Kerkoven Hayes Mutual

Customer trust is key

Kevin Strandberg of Kerkhoven & Hayes Mutual in Kerkhoven, Minn., has been in insurance for 30 years. A man of many interests, he is the incoming chairman of the Minnesota Association of Farm Mutual Insurance Companies for 2021 and has been a licensed pilot for almost 20 years, flying a 1976 Mooney.

“Mostly it’s just for fun, but I have actually flown it to events once in a while!”

He believes that the trust customers place in their insurance company is the most important part of what he does and it’s his favorite part of his job because he loves working with people. The relationships he has built over the years mean everything to him.

Although he takes his job of protecting his customers seriously, Strandberg says he doesn’t like to be too serious in his personal life. To unwind and have fun he likes to fly and to have some laughs with coworkers and friends. In a normal year, he’d enjoy going out to get some Chinese food or watching the Vikings.

When asked about the relationship his company has with Grinnell Mutual, he shared a story. “Back in ’96 we’d been with Grinnell Mutual for just under a month and we had one of the largest house fires ever. We were testing the waters within 30 days of the partnership. The question we were asking ourselves was, ‘Is Grinnell going to stand with us through this?’ And they did. We filed the claim and got it taken care of. It saved our year.”

Strandberg says that since 1996 when they began writing policies with Grinnell Mutual, the mutual has always felt very comfortable with how it and their customers have been taken care of and believes that Grinnell Mutual team members bend over backwards to answer questions and always have his best interests in mind. “It’s not just a business relationship, it’s a friendship,” he says.

This year has been exceptionally difficult, but even through the COVID-19 crisis, Strandberg says his business with Grinnell Mutual has continued “without much of a hiccup.” The only real change is in the way he “sees” his marketing manager, since business is conducted virtually. “Claims are still getting adjusted, losses are still getting paid.

“We always know what we’re getting with Grinnell Mutual and that I can depend on them. I’ve never felt like Grinnell Mutual won’t take care of us.”

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