MILLEDGEVILLE — A former Georgia Military College educator, Rhett Harrison’s interest and passion to provide customers “the most amount of insurance coverage for the least amount of money” grew until he decided to open his very own commercial insurance agency.
A native of Thomaston, Harrison attended GMC Prep School and went on to earn his bachelors degree in business administration from the University of Georgia in 1970.
“I came back to GMC and taught history and I coached football. I had to get certified to teach, so I did at Georgia College. I taught for seven or eight years and I taught special education at Carver until 2004,” he said. “Ever since then, I’ve been in sales where I worked at Ranch Park Homes for four years. After that, I worked for my brother Russell Harding Insurance for three years and I decided I wanted my own agency.”
Rhett Harrison Commercial Insurance officially opened in September 2009 in a office leased out at Ranch Park Homes near Lake Sinclair. Increasing business by 30 percent each year, Harrison and General Manager Mary Smith saw a need to expand customer reach south of the lake area. They moved the company to their new office space across from Walmart on Heritage Road in early February.
“She’s just been a blessing to me in increasing my business. She is an efficiency expert and has done so many things technology-wise to make the business more efficient; we haven’t stopped since we’ve been in this new office,” Harrison said of Smith. “Mary and I both have the philosophy that if you do right, right will follow. With her background as the former owner of Tucan Tans and experience with Procter & Gamble, it was a partnership that was made in heaven.”
The locally-owned and operated agency offers a range of insurance coverage for personal and business lines, both basic and specialty, including general liability, workers’ compensation, property, auto, unemployment, disability, homeowners and life. The business duo want to expand further to target commercial trucking and the medical industry.
“I’m getting my foot in the door with medical malpractice and pharmacies to nursing homes and hospitals. If we target a couple of markets and niches in this industry, then I think that’s what you have to do to become an expert,” Harrison said. “The commercial end of insurance is a never ending learning process; if you don’t continue to learn, then you will get left behind. We are a faith-based company and we want to take care of everyone when they walk through the door, no matter their background, no matter their needs financially, and no matter what policy they want.”
Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, appointments can be made 24-hours a day.
“The insurance industry has changed; it’s not the industry it used to be with natural disasters and companies are changing their requirements and information they want before they write their policy,” said Smith, who is in the midst of obtaining a sub agent license. “We always keep the end result in mind, which is to be a better value for the customer. Rhett is the insurance expert.”
For more information about the agency’s services, call 478-696-3679, or visit www.rhettharrisonins.com.
“One thing I’m extremely happy about is the support we’ve received from some of the more established agencies in Milledgeville; they have backed me up,” Harrison said. “I guess they’re a driving force.”
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