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The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited, trading as NFU Mutual, is a UK registered mutual insurance composite. It underwrites more than £1.5 billion (2018) in annual premium in life and general insurance lines for rural communities within the UK. NFU Mutual is based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. In contrast to insurance companies owned by their shareholders, NFU Mutual is owned by its policyholders.

The National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited
Mutual
IndustryFinancial Services
Founded1910
HeadquartersTiddington, Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Key people
Lindsay Sinclair (Chief executive)
ProductsLife, general, pensions and investments
Number of employees
3884 (2018)
Websitewww.nfumutual.co.uk

Unlike most other UK insurers, NFU Mutual sells its policies predominantly through a network of tied agents which are located mainly in rural areas. At the end of 2018, NFU Mutual had over 3,800 employees, and 654 agents working out of 310 offices.[1] This network enjoys a close relationship with the National Farmers Union (NFU); many of the agents double as local union representatives. Many agents are self-employed and all are tied to NFU Mutual products.

Since 1980, NFU Mutual has accepted risks from outside the farming community. NFU Mutual Direct was set up in 1996 to provide telephone and internet call centre services. A subsidiary, Avon Insurance plc, provides personal protection and personal injury insurance.

Contents

ManagementEdit

There are currently 12 people on the board of directors, notably:

  • Chief executive – Lindsay Sinclair
  • Chairman – Richard Percy
  • Finance Director – Richard Morley [2]

Lindsay Sinclair, the current CEO, joined NFU Mutual from ING Direct in August 2008. A New Zealander, aged 52 at the time of joining, he is the first external CEO to be appointed at NFU Mutual. Ian Geden, his predecessor, was at NFU Mutual for more than 40 years.

NFU Mutual has strong financial solvency, with assets of more than £18 billion. The insurer has a very high customer retention rate: in 2018, 95.5% of members renewed their policies.[1]

They were rated by consumer group Which? as 'Insurance Provider of the Year' in 2018 and have been a Which? Recommended Provider for home and car insurance since they started awarding these in 2010.[3]

HistoryEdit

NFU Mutual was formed in 1910 by seven farmers in the Stratford-upon-Avon area as the Midlands Farmers Mutual Insurance Society Ltd, and in 1919 won a bid to insure the National Farmers Union of England and Wales, which had been established in 1908.[4] The provision of cheap insurance cover for NFU members contributed to the early growth of the NFU and NFU Mutual.

A subsidiary, Avon Insurance, was established in 1925 to provide insurance to non-farming customers,[5] and later specialised in personal accident insurance. In the 1990s and early 2000s the company sponsored the Football Combination and the Central League, for the reserve teams of English football clubs.[6] Avon closed to new business in 2013.[7]

Although originally providing insurance only for members of the National Farmers Union, the mutual diversified outside the farming industry during the 1980s. Over half of the policies by number now originate outside the farming community.

HeadquartersEdit

The head offices of NFU Mutual and Avon Insurance are at Tiddington, about a mile east of Stratford-upon-Avon. The building was designed by David Lloyd Jones for RMJM and opened in 1984. Faced in Bath stone, it was one of the first to be designed with environmental sustainability in mind.[8]

Mutual bonusEdit

As the NFU Mutual does not have shareholders, a large proportion of its profits are returned to customers in the form of a discount off the premiums of renewing customers. Member currently receive a discount of between 12.5% and 17.5% (2018/2019) depending on how long they have been a member.

ReferencesEdit

  • Victor Head; A Triumph of Hope, The Story of the National Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Society Limited; The National Farmers Union; 1985
  1. ^ a b "Report and Accounts 2018" (PDF). NFU Mutual. pp. 1, 7, 32, 76. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  2. ^ "NFU Mutual Executive Team". Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Which? Awards 2018: winners revealed". Which?. 23 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  4. ^ "About us". NFU Mutual Careers. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  5. ^ "About Avon Insurance". Avon Insurance. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Avon strikes footie deal". Insurance Times. 3 August 2000. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Avon Insurance plc: Annual Report 2018". Companies House. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  8. ^ Historic England. "National Farmers Union Mutual and Avon Insurance Group Headquarters". Google Arts & Culture. Retrieved 11 May 2019.

External linksEdit