About Farmers Mutual Insurance
Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Ellinwood, Kansas was organized on April 12, 1896. The company is located in Ellinwood, Kansas which is a town of about 2,500 located in Barton County in the heart of Kansas.
The statutes of the organization, as published in 1899, recorded that the organization was called the “Union of German Farmers of Barton County and Vicinity, Kansas”. The purpose of the organization was to “Support, instruct, and promote custom in cooperation with the Farmers in a mutual way”. Over the years the company has adopted as its motto, “The Mutual Way.”
The term “Mutual Way” is synonymous with mutual insurance or a cooperative such as the Farmers Coop organization. The Union of Farmers of Barton County was a combination of these two types of organizations.
In the beginning the company’s official language was German. During World War I the anti-German sentiment was strong and the company officially changed to English as an official language in an annual meeting. The minutes were in German through the motion and vote, with the line immediately following being recorded in English. This interesting historical fact about our company reminds us today that we are to serve together mutually for the benefit of our Policyholders and face change when needed as this example from our founders.
Today the company has a network of more than 200 independent agencies throughout the state of Kansas. Through these independent agents, FMI provides property insurance for the state of Kansas. FMI is no longer a company limited strictly to the farm market or to a single geographic area. We offer Homeowner, City Fire, and Farm Fire insurance coverage.
Our agents refer to us as that “Good little insurance company out in Ellinwood, Kansas.” We are pleased to have that reputation from our agents and from the policyholders who are helping us to move forward into a second century of “The Mutual Way.”
FMI leadership is a Board of Directors composed of Policyholders of the company. The Directors meet Quarterly to monitor and advise management on the performance of the company and to give direction to the management for the benefit of the company and its policyholders. Annually the Directors meet in a Strategic Planning Session to separately discuss the future of the company. In this Planning Session the BOD guides the future of the company through the development of goals and strategies for the management guided staff to take action upon. Recently the Board of Directors worked with management to develop some statements to serve as a Business Model to aid in guidance for decision making and goal setting.
Our Business Model
The Business Model of Farmers Mutual Insurance Company (FMI) has and is focused on the needs of the policyholders in underserved areas throughout Kansas with underserved insurance products we are able to provide. To continue this effort it is the company’s strategy to earn more income than expenses to increase policyholder surplus.
The actions of the company shall be centered on insurance protection for policyholders where the standard or preferred insurance market fails to provide coverage. FMI views this to be in areas of the state and/or within risk classifications that are underserved by other markets.
FMI understands that it can only insure according to statutory requirements of the State of Kansas and at the level of charter currently authorized by the Kansas Insurance Department for risk classifications available to FMI.
Beginning as a Fire only company, FMI understands that all-encompassing peril coverage is not always necessary and that not all perils in all instances are insurable or would meet the reasons noted herein to be of service to policyholder. Therefore, FMI shall focus on named peril policies and coverage.
FMI believes to remain in service to policyholders and other underserved Kansans (potential policyholders), that it must achieve profitability and continue to grow the company.
FMI is committed to the utilization of agents to distribute its products and shall take actions to foster those relationships and allow ease of doing business with those agent/agency partners.
Technology plays an important role in the company operations and shall be utilized to enhance and administer the service to policyholders as reasonably beneficial and available.
FMI believes its staff is an asset to policyholders in that through having well skilled, capable, and personable staff the service to the policyholders is exceptional. That having a staff from the local rural based community benefits that community by providing good paying professional positions locally. In addition this also benefits the Kansans that we serve by an ability to relate more closely from the same or similar setting.
Reinsurance is needed to provide a level of protection greater than FMI could provide alone to policyholders, these Reinsurance partners are an important asset to FMI and we value their relationship and backing of our risk exposure.
FMI believes that to do business there are required strategic relationships with vendors and associations that provide services, education, advocacy, and other resources with shared values.
FMI believes we are not only selling a product but we are in the relationship business in that our relationship with the agent provides us with a relationship with the policyholder to be of service to them by providing insurance protection of their assets. As feasible activities to strengthen or expand that relationship with current, or potential, agents or policyholders shall become part of operations.