Independent insurers merge

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Two independent insurance agencies announced Wednesday that they have merged to create what company executives say is Augusta's largest insurance firm.

Carraway, Cohen & Channell Insurance Agency and AHS & Associates Inc. are now ACHS Insurance Protection Group.  Special
Special
Carraway, Cohen & Channell Insurance Agency and AHS & Associates Inc. are now ACHS Insurance Protection Group.

Principles for the Carraway, Cohen & Channell Insurance Agency and AHS & Associates Inc. said the merged agency will be called ACHS Insurance Protection Group.

The combined company will employ 32 and oversee 8,000 commercial and personal accounts generating $35 million a year in revenue.

"We'll be heads and shoulders above everybody else," said David Alalof, the president of AHS & Associates.

Financial terms of the merger were not disclosed.

Mr. Alalof said the size of the merged company will give it better negotiating power with insurance providers and allow it to offer clients a broader array of insurance products.

AHS & Associates specializes in life and health insurance and employee benefit programs, whereas Carraway, Cohen & Skinner focuses almost exclusively on property-casualty insurance.

Longtime AHS client Rick Rhoden, the managing partner of Rhoden C.P.A. Firm, said he was excited to learn he will have access to a wider array of services.

"This just opens up so many more opportunities," he said.

The companies said they will officially notify all customers this week.

ACHS Insurance will initially occupy the Carraway, Cohen & Skinner office at 1229 Augusta West Parkway but will likely have to move into a larger space.

"We'll have to move, the question is how quick we'll have to do it," said Mike Carraway, the president of Carraway, Cohen & Skinner.

In addition to Mr. Alalof and Mr. Carraway, ACHS Insurance's partners are Hal Cohen, John Hollowell, Donald Skinner and Sexton Surles.

AHS & Associates was founded in 1990 by Mr. Alalof and his partners after leaving Cohen-Walker Insurance, which in 1992 was acquired by Dawson, Taylor & Co. Insurance.

Carraway, Cohen & Skinner's roots date back to 1936, when the company was incorporated as Harlem Insurance Agency Inc.

Mr. Carraway and Mr. Alalof said they had been flirting with the idea of a merger for years but entered serious discussions only three months ago. The deal could not proceed until Mr. Carraway and his partners reacquired their Augusta-area book of business from Birmingham, Ala.-based Cobbs Allen & Hall, which acquired the agency, then known as Carraway, Cohen & Channell, in 1999.

Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486 or damon.cline@augustachronicle.com.

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poythress007@aol.com
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poythress007@aol.com 12/27/07 - 10:21 am
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AHS formed in

AHS formed in 1990...........by thieves in the night. Might want to investigate your independent agents history...............

biggdawgmoneyclip
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biggdawgmoneyclip 12/27/07 - 12:58 pm
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LOL--1956--please spill the

LOL--1956--please spill the beans and let us all in on the secret.

sunflower61
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sunflower61 12/27/07 - 02:38 pm
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Sounds like there is a story

Sounds like there is a story there. Do tell!

wertalkin0312
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wertalkin0312 12/27/07 - 03:49 pm
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First of all- There are not

First of all- There are not many articles in this newspaper that are accurate. Free space usually means that not much attention is paid to detail. Lets all play nice. People are going to think what they want no matter what the truth/facts are. Opportunities come along every day and if it keeps people employed and guarentees secure futures for others, then some good has been done. There is a STORY with every insurance agency in this town- believe me- and not all of them are in a positive light. There is no need for any bashing of professionals. Lets all keep own backyard clean and not worry about the neighbors. There is plenty of business out there for everyone....Happy New Year.....

biggdawgmoneyclip
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biggdawgmoneyclip 12/27/07 - 04:32 pm
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wertalkin0312--ok, without

wertalkin0312--ok, without naming names, tell me some stories of some firms in town. I'm not saying there aren't stories I just want to hear what they are....

webdesigns
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webdesigns 12/27/07 - 04:53 pm
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1956.....anything to do with

1956.....anything to do with the BIG... "Home Health"...case in Augusta?

dani
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dani 12/27/07 - 05:11 pm
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Folks..I have had my

Folks..I have had my insurance through AHS for over 10 years, home and auto, and have nothing but good things to say about them. The response has always been exceptional and prices are competitive.

sneaky pete
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sneaky pete 12/27/07 - 07:19 pm
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Didn't the AC just run an

Didn't the AC just run an article about Carraway and all about having taken back over the reigns of their firm and never letting it go back to another outfit? Wow, how little things change. That COhen character is one of a kind. Should see how well he treats his own father.

dani
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dani 12/27/07 - 09:34 pm
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When Alalof left split off in

When Alalof left split off in 1990 he took his customers with him. Is the 'thieves in the night'?

As It Is
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As It Is 12/27/07 - 09:59 pm
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I have been using AHS for my

I have been using AHS for my insuracne for quite some time for homeowners, auto, and life insurance. The young ladies in the office have always taken excellent care of me and the few times I have met Mr. Alalof, he has been exceptionally nice and helpful. Best of luck to both companies as some out there will always be jeolous no matter what.

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