To provide services which will assist in the effective utilization of insurance resources and promote a financially sound, competitive farm mutual insurance industry for the ultimate benefit of the consuming public.
The first mutual insurance company in the United States was organized in 1752 in Philadelphia – 25 years before the Declaration of Independence was written, and 40 years before a stock insurance company was organized. Benjamin Franklin developed the idea that people might voluntarily bind together and help one another when a severe loss occurred. That first company was called The Philadelphia Contribution for the Insurance of Houses Against Loss by Fire. Benjamin Franklin was on its board of directors.
The first farm mutual insurance company in Minnesota was Vasa Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, which was founded by Swedish immigrants in 1860. By 1897, the Minnesota Department of Insurance counted 114 farm mutual companies writing insurance policies and in 1914, there were 156 township mutual fire insurance companies.
In 1895, an idea occurred to a gentleman by the name of I.B. Yates. Mr. Yates’ plan was to join together representatives of different farmers’ mutual insurance companies in the state of Minnesota. On June 11th of that year, Mr. Yates’ vision became a reality. On that day, a group of less than fifty men, representing Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Companies from throughout Minnesota attended a gathering in Mankato at the invitation of Mr. Yates. Strangers to one another, they proceeded with the organization of the State Association of Mutual Insurance Companies or what we know today as the Minnesota Association of Farm Mutual Insurance Companies or MAFMIC.
MAFMIC is an association of great companies and great people who have a common purpose. The following quote, spoken by NAMIC Vice-President C.J. Robideau on January 24, 1946, still holds true today.
“We cannot stress too highly the value of membership in state and national associations of mutual insurance companies. And by membership I do not mean nominal membership alone – just paying your dues and never attending meetings. I mean an active, cooperating membership. We have common problems which can be solved only by concerted action. All of us can succeed if we recognize the fundamental truth of the old motto: ‘Achievement through cooperation.’ None of us is self-sufficient. We need to help and be helped.”
MAFMIC has changed and evolved throughout its nearly 120 years in existence. While we can’t know what really transpired at that first meeting in Mankato, we know Mr. Yates formulated the beginning of a great organization. The idea of neighbor helping neighbor, which goes back all the way to the pioneers, still reflects the image of today’s Minnesota Association of Farm Mutual Insurance Companies.