Even confirmed bachelors can get insured through American Family Mutual Insurance. The company and its subsidiaries specialize in personal and commercial property/casualty insurance. Its coverage products include auto, homeowners, farm and ranch, and commercial liability. Its subsidiaries also offer life insurance and annuities and health plans. The company operates in 33 states across the US and is among the largest US property/casualty mutual insurance companies. Policies are underwritten by American Family Mutual and its American Standard Insurance, American Family Life Insurance Company (AFLIC), and Permanent General subsidiaries; together they operate as the American Family Insurance Group.
In addition to its Madison, Wisconsin, headquarters location, American Family has regional offices in Englewood, Colorado; Madison and St. Joseph, Missouri; and Nashville, Tennessee. The company serves customers in the midwestern and western US states of Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. It added operations in 14 additional states in the southern and eastern US (as well as California) through an acquisition completed at the end of 2012.
Property/casualty policies written for personal and commercial applications account for the majority (about 85%) of American Family's annual revenues. Term, universal, and whole life policies, as well as fixed annuities, are written directly through the AFLIC subsidiary. American Family has some $88 billion of life insurance policies in force.
The company's health insurance products include HSA (health savings account), Medicare supplement, and short-term medical care plans, all of which are marketed through an affiliation with Assurant Health.
Sales and Marketing
American Family sells its insurance products through a network of some 3,500 independent agents. The company strives to maintain strong relationships with its brokers to better serve its policyholders.
Unlike many of its competitors, American Family has said it has no plans to demutualize and has steadily grown its equity and assets. However, the company experienced underwriting losses between 2009 and 2011 due to storm coverage. While hailstorms and wildfires contributed to substantial claims expenses in 2012, revenues for the American Family Insurance Group were slightly improved over 2011 results, showing a 1% increase to some $6.2 billion due to higher net premiums from property/casualty policies, as well as rising net investment income and other revenues. Net income for the group returned to growth that year as well, marking a 22% increase to $360.5 million on declined property/casualty expenses and losses.
As a result of high catastrophe claims, the company chose to consolidate its claims offices from 20 locations to just six primary offices in key markets in 2011. Other restructuring measures included a change in how American Family reinsures its policies to protect from catastrophe-related losses.
American Family announced additional restructuring programs in 2012, including staff reductions (primarily in its information services department), to address expense issues that the company primarily attributed to economic conditions. Overall, the company has cut expenses by reducing its workforce by about 10% between 2008 and 2012.
As results improved, American Family began to explore growth opportunities in the second half of 2012.
Mergers and Acquisitions
To expand its non-standard auto insurance offerings, the company acquired PGC Holdings Corp. and its subsidiaries, including Permanent General and The General, for some $239 million in December 2012. Permanent General is a strong company in a profitable market segment, and it continues to operate as an independent subsidiary from its headquarters in Nashville. The acquisition greatly expanded the company's service territory by adding operations in 11 states where American Family already conducted business, as well as 14 additional states.
Also in 2012, American Family acquired Lumbermens to add operating licenses in additional territories. While the purchase didn't add any active insurance operations, it did provide room for future expansion measures into new states.