Ever vigilant for its policyholders, Sentry Insurance a Mutual Company (Sentry) and its subsidiaries and affiliates offer a variety of insurance products, including personal auto, homeowners, and other property/casualty lines, as well as life policies and annuities. Sentry provides specialized insurance to businesses of all sizes, including manufacturers, retailers, and truckers. The company also offers employee benefits, investment, and retirement options for group accounts. Formerly named Hardware Mutual, Sentry was founded in 1904 to provide insurance to members of the Wisconsin Retail Hardware Association. The mutual company is owned by its policyholders.
From regional offices and its headquarters (in Stevens Point, Wisconsin), the company serves customers in more than 40 states across the US.
Sentry covers more than 1.1 million policyholders scattered throughout the US. The firm's property/casualty policies are underwritten by the Sentry Insurance Group entities, including Parker Centennial Assurance, Dairyland Insurance, and Middlesex Insurance. Life insurance, pensions, and annuities are provided by Sentry Life Insurance Company and Sentry Life Insurance Company of New York. Its Sentry Equity Services unit offers mutual fund services.
Sales and Marketing
Policy sales are primarily conducted through a network of some 20,000 independent agencies throughout the US; the company also uses some internal sales agents to promote its policies. Sentry serves business customers in industries including electronics, food processing, metalwork, farm equipment, plastics, and printing; it also serves retail and distribution companies, as well as individuals and families.
The firm works with a number of other industry trade groups to create specialized insurance programs, including the Business Technology Association, Industrial Supply Association, and Power Transmission Distributors Association. The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association gives Sentry Insurance an exclusive endorsement as a recommended insurance provider.
As of 2012, Sentry had assets of more than $12.2 billion, as well as a policyholder surplus of $3.6 billion.
Sentry has expanded by forming partnerships and affiliations with industry trade groups. It also grows through occasional acquisitions and product development efforts. To enhance services, in 2013 the company launched a new mobile application for customers to access claims data. It also expanded services for multinational clients in 2011 by adding general liability and workers' compensation coverage options for overseas workers.
In 2012 it increased IT efficiencies by implementing a Varicent software program that manages commissions and other sales force incentives; the Varicent program replaces a cumbersome internal process that required heavy IT resources. To further reduce expenses, Sentry restructured its personal lines sales division by eliminating about 170 office and home-based workers in Wisconsin and 10 other states; it instead formed a new independent agency (Point Insurance) to sell Sentry policies and other personal insurance products in the region.