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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Johnson City, TN

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Johnson City, TN You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Johnson City, TN

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Johnson City, TN

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Johnson City, TN

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Johnson City, TN

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Johnson City, TN

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
phone Call Now
 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Johnson City, TN

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

phone Call Now
 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Johnson City, TN

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Johnson City, TN phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Johnson City, TN phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Johnson City, TN phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Johnson City, TN that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Johnson City, TN

Latest News in Johnson City, TN

Tennessee gets failing marks from American Lung Association

Tennessee has received an overall failing grade from the American Lung Association for its tobacco control policies.In its 22nd annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, the association gives Tennessee an “F” for the state government’s level of funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, as well as for its efforts to provide access to smoking cessation programs, policies to discourage the sale of flavored tobacco products and for the amount of taxes the state levies on the sale of tobacco produ...

Tennessee has received an overall failing grade from the American Lung Association for its tobacco control policies.

In its 22nd annual “State of Tobacco Control” report, the association gives Tennessee an “F” for the state government’s level of funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, as well as for its efforts to provide access to smoking cessation programs, policies to discourage the sale of flavored tobacco products and for the amount of taxes the state levies on the sale of tobacco products.

The report, which was released earlier this week, also gives Tennessee a grade of “D” for promoting smoke-free spaces. While the state prohibits smoking in government workplaces, childcare facilities and restaurants, it is allowed in private workplaces with three or fewer employees and in restaurants and bars where persons under the age of 21 are not allowed to enter.

Tennessee joined Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi and West Virginia as states with four “F” grades and one “D” grade. Alabama and Georgia were rated worst in the nation for tobacco control policies by receiving five “F” grades on the report.

The American Lung Association says its annual report evaluates state and federal policies on tobacco control based practices that it believes have been proven effective to help save lives. The association also believes the report serves as “a useful blueprint” for what government leaders should do to address diseases associated with tobacco use.

This year’s report also highlights what the association called the “failure of Biden administration” to implement rules to end the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.

“The Lung Association is extremely disappointed with the delay in enacting these life-saving rules,” it said in a news release.

Officials with the association have called on Tennessee leaders to take the following action to reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke:

• Support local comprehensive smoke-free laws covering age-restricted venues that include e-cigarettes.

• Increase funding for the state’s tobacco prevention and cessation program to $13 million by allocating Juul (e-cigarette) settlement funds that Tennessee will receive over a six-year period. The state should also see that the funds for that program are spent based on the best practices for such comprehensive tobacco control efforts as set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

• Require all tobacco retail businesses to obtain licenses and make sure that efforts to oversee enforcement measures are sufficiently funded. The state should also establish a meaningful penalty structure for dealing with underage sales violations.

Downtown Johnson City Development: Where it’s been and where it’s going

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)– With Johnson City being the largest of the Tri-Cities, its downtown has served as the hub of the region for more than 100 years and continues to do so with a new path forward. “Downtown’s always been the place to be. It’s just that we didn’t know how to use downtown anymore,” said Patricia “Tish” Oldham, the executive dire...

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)– With Johnson City being the largest of the Tri-Cities, its downtown has served as the hub of the region for more than 100 years and continues to do so with a new path forward.

“Downtown’s always been the place to be. It’s just that we didn’t know how to use downtown anymore,” said Patricia “Tish” Oldham, the executive director for the Johnson City Development Authority and the Downtown Johnson City Foundation. “We all expected it to be your typical retail or we expected it to look exactly like it did in 1952 or 1965. We’re just not there anymore. We’re not using our buildings that way.”

Oldham is a Johnson City native. She said what people see happening downtown is where the city has been trying to go for decades now.

“As we look at the number of building permits that have been pulled, you can be very analytical about it and see the amount of money that’s being committed,” Oldham said. “But all you have to do right now is walk down Market Street, walk down Main Street, and you’re going to actually hear the hammers. You’re going to hear the drills. You’re going to see balconies being put up, and you’re going to see walls being demoed. “

As of October 2023, there’s a big focus on making spaces multi-use.

“It matters who the businesses are that are in downtown,” said Shannon Castillo with Mitch Cox Realty. “And what we find when we do our job with commercial real estate, whether that means finding a buyer for a building or finding a tenant to lease space, is we want them to be able to have some really amazing co-tenancy.”

Castillo focuses heavily on the downtown area and helped make the Generalist Store a reality. It’s an example of turning an old building into a new, multi-use space. The general store has 10 apartments up above it.

“The Generalist is part of a very, very old building. Massengill’s was a staple in downtown Johnson City for like a hundred years,” Castillo said. “And through the course of a brand new developer coming in and completely renovating this entire building, now we have our own little general store and retail collective that has changed the face of downtown.”

Castillo said there’s a recipe to have a successful business downtown, and it starts with the right people.

”You have to have a developer that sees the potential that some of these old buildings have. That’s step one. Step two is we’ve got to have economic development with the Johnson City Development Authority and the city of Johnson City coming in and giving opportunities to help these developers make these numbers work,” Castillo said. “And then three, you have to have a tenant that also sees the benefit of being in a downtown versus another part in the city or in another bigger city.”

Oldham agreed and said the influx of people moving to the region will also have an impact.

“Johnson City has been built by people who have come from other places,” Oldham said. “And so we know you’re just going to jump right in there like the rest of us have got a business going, have a conversation with someone, let’s make this city ours, and we’re going to continue to make it what it is next.”

And as for what is next?

“I think you’re going to see a lot more residential, whether that means apartments or condos that might be available for sale,” Castillo said. “I think we will see more retail, specialty retail. I think we’ll see more restaurants. In addition, I think we will see office space, too.”

Schools juggle learning loss, safety in deciding weather cancellations

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Winter weather has caused multiple local school districts to delay or cancel school this week.“[Friday], we’re going to be looking to have school, but to do what’s right as far as safety’s concerned first,” said Johnson City Schools Superintendent, Steve Barnett.Since Monday, Johnson City Schools (JCS) has cancelled school, but Thursday decided road conditions were safe enough to call a two-hour delay.Kingsport City Schools (KCS) has been out of school sinc...

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Winter weather has caused multiple local school districts to delay or cancel school this week.

“[Friday], we’re going to be looking to have school, but to do what’s right as far as safety’s concerned first,” said Johnson City Schools Superintendent, Steve Barnett.

Since Monday, Johnson City Schools (JCS) has cancelled school, but Thursday decided road conditions were safe enough to call a two-hour delay.

Kingsport City Schools (KCS) has been out of school since Monday, which Assistant Superintendent Andy True acknowledged is rare.

If JCS and KCS aren’t able to cancel school the night before, both have administrators who check road conditions as early as 3:30 am.

With the growth in Kingsport schools over the years, True said administrators are assigned to look at quadrants. Kingsport’s differing landscape is why the school district has been out of school for the majority of the week.

“We’re having conversations about what are you seeing on this part of town, because we have noticed over time that what we may see, for instance, on the northwest side of town may look a lot different than it does maybe in Rock Springs,” True said.

Tennessee allows schools to add 30 minutes to a school day to come up with 13 built-in snow days. Both KCS and JCS apply this to their school days.

With school cancelled, both school districts haven’t opted for virtual learning. True said KCS has considered it, but there are issues.

“Are families able to access the internet? But, also, the regulations when it comes to you need to be able to provide food to be able to have it as a school day,” True said.

According to state law, school districts are required to provide a meal when remote instruction is given. This makes it difficult when it’s deemed unsafe to get to school.

Barnett said JCS is unlikely to do virtual programming since the school district has built-in snow days.

Both school officials know days without school mean possible learning loss.

“It’s definitely something we keep in mind,” Barnett said. “We want our students in school when it’s safe to be there.”

Due to the cancellations, JCS’s school year calendar has changed. The school system will now be in school on Feb. 2 and 19, which were previously days off.

Forecasts show more winter weather coming through the area Thursday night. Barnett said JCS will most likely call for a two-hour delay to allow time for supervisors to evaluate road conditions. True said KCS likes to make the call if they can at 9 pm the night before to allow parents and guardians to make accommodations.

Find school and business closings here.

VIDEO: Bear pays casual visit to Johnson City home and yard

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Robin Sayers had a late-night visitor in Johnson City’s North Hills neighborhood Monday — a sizeable-looking black bear, judging from the footage her home security camera caught. UT Health System’s CEO Landsman taking over as Ballad Health’s COPA monitor The bear stayed around her home n...

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Robin Sayers had a late-night visitor in Johnson City’s North Hills neighborhood Monday — a sizeable-looking black bear, judging from the footage her home security camera caught.

The bear stayed around her home near Science Hill High School for nearly an hour, and she watched much of the “show” after her security camera started beeping around 9:40 p.m.

“It was just hanging out,” Sayers said. “My cats were looking out the window.”

Along with paying a visit to her front door, the bear took some time checking out a crape myrtle in her yard.

“I think it wanted the bird food wreath that I have hanging up in that tree,” Sayers said.

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesman Matt Cameron said that behavior checks out, as bears typically forage for a trifecta of human garbage, pet food and bird seed.

“The acorn crop was really good this year as it’s been pretty much all over East Tennessee,” Cameron said, adding that area bears are “fat and healthy” this year.

But it isn’t weather or even some internal clock that sends bears to den, usually starting as early as November. It’s more a food availability issue, he said.

“They’re starting to run out and if there is other food available then bears won’t necessarily go to the den,” Cameron said. “As long as there’s food on the ground they’ll stay out.”

With both bear and human populations increasing in Northeast Tennessee, people should expect more encounters — and home security camera footage with more bears in it.

Sayers said she enjoyed the occurrence from the safety of her home.

“It came from the front yard, went to the front door and then circled around the house but then it went back down the side and I think left from that point,” she said.

The experience brought back memories of the heyday of “Johnson City Bear” around 2017, when a series of urban bear sightings in the area spawned a good-natured social media/meme phenomenon.

“My late husband thought it [the 2017 bear meme] was hilarious,” Sayers said. Showing the video to her school-aged boys Tuesday morning “just made our day,” she said.

‘Aura Optical’ coming to iconic downtown JC space

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — John Kaudewitz and Steven Casey plan to bring echoes of the past with plenty of modern twists when they bring eyecare services back to the core of downtown early next year in a large building that once housed Walker Furniture.“I think part of a healthy flourishing downtown has something like this,” said Casey, who will run the retail side of Aura Optical at 312 E. Main St. in Johnson City.“It’s a microcosm of the town at large. So having an optometry office, there&rsquo...

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — John Kaudewitz and Steven Casey plan to bring echoes of the past with plenty of modern twists when they bring eyecare services back to the core of downtown early next year in a large building that once housed Walker Furniture.

“I think part of a healthy flourishing downtown has something like this,” said Casey, who will run the retail side of Aura Optical at 312 E. Main St. in Johnson City.

“It’s a microcosm of the town at large. So having an optometry office, there’s law offices, there’s now a grocery store … everything you can get elsewhere. We just wanted to bring that here because no one else had and we saw an opportunity.”

Kaudewitz and Casey said they hope to open the roughly 3,000 square feet of space that will comprise Aura Optical in spring 2024. That leaves about 20,000 additional square feet of a massive building filled with mezzanines and a huge basement for future development in a building that became available after Tennessee Flag Company moved out a couple of years ago.

“We plan on letting it develop out for folks that want to lease some space, we have plans that we want to do with it too,” Casey said of the building that most recently housed the Tennessee Flag Company. “We have to get this off the shelf first.”

The two have worked together in optometry for more than a decade and started talking about hanging out their own shingle nearly that long ago. A Kingsport native, Kaudewitz left the area to get his doctor of optometry in Pennsylvania and worked for a chain in Louisiana while Casey moved up the management ladder here in the Tri-Cities.

When Kaudewitz moved back and went to work at the same Kingsport retail optometrist the dream hadn’t faded for either guy.

“We worked together for a really long time, and just being on the doctor side opens more doors for us to actually do our own thing,” Kaudewitz said.

Aura Optical will include a highly visible storefront opening into a lobby and gallery.

“When you walk by it’s going to catch your eye,” Casey said.

Clinical offices will be in the back.

“We’re going to have a lab down the road, be doing our own glasses, that kind of stuff,” Casey said.

While the current focus is getting Aura up and running and bringing on several additional people to staff it, Casey and Kaudewitz said the sky is the limit for the remaining space.

Though they paid $599,900 for the building, they said the optometry business should provide sufficient cash flow to fund the building and the initial renovation.

WHAT: New optometry retail store and clinic in a 25,000-square-foot downtown building. Future additional commercial development.

WHERE: 312 E. Main St., Johnson City.

WHO: Aura Optical.

WHEN: Projected retain/clinical opening date April 2024.

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