The key to NFU Mutual insurance company's history, of course, lies in the name behind its title - NFU stands for National Farmers Union.
The mutual concept
It probably comes as no surprise, therefore, that the original mutual insurance company was set up by a group of seven local farmers for farmers. The year was 1910 and since the seven all hailed from the Midlands, the company was called the Midlands Farmers Mutual Insurance Society Ltd - it was set up with a working capital of just £150!
The mutual society was set up in order to attract additional members to the NFU by offering them cheap insurance. As a mutual company, it was owned entirely by its policy holders (members) rather than shareholders. The effect of this is that profits made by the company are not distributed to shareholders but are instead returned to policy holders by way of cheaper premiums. Furthermore, those profits are not inconsiderable - it is reported that just £86 is paid out by the company for every £100 of premiums it receives.
The profits are distributed to policy holders by way of discounts on premiums, according to the number of years they have been members of NFU Mutual.
NFU mutual for non-farmers
Though its origins may have restricted the sale of insurance policies only to those within the farming community, during the 1980s NFU Mutual extended its sphere of operations beyond this relatively small (and dwindling) population.
Today, therefore, policies sold to individuals who have no connection with farming exceeds those still working within the farming community.
Perhaps because of its origins and the close contacts it still maintains with the NFU, the insurance company continues to rely upon a network of local branch offices and agents. This provides opportunities for face-to-face contact with the company in a way that is probably no longer available through other insurers.
It is often notoriously difficult of course to measure customer satisfaction with any given goods or services. In the case of NFU Mutual, however, the fact that a claimed 95% of policy holders renew their cover with the company each year, probably speaks volumes for the perceived customer service, premium discounts and access to a network of branches.
You certainly don't need to be the landlord of agricultural tenants to take advantage of the landlords insurance offered by NFU Mutual. Indeed, the company prides itself in maintaining a team of landlord insurance specialists. Team members are experienced in tailoring cover to meet the needs of the owners of any let property in ways designed to protect both the value of the investment and the income streams derived from it.
- "all risks" insurance, subject of course to particular exclusions and excess amounts;
- a standard maximum of £2.5 million public liability cover; and
- because the company continues to maintain a strong interest in all things agricultural, the standard inclusion of up to £1 million insurance for your liabilities following any gradual or sudden environmental pollution.
With roots in a farming past that continue to shape NFU Mutual today, the company nevertheless provides inclusive insurance for all manner of property landlords.