While West Bend Mutual Insurance Company has long believed in the importance of giving back to our communities, the struggles of so many Americans during the pandemic made that mission even more vital. And now, two years later, the effects of COVID19 are still being felt. Many funding sources have dried up while needs have increased.
TO OUR COMMUNITIES
2021 ANNUAL REPORT
The past two years reminded us of several important life lessons, including these:
Be sure to wash your hands.
Avoid touching your face.
Never take your loved ones for granted.
If you can, give to those in need.
Chief Executive Officer
From the more basic services provided by food pantries and shelters, to developmental programs for children, to the arts, West Bend is proud to give back to the communities in which we live and work. We hope that in some small way our contributions help improve the lives of young children, teens, adults, and the elderly. There’s no shortage of worthy causes that need our support to continue their admirable work.
West Bend is proud to support many causes and nonprofit organizations. Our
West Bend Mutual Insurance Charitable Trust provides grants to organizations in our local community, as well as throughout our home state of Wisconsin. The West Bend Independent Agents’ Fund was established for nonprofit organizations served by the independent insurance agents who represent our company. Grants from the fund are aimed at bettering these organizations and improving the lives of those served by them. It stretches West Bend’s philanthropy into the other states in which we operate, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
We also believe it’s important to provide our associates with opportunities to give back to the community, and many have taken it upon themselves to create their own campaigns to generate awareness and funds. These include donating gifts to homeless shelters, sponsoring families during the holidays, collecting items for food drives, and building homes for local families, among many other initiatives.
Cultivating a new generation of donors is also critical to creating a sustainable future for treasured nonprofits. It’s imperative we share with our associates the impact support for nonprofits has on our communities, cultivate loyalty for nonprofits with associates and customers, and set an example with West Bend’s own corporate philanthropy. We’re proud of our support of hundreds of worthy organizations and we look forward to continuing that support for many years to come.
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
At the end of 2020, I remember how happy I was to turn the clock forward to a new year. I ended my 2020 annual report letter by stating, “With 2020 behind us, we move on to the promise of a new year and continued success.”
2021 certainly did bring new promises and continued success. However, it also brought the continuation of the pandemic and weather volatility and severity. But like 2020, West Bend found a way to adapt and change to meet these challenges and move our company forward.
West Bend welcomed 2021 on the heels of nine consecutive years of combined ratios under 100% and direct written premium growth that exceeded our annual goals. I’m proud to announce that we can now say West Bend achieved outstanding combined ratios and growth for 10 years in a row.
West Bend’s combined ratio for 2021 was 93.6%. Our five-year combined average is 93.2%. 2021 direct written premium growth was 12.9%. Our direct written premium total is now $1.64 billion. The company wrote $220 million of new business – a record for our company. The combination of strong underwriting and investment results created $196.5 million of additional surplus. The company’s total surplus at year-end was $1.60 billion and our premium-to-surplus ratio is .96 to 1. Total assets through 2021 were $3.83 billion.
These results are only possible because of the outstanding work of our dedicated associates and agents. Our 1,447 associates have impressively worked through the pandemic challenges to provide outstanding service to our agents and policyholders. Our 1,500 independent agent partners have made us their company of choice and favored us with their very best business. Our most important sustainable competitive advantage is the relationships we’ve developed with our agent partners. I’m pleased to report that despite the challenges we faced the past two years, our relationships have gotten even stronger.
Consistency has been a key to the success we created at West Bend. As our company approaches $2 billion in premium, it’s important for us to remain true to our mission, vision, values, and operating principles. It’s also very important that we continue to support the communities in which we live and work. I'm proud of the support we provided in 2021 to support those less fortunate and to help build better communities in 2021. Our community support grants last year totaled $2.3 million dollars. I’m also very proud of how our associates and independent agent partners stepped up to share their time, talents, and treasures with many deserving nonprofit organizations.
I thank our associates and agents for their dedication and loyalty. 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. Again this year, I’ll finish by stating ...
With 2021 behind us, we move on to the promise of a new year and continued success.