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Rail City 'feels like a community'
Oct 17, 2013 | 1232 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Richard Allen, a local Allstate Insurance agent, was recently awarded the Premier Agency award for his Sparks branch and its outstanding customer service.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Richard Allen, a local Allstate Insurance agent, was recently awarded the Premier Agency award for his Sparks branch and its outstanding customer service.
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Richard Allen started anew in northern Nevada about 10 years ago, fleeing his hometown of San Jose, Calif. to join his family in the Silver State. While finding a home in Spanish Springs was not intended to feel like an escape, Allen said Sparks feels unlike the congested city life he no longer endures.

“I kind of like the small-town feel,” Allen said of Sparks. “It has a lot of the big-city elements to it and it’s also got the small-town end of it where it is possible to run into someone you know in the grocery store — quite often actually.

“Sparks is big enough where we still have plenty of services so you don’t feel like you are missing out on anything, but it is still small enough to feel like a community. It is what I appreciate most about the town and exactly why I stayed here because I have learned my lesson living in the big cities.”

Allen is an independent Allstate Insurance agent in Sparks with an office on S. Rock Boulevard, a business he has maintained for five years. The same small-town aspects Allen has come to love about the Rail City guide the same principles he uses to orchestrate his insurance business.

“The core belief is wanting to help people,” Allen said of his profession. “If this job didn’t exist, people would just be dialing 800 numbers and hoping for the best, which never works out in their favor.”

Allen’s service tactics were recently recognized by Allstate’s national corporate office, which designated Allen’s local branch as a Premier Allstate Agency for outstanding customer service. The honor is only given to 38 percent of Allstate’s nearly 10,000 agency owners across the country and 26 percent of Allstate’s Nevada agencies.

Allen said his reputation as an agent goes much further than helping people “make good financial decisions” and relieving their stress after a car accident or home fire. He said helping them avoid the “800 number” phone call is his main goal.

“Time is a factor, listening to your clients and making sure you do the right thing by people are all very important in a financial services business,” he said. “It’s not like a car lot where you sell it and forget it. We have to follow up with people quite a bit, check their products and review their policies occasionally.

“That is definitely something Allstate prides itself on, and I pride myself on it as well, making sure the clients have the right policy for the right person at the right price.”

Allen graduated from Humboldt State University in northern California with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a minor in Computer Information Systems, adding both fuel his “technifile” hobbies outside of work. He also earned his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Western Governor’s University.

Beyond the insurance business, Allen said he enjoys his time in the Nevada outdoors every chance he gets for some time at the shooting range or a leisurely drive through the hillside. He said his family time with his wife and child is not affected very often by his dedication to his clients, and he added that same dedication will not change after being named a Premier Agency.

“(The award) is one of those things that is really not a big surprise for me, because regardless if they gave me an award, I would still do it this way,” Allen said. “It’s nice to be recognized for the service I provide, but it doesn’t really change any of my processes and procedures because I would still do it that way even if there wasn’t an award.”

Favorite's Box

Food: Steak

Book: Lord of the Rings

TV Show: The Simpsons

Hobby: Anything outdoors
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