MKI Past and Present

A Brief History

MKI’s history and stability in the Rhode Island insurance market is founded on sound financial principals that stretch back to the early decades in the 1900’s. The very fact that the agency started in the economic climate of the Post Great Depression and then soldiered on through decades of change in America shows a steady strength. One of the keys to a successful long standing company is the ability for each generation of leadership to add to the institution. This history and experience is what makes MKI so unique. The firm was founded on the fundamentals of honesty and integrity. The only type of foundation an insurance agency should have. Our knowledge and years of experience have taught us that our clients are the reason we come to work each day. We’ve been protecting people’s lives and families for many years. MKI has seen families grow and prosper. Many generations have trusted us. Our goal has never changed.

1936: Starting an Early Tradition

Founded in 1936 by Louis J. Mercier, The Mercier Insurance Agency, started out humbly in the city of Central Falls, Rhode Island. Louis Mercier believed that his friends and community held a special bond. Located originally on Chestnut Street, his customers were within walking distance of the agency. If you asked a Mercier client how they felt about Louis, the response was always “honest” or “trustworthy”. Some accounts that started on the books in the 40’s remain in the MKI family. Louis often made home visits to collect weekly premiums at the request of the clients. The insurance salesman became a fixture in households and many considered Louis family. It was during this time American small businesses began to prosper and it was not uncommon for a whole family to help out a business. The Mercier Insurance Agency carried on through the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s until it was purchased by Yvonne Mercier, Louis’s daughter who had always worked with him. She took helm of the company after her father passed and continued to run and maintain the agency until Richard Kosinski took ownership in 1983.

1982: A New Direction

Richard Kosinski, a graduate of Providence College class of 1968, had a impressive financial background working in the banking field with such companies as Hospital Trust and Old Stone Bank. He also had a knack for communication, and people trusted what he had to say. His father has owned a small venetian blind company in Pawtucket, RI and in the eyes of his son, had a very successful career owning a business he loved. Richard decided he wanted to take a chance and revitalize an insurance agency of which he saw great potential for advancement.

The turbulent and excessive financial climate of the 1980’s proved to be a pivotal time in RI for small business. Richard began to appreciate that he ventured out of the corporate world and had acquired the agency from Yvonne Mercier. At this time, he took the company in a new direction by building it up financially and investing all his energies to make the company known to the public again. Richard renamed the agency Mercier and Kosinski Insurance, Inc. In 1983, the company moved from Central Falls, to Lincoln, RI on Smithfield Avenue. The agency continued to grow and thrive based on solid business relationships and hard work.

2002: A New Twist on an Old Favorite

Having grown up in a household buzzing with insurance talk, Joseph Kosinski was never a stranger to the world of insurance agencies. However, wanting to explore marketing and sales, Joseph pursued a different path to entrepreneurship. Always having a plan to own some type of business, Joseph wanted to be a marketer first. With a BS from Providence College, practical real world job experience from such companies as GTECH, Hirsch Speidel, and a marketing company called the BRW Group in Providence, Joseph took some chances and signed on to explore a new prospect. It became clear to him that the goal of overall job satisfaction could be found working on his own and he yearned for more of a permanence of client relationship. That’s where Mercier and Kosinski Insurance fell into the equation. This great institution of insurance opened up a world he never really knew existed. In 2002, Joseph Kosinski signed on to become a producer at Mercier and Kosinski Insurance. Joseph submersed himself in the pool of clients and learned the insurance business had many differences to corporate America. Joseph brought a new twist to the insurance business by implementing an advertising and marketing strategy.

The year 2005 saw many changes to Mercier and Kosinski Insurance. This year saw Joseph step into the principal agent’s seat. The agency increased overall volume and took a new direction focusing on products like commercial insurance as well as overall insurance plans for existing clients of the agency. Internally the transformation had begun to develop a new team that could suits the needs of a new kind of insurance world. One that is based on technology and new ways of communication, while trying to keep the original charm that had made the agency such a success in the past. For instance, a new logo prominently displays an abbreviation of Mercier and Kosinski Insurance that still imbues the firm’s history and pride.

Fast forward to 2009 and the launch of a new brand. The company continues to refine their market presence. Witness the new MKI Logo. A rebirth and continuation of a 72 year old pursuit of insuring and helping clients succeed at business and life long plans. Today we’re charged and excited about the new innovations and technology that will improve customer relations with clients. We haven’t forgotten about how we started. Louis Mercier’s spirit and dedication lives on in MKI.

MKI: Since 1936