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Company History

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Portrait of Daniel Webster Rogers Adjusting to Growth –
Our History from 1887 - 1908

Customer service continued to be a major asset to the Windstorm Company’s reputation, though the focus really went beyond simply good service and extended to a general mindfulness of its members’ welfare. When another major fire destroyed property in Hastings, the directors were prompted to buy a fireproof safe to protect members’ records. And in its first eighteen years in business, the company never levied an assessment upon its members, instead choosing to charge a single assessment in advance of 20 cents per $100 insured. The company was growing so quickly that those assessments were enough to pay all losses and leave a comfortable cash surplus.

With growth came change. In 1898, the directors adopted new by-laws for the first time. These changes gave the president general authority over the company’s management, allowed the president or secretary to appoint an adjuster, formalized a building-inspection rule, and changed the assessment to be levied to 10 cents per $100 insured, among other changes. The directors also began to enact measures of modernization to keep pace with the growth, yet they still clung to the ideal of personalized service to all members with attention to retaining their goodwill.

In 1903, the Windstorm Company levied its first assessment in order to ready the stage for future growth. One part-time adjuster was no longer enough, so the director and other officers began adjusting, and with the mounting paperwork load, full-time clerks were hired and the first office machines were acquired. By 1906, the company had almost 40,000 members with $60 million in insurance at risk. In 1908, a new office building was built to house the growing company.

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