News Archive

1st Quarter Results Provide Cushion for Storm Season icon

For Midwest based P&C Carriers, the winter and fall months typically provide a welcome reprieve from storm activity. There's no hail, less wind, and fewer claims. This year, our seasonal weather was further affected by the back end of a year long El Nino pattern that has represented a dichotomy of sorts across the contiguous United States. This phenomenon has resulted in warmer and dryer air to the North, and wetter and colder conditions to the South. The insurance effects have been a positive financial result for carriers that enjoy a higher saturation of business in the upper Midwest (like MFM), while other carriers have missed earnings expectations due to softball sized hail in the state of Texas. El Nino continues to be a close friend of Midwest Family Mutual, and he's welcome to stick around for as long as he likes.

Our profitability as measured by our combined ratio sits at 93.3 through three months. It's a fine result that should provide a financial cushion going into the storm season. The upcoming months of April through August are fraught with peril as our regional footprint typically gets pounded by wind and hail. Our expansion into the "relatively" storm-free Southwest should help mitigate these storm related losses. We now have over $10M of written premium in Arizona, $5M in Utah, and $3M in Nevada with select Agents. We're also growing in Missouri, Kansas, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, and Indiana. Although these latter states can experience severe storm activity, they represent less correlation in risk relative to our previous saturation in the upper Midwest, resulting in a better diversified and more predictable exposure.

Our results through three months have been affected not only by the mild winter, but also by the hard work of our Agents and Employees. Written premium is up an impressive 11.7% through three months. This places us well ahead of our sales goals at the same time that the industry is engaging in a fierce battle for market share. It's a healthy position to be in ahead of what is expected to be softer market conditions throughout the year. Suffice it to say that the additional premiums written in new states added since 2012 have greatly aided our ability to grow in this environment. But it should also be noted that we have experienced appreciable growth in our original seven upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Illinois during this same time period. Not only do we continue to find ways to grow our Agents' books in these states, but you'll find our products and pricing to be less variable over time as we cultivate healthy diversification elsewhere. Speaking of state expansion, MFM has entered into the new states of Ohio, Idaho, and New Mexico! We are approved to write commercial lines business effective April 1st in these three states, and we're already in the process of appointing Independent Agents. Also worth noting is the news that we have hired a new Regional Marketing Manager by the name of Sharon Miles in the state of Indiana. She will be facilitating the appointment of new Agents and underwriting new business in the states of Indiana and Ohio. Sharon works out of her home in Noblesville, a suburb of Indianapolis, IN.

Over the remainder of 2016, we will be rolling out our new First Class Portfolio product aimed at affluent personal lines customers (as measured by Coverage A over $500,000). This product has been more than a year in the making and will package the best coverage offering in the industry with competitive pricing. We're on track to unveil the new program in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin sometime this May. We then plan to file it in our remaining 12 states throughout the remainder of the year and using our presence in the commercial space to cross-sell eligible owners, officers, and directors. We think we have a product that will be well received by insurance consultants and brokers, and it will provide those with the most to lose the peace of mind they deserve.

With the first quarter behind us, we'll be crossing our fingers, toes, and eyes going into storm season. It's the "make us or break us" time of year for the entire industry. We're thankful for our Agents and Employees who have put us in a good position heading into the spring and summer months!

To all of our Agents and Insureds, please know that we appreciate your business!

Aaron W. Boyd, MBA, CPCU
Executive VP & COO

Posted on Thursday, April 21 @ 19:01:10 -06:00
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