After bouncing around the commercial real estate industry, working for Allstate, and considering but ultimately rejecting law school, Kevin Krupka decided to start his own insurance agency. More than 15 years later, that agency is prospering as the Denver-based Mountain Insurance Brokers.
Now a fully committed agency owner who believes the ideal producer is a stressed, busy professional, Krupka got into insurance the old-fashioned way – by accident.
“Nobody spired to get into the insurance industry when I was in college,” he said. “After I graduated from Colorado State, I tried commercial real estate without finding my niche.”
Then, in 1986, Krupka joined Allstate. While enjoying the work, he yearned for greater carrier choice and the thrill of entrepreneurship. He left in 1997 to form his own agency, which continues today as Mountain Insurance.
In Colorado, the economic recovery has boosted Krupka’s business tremendously, particularly in construction.
“One of our clients had $30 million in construction projects over a couple of months,” he said. “A few years ago, that wasn’t the case.”
He’s also been called on to insure a few oddities – biproducts of a humming commercial market drawing in entrepreneurs of all forms.
“One guy was growing worms in his basement,” Krupka recalled. “Another company made plaster casts of pregnant women’s bellies.”
Though not all such ventures survive, Krupka and Mountain Insurance Brokers continue to do well. Krupka stresses that each producer should think of themselves as a trusted consultant and advisor – an employee of the client, rather than the carrier.
The growing influence of carriers is something that concerns him, in fact.
“For smaller insurance brokers, the most difficult thing is getting enough appointments to be able to work with your clients effectively,” he said. “It’s difficult to stay profitable and produce enough business – that leads to a proliferation of aggregators.”
Even on the most difficult days, however, Krupka is pleased that while he took the LSA, he didn’t end up attending law school.
“I ended up going into insurance instead. No regrets,” said Krupka.