The Roundup -

Richland Farm Mutual Celebrates 100 Years

 


Back in 1913, when Richland Farm Mutual began, insurance was much different than what it is now. At that time, insurance was more of a brotherhood than a company.

The original idea of mutual insurance was introduced by Benjamin Franklin in 1751 while he was a firefighter. Although his company, ‘The Philadelphia Contributionship’, originally only provided coverage for fellow fire fighters, it quickly expanded to provide insurance to all citizens of Philadelphia. Not only did Franklin think of home insurance, but also came up with ideas of life insurance, annuities and later on, crop insurance. The original insurance companies were considered more of a ‘contributionship’, where members would contribute to the fund in the case of a loss.

This, in fact, was the same way Richland Farm Mutual operated when it began back in 1913. The original company, ‘The Mutual Fire and Lightning Insurance Company of Dawson County’, preceded Richland County. Due to this, they had to change their name within the first year as Richland County was formed in 1914. The original company insured 47 original members, who only collected premiums when there was a loss due to fire, lightning or explosion. The company operated this way into the early 1990s.

In 2004, the name was officially changed to Richland Farm Mutual Insurance Company, following Montana Department of Insurance regulations requiring all insurance companies that were covering rural properties to include the word ‘farm’ in their name.

Since their beginning, many changes have been made concerning the services offered at Richland Farm Mutual. Some of the services currently offered include insurances for homes, farms, dwellings, rental, auto, specialty and identity theft recovery.

Unlike most insurance companies, Richland Farm Mutual is a non-profit. They work to provide a service, not to make money. The company is technically owned and operated by its members. Most insurance companies have nationwide regulated prices, but Richland Farm Mutual has a board of directors which decides all premiums and charges.

Richland Farm Mutual has been a constant for both its members and the county over the last century. As Richland Farm Mutual celebrates their 100th year, they still have six families that have been insured through them since the beginning, which says a lot about the performance of the company.

 

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