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July 20, 2023 | Shannon Smith

RightWay Insurance strives to do business the right way 

Nearly nine years after opening, RightWay Insurance has made a name for itself in Knoxville by offering people a variety of auto, home, and life insurance options tailored to them. 

Ryan McGrew is all about doing things the right way. 

“I’ve been in the insurance business for about 12 years. I started at a bigger insurance agency where I only had one product to sell,” said McGrew. “I wanted to offer more to my clients, so I decided to open up RightWay Insurance.” 

Nearly nine years later, RightWay Insurance has made a name for itself in Knoxville by offering people a variety of auto, home, and life insurance options tailored to them. 

“We’re honest with people,” said McGrew. “If we can put together a policy that makes sense for them that covers all of their needs, we’ll tell them, ‘Hey, we think this is the best option for you.’ If not, we will tell them, ‘Hey, you’re better off staying where you are, and we’ll try again next year.’ It kind of sounds corny, but we really strive to do business the right way.” 

Ryan McGrew

McGrew admits the insurance industry isn’t something he dreamed of being part of, but more fell into. But he never left because his passion for people is what makes the job worth it. He shared one story where his work tailoring an insurance plan for one client saved them a lot of money and headache when they were involved in a car accident. 

“I like to help people,” he said. “I want to know that people are taken care of. I like to be honest and straightforward, and I felt like insurance was just kind of a natural fit for me.” 

McGrew is not new to Knoxville’s entrepreneurship community and is to many a leader and mentor. Wanting to help other Black business owners succeed, he’s recommended several people to the 100Knoxville program. 

100Knoxville is an initiative to help double the revenue of local Black-owned businesses through the investment of time, talent, and access to social, political, and financial capital. 100Knoxville’s goal is to help Black-owned businesses in Knoxville grow by $10,000,000 in five years. 

“I was just thinking one day, why not apply myself?” said McGrew. “I feel like I have a lot to learn. I like to think that I’m a lifetime student because I’m always trying to learn more.” 

He applied and was accepted to the 5-week program and given a mentor and $5,000 in capital. 

“Probably the biggest thing I learned was I really needed to tell my story from a branding perspective,” said McGrew. “I’ve kind of been okay with just growing at a slow and steady pace by word of mouth and not really doing a whole lot of external marketing. So the funds that I received largely went to help fund an agency branding video.” 

McGrew said programs like 100Knoxville are important because many entrepreneurs just starting out don’t often know how many resources are available to them. 

“A lot of people just try to do business on their own and don’t really seek out mentors or don’t know how, or maybe they’re intimidated,” he said. “With 100Knoxville, you get a great circle of mentors there to help you and you connect with other entrepreneurs that you can learn from. There’s so much value there.” 

That willingness to connect with, learn from, and grow with others is what’s made RightWay Insurance successful. 

“You have to get out, you have to meet people, you have to network, you have to establish the word of mouth connection in order to grow and to be profitable, and that’s what we’ve done since day one,” said McGrew. 

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