Experience, father help Holub learn crop insurance

Nathan Holub of Holub Insurance Agency specializes in crop insurance, and has been with the company since December 2015. (Photo by Pete Temple)
Pete Temple
Express Sports/Ag Editor

     It seems natural that farmers would be knowledgeable about offering crop insurance to other farmers.

     “We’re farmers ourselves,” said Nathan Holub of Holub Insurance Agency, LLC, “so it’s easy to see where farmers are coming from insurance-wise, give them advice on what they should go with, and see what they want to do.”

     It’s just as natural that Holub, 22, would follow in the footsteps of his father Ben – and for that matter, his grandfather Stanley – and join the insurance agency located near Prairieburg.

     “Once you know it, it’s not bad work,” Nathan Holub said. “I have a long way to go, I can tell that. There’s a lot of stuff to be learned yet. That will come over the years just going on appointments, seeing people, and going to insurance meetings.”

     Holub has been with Holub Insurance since December 2015. Prior to that he attended North Linn schools, then went to Kirkwood Community College for two years to study ag business.

     Although he would still come home to the family farm on occasion, Nathan said being away from home for a while was a good thing for all concerned.

     “During my senior year of high school, we were butting heads a lot,” said Nathan, who is currently in the process of moving from Cedar Rapids to Marion. “We have a way better relationship now.”

     Stanley Holub founded the company in 1946, and sold it to Ben in 1995.

     “He used to hog farm when I was little,” Nathan said of his father. “The hog market took a downward turn. My dad saw the writing on the wall, and decided to push the insurance a little harder. He started advertising for it, making calls and going to see people. One thing led to another, it snowballed on him a little bit, and here we are today.”

     Nathan says this from a sizeable desk in the office building that was built two years ago to accommodate the growing company. Next to his is a desk belonging to Sara Raue, who also works with the company.

     “We were working out of a back room in our house,” Nathan said. “We had sliding doors that shut, and it was kind of cramped.

     “He needed someone else, because we were getting the business rolling here, so he brought Sara on, and that’s when he knew we needed more space, because he knew I was (also) interested.”

     Raue started as the agency’s office manager in November 2015, and obtained her personal lines insurance license in December 2015. Nathan Holub obtained his federal crop insurance licence in November 2015. They both replaced Dorothy Stutt, who retired after many years with the company.

     Both Nathan Holub and Raue have been picking up clients as they go, but they perform other tasks as well.

     “Sara is our supply secretary; she takes all the calls,” Nathan said. “When my dad’s not here, she takes messages.

     “I’m kind of the errand boy, so to speak. Sara actually told me to mention that I’m always getting my dad a cup of coffee in the morning. She said, ‘You’ve got to put that in the article, that you’re the coffee boy.’ ”

     Crop insurance makes up the bulk of the agency’s work, but Holub Insurance also sells personal and commercial lines, home, auto, and more.

     Among the things the younger Holub is learning is the importance of technology in insurance.

     “The world of technology obviously is playing a big role in businesses and  insurance nowadays,” Nathan said. “We’re getting more online with people instead of going with paper, so we’re trying to stay up to date with the technology part of it.”

     Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., five days a week.

     “We call it ‘always open’ though, because my dad can make a change (to a policy) anytime,” Nathan said.

     The Holub family went through a tragic change in July 2012, when Margaret Holub – Ben’s wife and Nathan’s mother – was killed in an automobile accident about a mile from the family farm.

     “I think about her sometimes when I’m making a decision,” Nathan said. “(I ask myself), ‘What would Mom think of this?’ It definitely plays a role in it.”

     Working with his father, thinking of his mother, and the knowledge gained from experience all combine to help Nathan provide quality insurance for the customers.

     “Sometimes they come to us, and sometimes we call them and they’re interested,” he said. “We sit down with them and explain to them what we can provide for them, and go from there.”



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