Thursday, April 24, 2008

Jewelers Mutual to pay out $5.8 million dividend

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Co. has announced it will pay out a $5.8 million dividend to its U.S. commercial policyholders and personal jewelry insurance policyholders this spring, the largest dividend in the company's nearly 100-year history.

Each year, the Jewelers Mutual board of directors evaluates whether or not it can pay a dividend to policyholders based on specific financial criteria. As a mutual company owned by its policyholders, Jewelers Mutual has no shareholders that receive profits. Instead, the company uses profits to pay dividends, reduce rates, offer new or expanded coverages, and develop additional services.

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, Jewelers Mutual President and CEO Darin Kath said in a media release issued on Monday.

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

To qualify for the 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 will receive a dividend of 8 percent of their current-term written premium. Those insured for less than a year as of Jan. 31 will receive a dividend of 4 percent.

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 U.S. coasts.

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