JM to Issue $5.8 Million Dividend

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company said it will be paying out $5.8 million in dividends to its United States commercial policyholders and personal jewelry insurance policyholders.

“From an insurer’s perspective, few things are more exciting than paying a dividend to our customers,” said Darin Kath, Jewelers Mutual president and chief executive officer.

Each year, the Neenah, Wisc.-based company’s board of directors evaluates whether it can pay a dividend to policyholders based on specific financial criteria for the company.

“With relatively few weather-related losses in 2006 and 2007 and policyholders’ continued focus on loss prevention, the board voted to return $5.8 million to its customers, the largest dividend in our nearly 100-year history,” Kath said.

The last dividend paid by Jewelers Mutual was $5.1 million in 2004, the year before Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma caused major damage along the southern coasts. During the last 15 years, Jewelers Mutual has returned nearly $23 million in dividends to policyholders. As a mutual company owned by its policyholders, Jewelers Mutual has no shareholders that receive profits.

Rather, the company uses profits to pay dividends, reduce rates, offer new or expanded coverages, and develop additional services.

“We applaud the local crime prevention networks that are being expanded by the Jewelers’ Security Alliance in helping to reduce crime losses,” Kath added.

That initiative, funded by Jewelers Mutual in conjunction with Jewelers of America, was launched in 2007 to increase the number of crime prevention networks across the country. The networks, which are coordinated by JSA, identify criminals, inform law enforcement, and quickly distribute information about crimes, suspects, and suspicious situations.

To qualify for the Jewelers Mutual dividend, U.S.-based policyholders must have a policy in force as of Jan. 31, 2008, with a current term written premium of $1,000 or more.

Policyholders insured for one year or longer as of Jan. 31, 2008, will receive a dividend of 8 percent of their current term written premium. Those insured for less than a year as of Jan. 31, 2008, will receive a dividend of 4 percent.

Jewelers Mutual plans to mail the dividend checks after its annual policyholder meeting on May 21.