No one could have predicted we would face the challenges of a worldwide pandemic, much less a record number of storm losses.
It shouldn't take a storm of biblical proportions to find out who you can count on.
President & CEO
With 2020 behind us, we move on to the promise of a new year and continued success.
unlike any year
in our nearly 127-year history.
I thank our associates and agents for their dedication and loyalty at a time when we most needed them. I thank our policyholders for the trust they place in us and pledge my commitment to continue to provide the best property/casualty insurance products and services. With 2020 behind us, we move on to the promise of a new year and continued success.
I’m proud to report that West Bend successfully met these challenges and moved our company forward. Our success, in part, can be attributed to our strategy to create a robust product and services portfolio sold exclusively by independent agents. Our sustained success in 2020 has allowed us to continue to provide not just a stable work environment for our associates, but one in which we’ve added new jobs. I feel very blessed that we’re able to maintain this stability and growth for our associates.
Even more important to our success is the commitment and outstanding performance of our 1,300 associates – our greatest asset. When the pandemic struck, more than 1,000 West Bend associates were suddenly faced with a completely different working situation. Without a hitch, they set up makeshift offices in their basements or bedrooms, at their kitchen tables or counters, and continued to provide the timely and valued service our agents and policyholders expect.
If that wasn’t enough, their commitment was never more evident than in August 2020 when a derecho tore a path of destruction through the Midwest that left thousands of our customers without power, water, or communication – and worse, with untold damage to their homes and businesses. Our entire Claims staff, as well as associates from other departments throughout the company, worked tirelessly to help our policyholders through, what for many was, their worst day ever. It is for these and many other reasons that West Bend is the company of choice for our agents and policyholders.
Another source of pride is West Bend’s philanthropic efforts. Community support has been a mainstay of this company for many years, but 2020 presented challenges never experienced by any of us. I’m proud West Bend was able to award $2.2 million in community support, a large portion of which was made to organizations that provide COVID relief. Some of these grants were enhanced by donations from our independent insurance agencies and we appreciate their generosity.
It shouldn't take a four-foot diameter oak tree in your kitchen to find out who you can trust.
The Worst Brings Out Our Best
It shouldn't take the worst to bring out our best.
But sometimes it does.
Until August 2020, most of us had never even heard the word “derecho,” much less knew the power and destruction it could cause. But destroy it did as this powerful storm tore through 770 miles of farmland and city neighborhoods throughout Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. In its wake it left several people dead, ten million acres of crops destroyed, and an untold number of homes and businesses destroyed or damaged. Described as an inland hurricane and arriving with very little warning, this derecho produced sustained winds of 60-75 mph and gusts of more than 100 mph for a duration of 14 hours.
Without a doubt, this storm was the worst in our company’s nearly 127-year history; yet another “unprecedented” event in a year filled with unprecedented events. What’s not unprecedented, however, is the way West Bend associates stepped up to help our customers in need. From Service Center associates who staffed the phones, taking more than 6,000 claim calls ... to the claim reps who traveled to these devasted areas to assess damage and provide comfort ... to the dozens of associates who put aside their own jobs to make phone calls to distressed policyholders in an effort to alleviate the burden on their coworkers. All of them, and others, truly stepped up to do their best in what certainly seemed to be the worst of times.
As residents of these communities began to put their homes and businesses back together in the ensuing months, and as other West Bend policyholders require help in their time of need, our incredible associates will continue to prove how
Direct Written Premium
Net Premium Written
Underwriting Profit Before Policyholder Dividends
Net Investment Income
Realized and Unrealized Gains on Investments After Tax
Total Surplus Increase from Operations
Statutory Basis – Thousands
"The Worst Brings Out Our Best."