It’s difficult for any business to weather the ups and downs of economic changes, but Knight-Dik Insurance Agency has done just that by “going with the flow” and taking advantage of new situations, according to President Ross Dik.
This year marks the company’s 100th anniversary.
The roots of Knight-Dik stretch to 1917, when Thomas Babb Insurance Agency was launched in an 11-story high rise at 507 Main St. in downtown Worcester. In 1948, Mr. Babb sold the company, then at 405 Main St., to Harold Knight. Harold Knight Agency relocated to 304 Main St.
Ross Dik’s father, Bob, joined the business, and by 1962, the company became known as Knight-Dik Insurance Agency. During the 1970s, the agency became the first in Massachusetts to develop a discounted insurance program for the employees of State Mutual Insurance Co., Paul Revere Insurance and Clark University.
Mr. Dik, who is also the grandson of Harold Knight, joined the family business in 1981 as the third generation of family members to work in the agency. He first worked at a satellite location, then took over in 1990. The agency now has only one location at 446 Main St.
One of the key factors in the business’ longevity has been its willingness to “stay on the front edge of innovation,” according to Mr. Dik, “and jump on some specialties.”
He said that the company uses technology in everything it does — acquiring and maintaining customers, as well as supporting its employees.
“Absolutely, the economic changes over the years affected us,” he said. “Sometimes, we shrank a little bit … A lot of things were out of our control. The challenge was always dealing with what we were handed.”
Mr. Dik said that always having some type of specialty, either singular or multiple niches, helped the business stay vibrant and also complemented its role as a generalist insurance provider.
Knight-Dik has a specialty in workers’ compensation, and he feels it is an area where the company has made a name for itself.
“It is an area that has really allowed us to increase our footprint, so we work with clients well beyond the Worcester area and beyond Massachusetts,” he said.
In addition, the agency’s 18 employees also sell all the standard lines of property and causality insurance for both personal and commercial customers — auto, home and boat insurance.