Mutual insurance companies, like Barton Mutual, are owned by the policyholders. The unique business idea is credited to Benjamin Franklin. As a member of the mutual, a policyholder is entitled to a vote at policyholder meetings. Policyholders are informed of the meeting through policy documents; at Barton Mutual, the information is included on the policy jacket. If the policyholder is unable to attend the annual meeting, they are able to sign a proxy notice to give the President/CEO of Barton Mutual the authority to vote on their behalf. The proxy notice is mailed to policyholders annually with their new or renewal policy. It is printed on the back of the invoice.
Barton Mutual holds its annual policyholder meeting on the fourth Thursday in March each year. This year, ours fell on March 26. Company officers and board members typically gather at our home office. This year looked a little different, as is the case for many business functions recently. Our board members were able to conference via WebEx for the meeting this year, as that seemed like a safer option for all of them. During the meeting, company officers updated everyone on the previous year’s performance. This year, the membership voted to amend the Articles of Incorporation to state that the number of directors can be a range of five to nine members. After that vote, two new board members were added: Brian King and Tom Shaw. That brings our total number of board members to nine.
Many people do not realize that they can have a say in the workings of their insurance company, and it truly is “their” insurance company in this case. Our annual meeting in 2021 will be on March 25 at 11:00 AM at our home office in Liberal, Missouri. If you are a member policyholder of Barton Mutual, you are more than welcome to attend.