Once again, yearend results are demonstrating how the financial strength of the Company has and continues to evolve. Underwriting profit for 2020 is the third highest in Clare Mutual financial history at $503,637 topped in 2019 at 642,258 and 2016 at $691,339. At year end 2020 Gross Premiums Written have increased by 10.84% compared to 7.39% in 2019.
The premium increase is as a result of new business, policy reviews and rate increase. A 2% rate increase on all residential and commercial packages as well as, a 3% inflation protection increase has been approved by the Board of Directors for implementation as of January 1, 2021.
The pandemic resulted in prioritizing the development of our Facebook page and the regular updating of the website for faster and up to date communications with clients. In 2020 Office 365 was implemented to provide a more secure e-mail platform, as well as, a secure video conferencing tool essential for internal and external communications during the pandemic. We implemented electronic signatures and changes to payment policies to accommodate client financial issues related to the pandemic.
During 2020 much work was done to review and revise the Pandemic and Disaster Recovery policies. A review and revision of these policies highlighted the fact that the current technological platforms permits the Company the flexibility to transition from head office to home office within a few hours. If the building was severely damaged because of fire or other natural disaster, connectivity for staff could be as short as one day.
The pandemic also provided a means of highlighting problem areas that could not quickly be addressed but need to be prioritized such as the Broker Management Systems (BMS): The need for temporary remote work locations highlighted the reality that the Company’s broker business has to be automated. The implementation of a BMS is also an important part of disaster recovery. The current “paper based” and manual accounting of the Company’s broker business would be a significant issue in the event that a fire or other natural disaster were to impact the head office.
The broker portfolio continues to expand, by providing markets for business not underwritten by Clare Mutual. A second auto carrier, United General, was added to the Company’s portfolio August 2020. United General has helped in getting new business with clients that want to combine their property and auto.
Financial support will continue through donations and advertising for various organizations that are important to the communities serviced by Clare Mutual. Additional efforts will be placed in assuring that this financial support will be well advertised to promote that the Company is a leader in supporting its community. Our actions with the help of Farm Mutual Re relieved some of the strain felt by many charities and non-profit organizations, some of which have not been able to fundraise, as they provide invaluable services to our communities.
Efforts will continue to be directed towards creating a more positive image for the Loss Prevention Service through more informative advertising that promotes the positive aspects of the Company’s loss prevention service. The objective is to highlight the protection provided to clients against loss of life and/or property and deter from the idea that the Company is protecting its assets by preventing claims.
OMIA Director Certification courses were put on hold due to the pandemic. Education continues to be a priority and will resume in 2021. Employees attend Insurance Institute webinars regularly on specific products. Additional courses and seminars are offered as requested or as they become available through various channels.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to new challenges threatening the health and well-being of our families, friends and neighbours. We are fortunate to work alongside some stellar, creative and inspiring individuals. I do believe our mutual community is home to some of the finest and most caring professionals in the world. That compassion is evident in how we conduct business; support our clients and one another.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
July 21, 2020