Maslow's hierarchy of needs didn't include insurance, but once you have shelter, you might want Shelter Mutual Insurance. The company offers personal and commercial property/casualty coverage (including auto and homeowners) and life insurance to customers in 14 states, mainly in the southeastern and midwestern US. Shelter Mutual and its subsidiaries, including Shelter General Insurance and Shelter Life Insurance, sell their products through 1,400 dedicated agents. The company's Shelter Reinsurance subsidiary provides reinsurance to other mutual insurers around the world. Its Shelter Financial Bank unit offers consumer and mortgage loans, CDs, and money market accounts through Shelter agents or online.
Shelter Insurance operates about 20 branch office locations in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
In the property/casualty business, Shelter Mutual's net written premiums rose 5% to $1.2 billion, primarily from increase auto premiums. Rate increases in other property/casualty lines including homeowners' insurance has also contributed to Shelter Mutual's increasing returns in recent years.
Shelter Insurance's strategy for growth while riding out the industry's soft underwriting market is to leverage analytics, adjust its pricing strategies, and review investment opportunities. The company is also focused on examining the impact of evolving regulatory and accounting laws.
Through an on-going research project, the company has developed new branding standards and launched a new advertising campaign in 2010 as part of its broader brand identity reformation. It also formulated policies regarding social media that year and created corporate Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as a YouTube channel. It also released a mobile app and two claims apps to enhance customer experience and aid its agents.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Shelter has broadened its geographic service territory both through acquisitions and organic measures. In 2008 the company purchased private property/casualty provider Haulers Insurance, and in 2009 it expanded Haulers' operations into Georgia, a state where the acquired entity was licensed but not yet operating.
Shelter Insurance began operating in 1946 as MFA Mutual Insurance, a Missouri car insurance provider funded through loan from the Missouri Farmers Association. It changed its name to Shelter Insurance in 1981. The company has grown through the years, adding reinsurance operations in 1986.