Ontario Mutuals is the overarching brand for 40 independent, 100% Canadian, property and casualty insurance companies across the province.
Community based, mutual companies are owned and operated for the benefit of policyholders. There are no shareholders. Each mutual’s board of directors is elected from among its policyholders.
Premiums, together with income from investments, are used to pay losses sustained by the policyholders as well as the expenses of running the company. Any excess surplus generated on a year to year basis either remains in the company’s surplus account for the benefit of the policyholders or may from time to time be refunded to policyholders.
The farm mutuals started in the mid 1800s and have remained strong, stable, and reliable throughout the years. Although their roots are agricultural, today they offer a full range of home, auto, business, and farm
They are part of the fabric of communities across the province, and have been for generations.
The Ontario Mutuals brand is managed through its trade association OMIA, (Ontario Mutual Insurance Association) who develops marketing, communication, and consumer solutions for its Member Companies. The Association was formed in 1882 and originally went by the name Purely Mutual Underwriters Association, and later, Mutual Fire Underwriters Association. The Canadian Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, or CAMIC, networks mutuals nationally.
Ontario’s purely mutual insurance companies participate in what is called the Fire Mutuals Guarantee Fund. Formed in 1975, the Fund places surplus of all member companies behind any one of the members.
In the very unlikely event of the insolvency of one of the members, all other member mutuals would cover 100% of current insurance claims, and policyholders would not lose any unearned premiums paid.
The mutuals also own their own reinsurance company. Farm Mutual Re was the first Canadian-owned reinsurance company when formed in 1959 and is one of only two Canadian-owned reinsurers in existence today.