ATTICA — Back in 1992, Linda Kruszka had been in the insurance business for seven years when she decided to start Main Street Insurance in Attica from scratch.
“I worked for a property and casualty insurance agency part time when I went to college. I was going to be a business school teacher, and my manager suggested I go get my insurance license,” she said. “The agency I worked for in horse insurance, and I came from a background of owning horses — my father was a blacksmith — so I went and got my license. I worked for another agency, and decided to start my own agency.”
Main Street Insurance offers personal, commercial, and farm and livestock insurance, and specializes in horse mortality and horse farms. Working in the insurance agency, Kruszka said, is very busy with a lot of competition. As an independent agent, Main Street Insurance represents many companies; so not only are they looking for new business for new clients, but also shopping out what they have to retain their customers.
When Kruszka first started Main Street Insurance and would go to company meetings, she said she was probably one out of two women out of 50 in a meeting.
“That has definitely changed over time,” she said. “You see a lot more women in the business.”
While she said had struggles being a woman business owner, but felt most of her mountains to overcome were the fact she started her business from the ground up rather than buying a business. So it was tough for Kruszka to get appointments with companies to represent them.
Kruszka said she loves being in the insurance business and helping people.
“Insurance is not a fun thing to buy,” she explained. “You can’t touch it, you can’t eat it, you can’t take it home and put it on your shelf. It’s an intangible product basically, but it gives people — if they understand it — a peace of mind if something tragic happens that they have their policy to fall back on. They can financially get through whatever bad thing that happened, whether it be fire or death or an accident.”
When asked what misconceptions people have about insurance, Kruszka stressed that red cars do not cost more than other colored cars. However, her advice to people is when you have a young driver in the household, consider the amount of the insurance increase before you buy a vehicle.
“Because they’ll buy a brand new vehicle or something that is fairly new, and the payment on the car is less than the insurance payment,” she explained. “So talk to your agent and find out those costs. That’s a shock for people.”
For other women who are looking to start a business, Kruszka has the following advice, “never discount an opportunity because it could be a door opener.”
“Some days are better than others,” she continued. “And not to get discouraged.”
Very active in the community, Kruszka is vice president of the Attica Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Insurance helps organize different events, with two of her employees organizing Winter Fest for the village. While she hails from Alden before moving to Attica, Kruszka said people believe she grew up in the village and went to Attica High School, adding with a slight laugh, “I guess we got our roots here.”
Main Street Insurance is located at 120 Main Street in Attica with other locations at 3260 W. Patton Ave. in Bell, Fla. and 2407 N. Main St. in Warsaw.
For more information, contact (585) 591-1590 for the Attica location, (352) 463-1136 for the Florida location and (585) 558-1030 for the Warsaw location.