New members swell ICMIF’s ranks.
ICMIF is growing again; eleven new organisations have recently become members taking the numbers of new members during the year of 2011 up to fifteen. In total, ICMIF now has 221 members, located in 71 countries across the globe.
One major newcomer is the US financial services society, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Thrivent is a member-controlled not-for-profit organisation which is established as a fraternal benefit society. Fraternal societies, founded around the turn of the twentieth century, operate with a common bond between members, which in Thrivent’s case is shared engagement with the Lutheran branch of Christianity. The organisation currently has about two and a half million members and their products include life insurance and annuities, long-term care cover, mutual fund investment management and health care.
Also joining is the American Fraternal Alliance, the association which brings together about seventy member societies (including Thrivent). The AFA’s members have premium income together of more than USD 8 billion.
Liveries Mutual (UK) is a new discretionary mutual founded in 1999 to provide commercial and liability insurance to the historic livery companies based in the City ofLondon. The livery companies developed out of mediaeval guilds and represent over a hundred trades and professions. Liveries Mutual has 52 members and about 50% market penetration in its particular niche.
The Costa Rican cooperative insurer Uniseguros is another new member. Uniseguros was founded in 1995 by the Unacoop, the national union of cooperatives in Costa Rica as an insurance distributor for the then monopoly state insurer Instituto Nacional de Seguros (INS), having grown out of a collection agreement between Unacoop and INS. Following the ending of the state monopoly, Uniseguros became an insurance agency.
Also joining fromCosta Rica is Coopenae Seguros, also created after the end of the state monopoly in insurance. Coopenae Seguros is owned by Coopenae RL, the largest savings and credit cooperative in the country with about 72,000 members. Coopenae Seguros joins as an Associate member.
NATCCO MBA (Philippines) is joining ICMIF in the microinsurance category and it is the national association of cooperatives in the Philippines. It received its licence to operate in late 2009, and has now grown to the point where it has just over 6,500 policyholders and approaching 20,000 beneficiaries.
ICMIF also has five new members from South America. La sociedad Colombiana de Anestesiología y reanimación (SCARE) is a medical trade association in Columbia which offers its members a range of services, including insurance. SCARE acts as an insurance agency for existing ICMIF member Promédico. SCARE attended the ICMIF conference in Manchester and the society has now applied for membership in the Observer member category.
ICMIF’s strong representation in Argentina continues to be strengthened. Four new organisations have recently joined both the Argentinean Association of Mutual Insurers (AACMS) and ICMIF. They are Agrosalto Coop de Seguros, Garantía Mutual, Rivadavia Mutual and Protección Mutual.