Missouri’s Stafford & Stafford Insurance prides itself on being able to handle any business that comes through the door.
“When we say we’re a generalist, we mean it. We insure everything from automobiles to zoos,” says Agency Manager Josh Stafford.
The agency also strives to meet every insurance need of its diverse client base. “In personal lines, we emphasize writing packages, not monoline policies. For businesses, if a client needs health and benefits, we can handle that as well to be the best partner to a client. We want to do everything for a client—not just to round out the account, but to understand what their total exposure is and help them best manage risk.”
Building a Business
Stafford & Stafford was founded in Harrisonville in 2003 by Josh’s parents and current co-owners, Darrin and Carol Stafford. Prior to starting the agency, Darrin had a career in construction that was instrumental to the early growth of the agency.
“Dad can speak the language of contractors, so we had a lot of success in a short period of time,” says Josh, who had also started with the agency in 2003 in personal lines, left to pursue other career interests for several years, but returned to the agency in 2011.
Construction is still a large part of the agency’s book today, along with agricultural businesses such as seed dealers, grain elevators, co-ops, spraying operations, and farms. Acquisitions have also been instrumental to the agency’s growth strategy over time. However, the most important component of the agency’s success is its people.
“The staff and producers we have are very dedicated. They care about our customers and take care of them. Referrals have been a huge source of new business for us as a result,” says Josh.
Stafford & Stafford is also known for regular involvement in the community. “Every year we do a community service day. We split our staff into two shifts so everyone can volunteer but the office stays open,” Josh says. The agency has done everything from painting shelters at the park and locker rooms at school to volunteering at car shows and other community events. Staff also regularly contribute to the agency’s charitable fund that responds to community needs.
About five years ago, Stafford & Stafford shifted its approach to account management to capitalize on its staffing strengths. “Instead of just one person handling an account from start to finish, we reorganized our workflow so a single account may have different people with different roles involved in the process. That allows us to capitalize on our staff training and make sure nothing is missed,” says Josh.
In 2019, the agency became part of Leavitt Group, which will play an important role in the agency’s future.
“For us, part of the reason for the move was to ensure the perpetuation of the agency. More important, it allows us to bring the resources of a large agency to the risk management services we offer our customers and the benefits we offer our employees,” Josh says.
Although, like every agency, Stafford & Stafford has been impacted by the current health crisis, growth is a key objective for the future.
“Our philosophy is that if you’re not getting bigger, you’re getting smaller,” he adds. “New business production has slowed down industry wide because of the pandemic, but we believe conditions will recover and we have the people, processes, and technology in place to succeed. Measured growth is always our goal.”