By Chad Koenen


What began in his house in 1983, has morphed into three offices that stretches from New York Mills to Motley on Highway 10. Through the years, Lake Country Insurance continues to be one of the most recognizable and trusted insurance agencies for everything from home, auto and business insurance in the region.

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.”

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 being prompt in their response, Stave said Lake Country Insurance also tries to do its part to make sure all of their clients are properly covered. For example, he said “the cost of construction and repairs have skyrocketed.” As a result, it is more important than ever to make sure that people are properly insured for replacing a home, shed, garage or other property in the event of a tragedy. 

“There is nothing worse than when people have a loss and they say I can’t build a house for that,” said Stave. 

While it’s important to be properly covered, Stave said it is just as important to find a plan to work within an individual’s budget. As an independent insurance agent, Stave can work with a number of insurance agencies to find a plan that will work the best for each person.

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.”

In addition to the NY Mills office, Lake Country Insurance has offices in Verndale and Motley with a full staff in each location. 

  As an independent insurance agency, Lake Country Insurance has access to a number of insurance companies to fit the needs of each customer. The NY Mills office is primarily staffed by Holly Barthel, Kathy Larson and Stave. 

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.