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.
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.
In 2015, Sentry had assets of $10.5 billion and a policyholder surplus nearing $4.4 billion.
From more than 10 field offices and its headquarters (in Stevens Point, Wisconsin), the company serves customers in 41 states across the US.
Sales and Marketing
Policy sales are primarily conducted through a network of 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, including the Business Technology Association, Industrial Supply Association, and Power Transmission Distributors Association, to create specialized insurance programs. The Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association gives Sentry Insurance an exclusive endorsement as a recommended insurance provider.
Sentry customers include adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Northwestern Mutual Life, and Kimberly-Clark.
In fiscal 2015, net sales increased 5% to $2.9 billion due to increased premiums earned; these gains were offset, though, by a decline in investment income. Net income also dropped that year, falling to $284.3 million as Sentry faced higher operating expenses and net realized losses.
Sentry has expanded by forming partnerships and affiliations with industry trade groups. It also grows through occasional acquisitions and product development efforts.
In 2014 the company acquired Alabama-based Anchor Managing General Agency, a managing general agency serving Alabama and Mississippi. The deal marked Sentry's entrance into the independent agency general commercial market.
The company rebranded itself as simply "Sentry" in mid-2016; it also launched a new logo. The moves signal a new phase for Sentry, which offers more types of products and services including employee benefits and 401k plans.