There’s a saying in the insurance industry that you don’t choose a career in insurance, it chooses you. John Badgley of Key Insurance can attest to that. He was exposed to the industry when he accepted an internship to fulfill his undergraduate degree. He was able to learn about a number of aspects of the business in that position. By the end of it, he still wasn’t sure a career in insurance was for him. He embarked on a slightly different path, working in employee benefits for Met Life in Detroit and then did a stint as a wholesale broker. In 2009 he opened his retail agency in Minnetonka.
Now John works with businesses and families to help them achieve their insurance and risk management goals based on their insurance budgets. He helps clients identify risk exposures, implement procedures to manage or reduce risk as well as implement insurance products to transfer risk. Because he is an independent agent, he is able to represent a wide range of carriers in the property, casualty and commercial lines. This gives him a lot of flexibility to tailor packages for his clients.
“What I enjoy most about my business is the variety of customers I meet. I get to learn about their businesses – how they run – what makes them successful,” John explains. “I’m a curious person and the complexity of my clients’ businesses feeds that.” A for-profit methadone clinic is one of the most unique clients John has worked with. “I didn’t even know such a thing existed, but I learned about the help they provide their clients and the need they serve,” he said.
His advice for anyone looking for an insurance agent is simple. Find someone with whom you connect. Many people approach insurance as an expense that needs to be managed. In reality, it is an investment in your business’ future. Owners are investing to make sure they can recover in the event of misfortune. Business owners need a partner that can help them think through contingencies and make recommendations to mitigate risk. The low-cost option may not be the best approach. It is critical to have a partner who can learn and understand your business, understand your budget, and marry the two to provide the best coverage. They will help the business owner think about what risks need to be covered. Including some the business owner didn’t think about.
The Buy Local mission was a natural draw for John. Growing up in a small town, he saw the critical role independent businesses play in the community. “More than selling goods and services, these companies are supporting the community. They sponsor events, the high school activities, pay taxes and provide jobs. Without them, the communities struggle,” he said. The idea of working together to advance the prosperity of the community resonated with John. He joined the MetroIBA board in 2015 and has been a strong supporter of the organization.
John encourages all members to engage and support MetroIBA, participate in the local economy and support their community. Finding like-minded colleagues who will help you gain perspective on the economy, consumers, and connect you to resources is a hallmark of the organization. Encourage those in your network to join. Together we have a louder voice and more ideas. MetroIBA is here to help.