American Family Insurance: What You Should Know

One of the nation's largest insurance providers, American Family Insurance originated more than 80 years ago as an insurer for farmers in rural Wisconsin. Today, American Family Insurance operates in 19 states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and, of course, Wisconsin.

A Company History

Headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance oversees a network of approximately 4,000 agents and offers a wide array of products and solutions, including auto , homeowners and health insurance. It is ranked as the nation's third-largest mutual property and casualty insurer and the 14th-largest property and casualty insurer. However, this popular insurer was not always this large. In fact, the company was started in 1927 by a salesman named Herman Wittwer who opened Famers Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and began selling auto coverage to farmers in rural Wisconsin. After expanding locations and products, the company changed its name to American Family Mutual Insurance Company in 1963 in order to better reflect its broader customer base.

A Mutual Company

The provider boasts that it is a mutual company versus a publicly traded one, which can be tied to the whims of the stock market. In essence, a mutual company is "owned" by its customers versus shareholders. According to the insurer, its status as a mutual company ensures that the insurer remains financially strong and stable over the long-term. In addition, the brand contends that its mutual status allows it to measure its performance based on the value provided to policyholders versus the rate of return generated for shareholders.

The Products Offered

This popular company offers a wide range of financial products:
Auto: The provider offers protection for basic vehicles - cars, trucks and SUVs - as well as motor homes, boats, motorcycles and snowmobiles. Policyholders can purchase protection for privately used vehicles as well as those used for business purposes.
Homeowners: The insurer specializes policies for homeowners, condominium owners, mobile/manufactured homeowners and renters. In addition, the brand is among the network of providers that offer flood coverage through the federal National Flood Insurance Program.
Farm and Ranches: Keeping true to its roots, the provider offers special coverage for the unique needs of farms and ranches.
Business: The brand specializes in several business packages, including business owners coverage, apartment building protection, restaurant and office insurance. The provider also offers policy options for those who are self-employed.
Umbrella: The brand offers umbrella insurance plans, which add extra liability coverage beyond a policyholder's basic limits. The insurer provides personal liability umbrella protection, commercial liability insurance and farm and ranch umbrella coverage.
Health: The provider offers a variety of health plan options, including high-deductible health plans, short-term health coverage and Medicare supplement coverage.
Life: The provider offers a range of life insurance and annuity products, including term, universal, variable universal and whole life insurance.
Travel: For those who travel, the insurer offers travel policies that provide global medical and trip cancellation coverage.