History tells us the 1990s were are period of strong economic growth. This economy brought advancement for the mutual insurance as well. Both Ixonia Mutual Insurance Company and Watertown Mutual Insurance Company increased their writing territory to eight counties within southeastern Wisconsin. They also increased their policy count, premium volume, insurance in force (IIF), and surplus.
The largest change for the two mutuals occurred in the average size of the IIF for each policy. Because of changes in inflation, the average IIF per policy increased by 43 percent to an average of $249,304. However, premium and surplus did not grow at the same rate. This meant that while we were insuring more property, the cost we charged for the insurance decreased.
This made for an interesting decade.
Notes of interest for Ixonia Mutual
During the 1990s Ixonia Mutual added its first 1-800 phone number. Remember those? In 2016, our mutual discontinued the number because everyone now uses cell phones.
The first fax machine was installed in 1993. This also is slowly becoming another outdated office machine, due to the internet.
In 1992, Ixonia Mutual hired Joe Grove as its first inspector. This removed inspecting homes from the directors’ list of duties. Later, the board was also relieved of the job of claims adjusting, thus giving its members the sole function of governing the mutual and its well-being. This allowed Ixonia Mutual to reduce its board to seven members.
In its 1992 Annual Report, Ixonia Mutual included the following comment: “Interest rates remain low and naturally this has had an effect on our overall yield. During 1992, we averaged a 7 percent return on our investment portfolio.”
Seven percent! We wish we could earn that now!
Changes for Watertown Mutual
In 1995, Watertown Mutual formed a company-owned agency going by the name of Watertown Mutual Agency. This agency offered the Watertown community dedicated service until 2007.
The Upcoming Y2K
As the end of the decade drew near, the Millennium bug, or Y2K bug, became a major concern everywhere. Many feared that when the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2000, a problem in computer coding would wreak havoc in our digital world.
Would Ixonia Mutual and Watertown Mutual’s computers be able to continue past the December 31, 1999 date? Both companies had to complete many forms for the state just to say their computers could continue on. When January 1, 2000 arrived, our computers and life continued on as usual.