Closeup of professionals in a business meeting with the words A+ Rated Protection to Cover the Unique Insurance Needs of Your Business. on the image

About Us

Pioneer Specialty Insurance Company is the wholly owned, niche-focused subsidiary of the Western National Insurance Group, a super-regional insurance group represented by the Independent Insurance Agency system. Pioneer Specialty has been a Western National Insurance Group company since 2008. The company operates as a specialty insurance company in Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin and as a commercial insurance company in Montana, Nevada, and Utah.

Along with the other pooled companies of the Western National Insurance Group, Pioneer Specialty maintains a financial rating of A+ (Superior) from A.M. Best and is recognized as a Trusted Choice® company.

For information regarding the Illinois Department of Insurance Flood Directives, click here.

Our Mission

Pioneer Specialty is proud to share the mission of the Western National Insurance Group:

To act with integrity in the service of others.

We will achieve this mission by maintaining financial strength, and by establishing lasting relationships with people and businesses who share these attributes with us:

  • A passion for business and life

  • A desire to serve others in need

  • Adaptability to a changing world

  • A strong sense of humility and humor

Meet Our Underwriting Team

David Mykkeltvedt, Commercial Lines Underwriter

Joined the company in: 1990
Insurance industry experience: 35+ years
Designations: CPCU, AU, ARM, API, AINS

Background: I went to school at the University of Minnesota, studying Political Science and Biology. Prior to working in the insurance industry, I was a Lab Tech in the U of M Surgery Department. I then worked for three other insurance companies, then a Managing General Agency, then an insurance rating software company before joining Western National and Pioneer Specialty.

What it means to be a Pioneer Specialty Underwriter: I get the opportunity to work with great agency partners across the entire Central Region to write specialty business in our target classes.

Dave's favorite thing to do outside of work: Travel. Especially road trips.

One thing you might not have known about Dave: I used to train sled dogs for long distance races.

Jeanne Kohn, Senior Commercial Lines Underwriter

Joined the company in: 2000
Insurance industry experience: 33+ years
Designations: CPCU, AU, AIS, AINS

Background: I went to North Hennepin Community College and the University of Minnesota. I originally studied Journalism, but fell into the insurance industry. I have previously worked at Berkley Administrators, Alexander & Alexander (now AON), Professional Liability Underwriting Managers, and Blackburn, Nickels & Smith.

What it means to be a Pioneer Specialty Underwriter: We are our own little team and we work well together to serve our customers.

Jeanne's favorite thing to do outside of work: Spend time with my kids.

One thing you might not have known about Jeanne: I hung out with Axel Rose and his body guards when they were in Minneapolis for the 1992 Super Bowl.

Pat Deeny, Commercial Lines Underwriter

Joined the company in: 2001
Insurance industry experience: 30+ years
Designations: CPCU, AU, AINS, AIS, A+ Certification

Background: I went to school for Management Information Systems. Upon graduation I got a job in the insurance industry doing data entry

What it means to be a Pioneer Specialty Underwriter: I enjoy being a Pioneer Underwriter because it gives me the opportunity to use my technical underwriting knowledge and we have a great team that works well together to service our customers.

Pat's favorite thing to do outside of work: Work in my flower beds and garden. And I am working on developing a new landscape plan for my yard.

One thing you might not have known about Pat: I have a goal to visit every state in the United States. I only have four states left to visit—Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

Laura Anderson, Commercial Lines Underwriter

Joined the company in: 2012
Insurance industry experience: 32+ years
Designations: CISR

Background: I went to Normandale Community College, and have previously worked for Safco, Cigna, Zurich-American, GRE/Tower, Lumbermen’s Underwriting Alliance.

What it means to be a Pioneer Specialty Underwriter: It means being part of a team that works together to find solutions for our agents and policyholders; having knowledge of the exposures that our target classes face; working on challenging accounts where we specialize in offering coverage to a select market; and building relationships.

Laura's favorite thing to do outside of work: Pretend I’m retired and act accordingly – hang out with family, fish, golf, kayak, go to the North Shore...

One thing you might not have known about Laura: Every insurance company I have worked for has moved out of MN.