Luke Peterson is always telling his little leaguers to keep their eye on the ball. He should know. While he worked as a ‘captive’ agent in the insurance business for twelve years—meaning that he worked for a single provider—he always had his sights set on going independent.
In 2019, Luke took a swing, founding his own independent company, Luke Peterson Insurance, in Altoona.
As his business and the community around him continue to grow, it seems that he’s hit a home run.
Today, Luke’s business provides a wide range of services for individuals and companies: home, renters, life, business, auto—even health, which, in recent years, many agents have shied away from. Being an independent agent, Luke says, means that he can choose from a variety of insurance providers, enabling him to provide the best available product for a customer.
“Being independent sets us apart from the competition,” Luke says. “On the auto and homeowners’ side of the business, we have twelve to fifteen different providers—we can compare rates between all of them. Then, if your rate changes after a few years, we can reevaluate.
“It’s good to have options.”
For Luke, whose customers are often his friends and neighbors, business is personal. When he and his wife, Sarah—who handles the marketing side of the business—set out to find a location for the company in 2019, Altoona was an easy choice.
“This is home for us,” says Luke, who attended Southeast Polk High School in the 1990s. “I knew Altoona was the place I wanted to be. I love the location—it’s centrally located, right off the interstate, so we can also draw customers from Bondurant, Pleasant Hill and even go further east to Prairie City and Colfax. I think that’s what makes Altoona a great place to run a business.”
Since he grew up in the area, Luke knows just how much Altoona has grown over the past few decades. He says that this growth is critical to the future of his business.
“There are a lot of new opportunities, since the town is growing. There are more housing developments popping up, and, with the outlet mall (Outlets of Des Moines), a lot of new businesses and restaurants.
“We’re seeing huge growth here, so I think there are a lot of opportunities for different kinds of businesses to come into Altoona and be successful.”
Field of dreams
In addition to running their business, Luke and Sarah donate their time and resources to a little league in Altoona. While baseball and insurance may look different, Luke says that they actually have quite a bit in common.
“It’s all about reading the field, taking all these different factors into consideration and making the right call,” he says. “And sometimes, you just need to step up to the plate and go for it.”
Thanks for reading this business feature. Altoona is a growing community on the east side of Polk County, just minutes from downtown Des Moines. For another story about a local business, check out our recent feature on Legacy Bank.