.

“We do not bog the deal down. We are not an in-your-face dealership,” Eddie Holman, Red River Chevrolet’s general sales manager, said.

Typically, Holman said, the driver’s insurance is verified, then, if the customer is interested, Red River Insurance Agency will follow up with a free quote.

“It’s a service. We’re not here to capitalize on every little money-making opportunity. This is just another opportunity for our customers to compare prices,” Holman said. “Our customers have really jumped on it.”

Holman would be a pretty good judge, too. The nearly 30-year employee switched his insurance over to the Red River Insurance Agency earlier this year.

“I saved $1,200 on coverage that was the same or better than what I had,” said Holman, who moved everything over to Red River Insurance – automobile, life, homeowners.

Like many consumers, Holman said he just hadn’t “price shopped” his policy in a while.

“It’s just one of those things people forget to do. There’s never a good opportunity to do it,” Holman said.

That’s one advantage of the sideby-side relationship of Red River’s car dealership and insurance agency: Consumers who are already eying a large purchase can now get information and quotes on all types of insurance and investments.

“It’s a self-contained atmosphere,” Brown said.

For more information on Red River Insurance Agency, call 549-7680 or check out the agency’s website: www. redriverinsuranceagency.com.

–RT Morgan

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