11:38 AM

American Family seeks policyholder approval of structure change

Conversion to mutual holding company will help American Family meet customers’ future needs


Policyholders of American Family Mutual Insurance Company will soon receive proxy materials to vote on a plan to change its corporate structure to a mutual holding company, following unanimous plan approval by American Family’s board of directors.

The board of directors of American Family Mutual Insurance Company (AFMIC) has finalized and unanimously approved a plan, first announced in June, to convert the organization’s structure to a mutual holding company. American Family will now ask for policyholder approval of the plan when an information packet and proxy is mailed to AFMIC policyholders beginning today.

In addition to policyholder consent, AFMIC must obtain approval from the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) before it can proceed with the conversion plan. The OCI will also hold a public hearing on the mutual holding company plan, scheduled for Nov. 16 at the commissioner’s office in Madison.

Approval offers future flexibility

A vote “For” the plan will help ensure American Family can meet customer needs for years to come by providing flexibility to pursue customer-driven opportunities that complement its insurance offerings. These include investing in and/or acquiring non-insurance companies that specialize in products and services that proactively protect customers from accidents and injuries, such as smart-home technology and distracted-driving prevention. The plan would also better position American Family to acquire other mutual insurance companies.

Preserving policyholder ownership

A mutual holding company would also help preserve American Family’s 90-year legacy of operating under the principles of a mutual insurance company owned by our policyholders. Policyholders of AFMIC would have the same membership rights they have now, while membership rights would be extended to policyholders of certain other subsidiaries who underwrite property-casualty products sold by American Family agents.

“The conversion ensures American Family will be a policyholder-owned company into the future,” said Dave Holman, American Family’s chief strategy officer.

“American Family has always been owned by our policyholders, which enables us to make decisions with a singular focus on the customer – without worrying about conflicting interests of outside investors. We remain deeply committed to that concept, and this change makes sure that concept remains in place.”

Coverage, premium rates and claims handling under existing American Family insurance policies would be unaffected by the change to a mutual holding company. Company and agent operations would also be unaffected.

Adoption of the mutual holding company plan requires policyholder approval of at least 75 percent of ballots cast. Proxy voting closes on Dec. 2. As an alternative, policyholders can cast their vote in person at a special policyholder meeting on Dec. 7 at the company’s national headquarters in Madison.

For more information on the plan, please refer to the updated FAQ.

About American Family Insurance

Madison, Wis. - based American Family Insurance is the nation's 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks 332nd on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General, Homesite and AssureStart) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the Internet or by phone. Web; Facebook; Twitter; Google+