Change comes naturally with the passage of time and the first ten years of the new millennium brought many changes for the mutual insurance industry, including our area mutuals.
125 Years of Dedicated Protection
On August 27, 2000, Ixonia Mutual celebrated its 125th anniversary with a “Picnic in the Park.” Over 550 people attended this momentous event.
National Tragedy Affected All
A year later, tragedy struck and changed the tone of our nation. On September 11 (9/11), Islamic terrorists attacked the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., horrifying Americans and people throughout the world.
These events affected the insurance industry, trickling down to even the small mutuals in Wisconsin. The USA Patriot Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush in October 2001, required insurance companies to report possible money laundering. The Terrorist Risk Insurance Act, signed into law in November 2002, required insurance companies to cover acts of terrorism. Mutual reinsurance costs increased by over 7.5% in 2002. These changes greatly affected Ixonia Mutual Insurance Company and Watertown Mutual Agency.
Changes in Structure of Leadership
In 2006, Ixonia Mutual changed the corporate structure of its board of directors. The president of the board became chairperson of the board and a new position of president and CEO of the company was created. This new position was responsible for managing the mutual, which previously had been the duty of the board secretary. It additionally helped distinguish between the board of director officers and the management of the mutual. Howard Wiedenhoeft served as Ixonia Mutual’s first president and CEO.
Changes in Technology
The year of 2006 brought many technology changes for Ixonia Mutual. With a goal of promoting the mutual and reaching out to its insureds, Ixonia Mutual published its first internet website. The office installed a digital file system for electronically storing paper documents, which made its expansive filing cabinets nearly obsolete.
Changes also came to the insurance coverage world, which were indicative of the ever-developing technological times. To keep up with policyholder demands, Ixonia Mutual added new coverages, including Identity Theft Coverage in 2006 and Equipment Breakdown Coverage in 2008.
It’s interesting to look back at those first ten years of the new century. So many changes occurred, yet both Ixonia Mutual and Watertown Mutual continued to meet the needs of their insureds.