There’s no place like home. Valarie Williams, owner of Affordable Insurance Inc. in Knox, knows these words to be true. A lifelong resident of Starke County, Williams puts a lot of value on staying local and being involved in the community. She first opened her company in 1999. This year marks her 20th anniversary of owning the business.
“I actually was in sales my whole adult life,” she says. “I worked at Farm Bureau Insurance for seven years first. I decided to open my own agency and stay local.”
For Williams, staying local is not just having a business in town. It means being involved. She contributes back to the area through multiple organizations. She currently serves on the Starke County Tourism Board, in addition to being a member of the Starke County Chamber of Commerce Board. Both of these organizations work to bring people to the area to promote economic development and enrichment.
She also is a part of a Relay for Life team. Relay for Life is a fundraiser by local groups for the American Cancer Society. The event itself lasts for 24 hours, and participants stay up all night and walk to raise money.
“I’ve been involved in Relay for Life over the last 10 to 15 years,” Williams says. “I’ve been involved a lot.”
Beyond those three organizations, Williams also contributes to Toys for Kids, a collection of toys around Christmastime to give to local children in need. She also tries to stay involved in things like Movies in the Park and other local events.
“It’s just nice living in a small town and having so many options to do here,” Williams says. “In past years, there have been years where not much is going on. I think now because of our mayor and our sheriff and everybody, there’s a lot more happening.”
Given her involvement in the community, it is unsurprising that her favorite part of her job is getting to interact with and help people.
“[The best part of my job is] the diversity of my job and being able to visit with people that come in, going out to inspect homes,” Williams says. “And the freedom to help people with their insurance and put them in the right spot for them.”
She certainly could not do any of her work without her team, though. Her staff (Jamie Allen, Rhonda Ammons, Sarah Compton and Jill Palm) works hard to make sure that people feel comfortable when they come in. They value good customer service and work to provide it for all their clients.
Affordable Insurance is located at 1512 South Heaton Street in Knox. They provide a variety of personal, commercial and life insurance policies. You can give them a call at 574-772-5370. For their toll-free number, contact them at 866-853-4881. They are open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. They also offer evening and weekend appointments. You can visit them online at insurancebyval.com for more information.