By Chad Koenen


There are few insurance agencies in the region that have the experience and expertise as Lake Country Insurance. 

After all, since most of their employees have to use multiple hands to count the number of years they have been with the company, there is a good chance you don’t need to get too far past hello before they already have your file pulled and are ready to answer your questions.

Randy Stave founded Lake Country Insurance in 1983 in his house. It was that year that Stave, a Deer Creek native, made the move from the banking industry into insurance.

In 1988 he merged his agency with Jim Nielsen’s New York Mills-based insurance agency. In 1995 Nielsen retired and Stave became 100 percent owner. Still located in the same location in the Mills Business Center, one notable change the company made was when they ventured out of the health insurance business. Other than that, it really is business as usual.

Focusing on everything from home, business, auto, farm and recreational insurance, Stave has transformed the company into a one-stop shop for insurance throughout the region. Among the things he has enjoyed through all of the years is the ability to get to visit with people, both new and existing customers, and find a way to help them through all of the changes in their life.

“I think it is everyday you are meeting people,” said Stave. “Trying to help with their insurance issues and hopefully you earn their respect and loyalty.”

Today, the company insures everything from antique shops to liquor stores, cafes to farms, boats and motorcycles to vehicles. The goal, of course, is to provide personalized service to people throughout the region. As an independent insurance company, Lake Country Insurance can get quotes from a number of companies who all have unique options to fit the needs of just about anyone in the region.

“We probably have a core of eight companies that we use,” he said. “We are on good terms with them because we use them so much.”

One of the things Stave said employees at Lake Country Insurance really pride themselves on is being prompt with answers and providing necessary information for insurance needs. He said nothing is more frustrating then waiting for an answer from an insurance agent in a time of need.

“We try to be very prompt to reply to their questions, or a quote. There is nothing worse than someone having to call you back and say gee I didn’t hear from you,” said Stave.

In addition to the NY Mills office, Lake Country Insurance has offices in Verndale and Motley with a full staff in each location. In all, there are seven employees who are here to serve area residents to help write policies and answer the call when it comes time for someone to make a claim to their insurance company. 

That local connection, where employees pride themselves on getting to know their customers, is what sets Lake Country Insurance apart from some of the larger insurance agencies and online options. When it comes time to make a claim, customers can speak with a local representative including Bill Greenwaldt, Joni Birch and Caryl Stave in Motley, Ronda Kern in Verndale, Holly Barthel, Kathy Larson and Stave in NY Mills. 

As an independent insurance agency, Lake Country Insurance has access to a number of insurance companies to fit the needs of each customer. 

For more information about Lake Country Insurance, contact the NY Mills office at (218) 385-3989, Motley at (218) 352-6622 or in Verndale at (218) 445-5153.