County Mutual Role In Iowa’s Economy

Few people realize the large number of County Mutual Insurance Associations domiciled in the state of Iowa and the strong positive social and economic impact they have made in their local communities over the last 125-150 years.

Background: County Mutual Insurance Associations are local property Insurance Companies, authorized to operate under Iowa Code 518. County Mutual Companies are allowed to write business in their County of domicile and all contiguous Counties. Mutual policyholders own and control their local companies through elected board of directors. Annual policyholder meetings are held each year, for the purpose of electing directors, reviewing annual financial results and discussing any other business that might be brought before the meetings.

Iowa County Mutual Insurance Associations were formed in the last half of the 19th century to provide financial protection (primarily from the risk of fire) to early settlers in the agricultural Midwestern United States. Eastern companies were too far away to provide adequate service and in most cases were charging premiums that were excessive and unaffordable. County Mutual companies were more able to provide local service at affordable premiums by insuring friends and neighbors in local communities.

Since those early years, County Mutual Insurance Associations have survived through good and bad years providing stability and security to member policyholders. Unfortunately many large stock companies have been in and out of the farm business depending on profitability of the business. County Mutuals have always been in for the long term. Millions of dollars have been paid in claims to local policyholders, helping restore their property and strengthening local economies. Policyholder surplus has been deposited in local financial institutions and made available for further investment in our local communities. Company payrolls, operating expense and agent commissions are also a boost to our local economies.

Presently, German Mutual Insurance Association employs five staff personnel and is contracted with twenty-five Independent Insurance Agencies to market insurance products and to service Mutual Policyholders. German Mutual Insurance Association has placed reinsurance and combination policy agreements with Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. ‘A’ rated by AM Best Grinnell Mutual is the largest Farm Reinsurance Carrier in the Midwest. Our special relationship with Grinnell Mutual allows us to provide an additional level of security and protection to our policyholders for fire , windstorm, extended perils, comprehensive personal and farm liability, whether they live on the farm or in town. German Mutual has provided security to members since the later part of the 19th century, through the entire 20th century and is well on its way into the 21st century and beyond.