Providing RV insurance to consumers and dealers has always been a specialized niche in the insurance business.
But Brown & Brown Inc. of Columbia, Ky., is determined to position itself as a one of the nation’s leading providers of specialized insurance coverage for consumers and RV dealers through its Reed Brothers subsidiary. And it greatly enhanced its ability to serve the RV marketplace in December in acquiring Orlando, Fla.-based Gilbert RV Insurance, Inc. and RV America Insurance Marketing Inc. of Simi Valley, Calif.
“We feel positive about the future of the RV business,” said Mike Neal, executive vice president of Brown & Brown of Kentucky. “We’re hoping it has seen its hardest economic times. We feel like there is a lot of growth potential.”
Neal founded Reed Brothers in 1990 and specialized in the RV insurance business, along with manufactured housing and power sports vehicles. After selling Reed Brothers to Brown & Brown of Kentucky in August of 2008, Neal stayed with the company and continued to expand Reed Brothers’ presence in the RV insurance business.
Brown & Brown of Kentucky is a subsidiary of Daytona Beach, Fla.-based Brown & Brown Inc., a publicly traded company considered the sixth largest independent insurance intermediary in the nation.
“We are fortunate in that we have been connected with some great friends in the industry, including big RV dealerships,” Neal said. “We provide all of the commercial products for the dealer: garage liability, property and casualty, workers comp, open lot insurance, employee benefits, health insurance and also insurance for the consumer.”
Neal said Reed Brothers will continue to market RV insurance to dealers and consumers through RV America Insurance Market and Gilbert RV Insurance, taking advantage of their existing brand equity. However, later this year he expects to create a website that will serve as a central marketing hub for all of the Reed Brothers RV insurance products.
“None of the company names will go away,” Neal said. “But what the customer will see from us is better service because we’re able to have the manpower to more efficiently serve our customers.”
Neal said that Reed Brothers’ latest acquisitions give the company greater geographic reach and an ability to better serve customers on both coasts. “We will focus on geographic synergies and efficiencies that result from these acquisitions,” he said. “We now have 12 national road reps. We’re going to be able to help each other and work as teams.” And with its acquisitions of Gilbert RV Insurance and RV America Insurance Marketing, Reed Brothers will significantly expand its presence in the RV insurance business.
Founded in 1992 by Alan and Teresa Gilbert, Gilbert RV Insurance provides property and casualty insurance products and warranty products for recreational vehicles, including RVs, trailers, boats, motorcycles and other power sport vehicles. Gilbert RV Insurance has combined annual revenues of approximately $2.4 million.
“My wife Teresa and I are very excited about the acquisition of Gilbert RV Insurance into the Brown and Brown family,” Alan Gilbert said. “The growth of Brown & Brown over the last 25 years has been remarkable, and I look forward to working with them in the years to come.”
RV America Insurance Marketing was founded in 1999. The company provides personal lines property and casualty insurance products for recreational vehicles, including RVs, trailers, boats, motorcycles and other power sport vehicles. The company also provides other types of personal lines insurance coverage through its affiliate, Let’s Talk Insurance.
RV America Insurance Marketing has combined annual revenues of approximately $3.7 million. Steve Freedman and his team at RV America will continue to operate from their existing Simi Valley, Calif., location.