After 10 years, locally-owned Yakima Valley Insurance recently made a move that will allow for an improved customer experience. The office, previously located at 2318 S. First St., moved to a new west Valley location the first week of September, and will continue service at 117 N. 50th Ave. “It’s a move that will allow for a better atmosphere for our employees and for our clients,” said Casey McKinney, who co- owns Yakima Valley Insurance with his wife, Maira Dominges McKinney. McKinney and his wife, who is also a licensed insurance agent, opened Yakima Valley Insurance in 2009. The agency was originally an Allstate Insurance office, and was utilized as such from 2004 to 2008. “I found that I could offer more options, giving rates for all carriers at one time, rather than just one,” said McKinney. “We were then able to make the switch, ultimately allowing us to find the best fit for each individual client’s needs, finding them the best place and the best coverage.” McKinney switched from being an exclusive Allstate agent when he decided to open his independent agency, mainly focusing on home and auto insurance, with the capabilities to assist clients with life and business insurance as well. Although McKinney still offers Allstate insurance, he’s now able to assist a wider base of clients. “Making the switch gave us more options to be competitive and for more product offerings,” said McKinney. “We’re able to fit the needs for everybody and help more people.” Now, after growing the clientele and increasing the business’ staff to five licensed agents, its move to a new location represents a need for more space. In moving to the new 4,000-square-foot office building, the business is gaining three times the amount of space, offering more room for a better client experience. According to McKinney, part of what makes working in insurance fun is the opportunity to meet people. It’s not just about selling the policy. “We didn’t have a waiting room in the previous space to welcome clients,” said McKinney. “We’re glad to have a larger, nicer space for our clients to come in and discuss their needs. We love to talk to our clients face to face and get to know them, and this will allow us to do that in a better space.” But for McKinney, the new space isn’t just providing the opportunity for more room, it’s a sense of accomplishment. “In our old space we were leasing,” he said. “To go from leasing to owning a building is a big step in any business. It’s a big milestone for us.”

By Molly Allen – YAKIMA VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES | August 30 – September 13, 2019