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Portrait of Daniel Webster Rogers Woodlawn Avenue –
Our History - 1960s

The year 1959 started a series of major changes for the Windstorm Company. On January 15, the company formally reorganized, renaming itself Hastings Mutual Insurance Company, paving the way to begin writing general insurance. The Banner reported that "some four tons of insurance policies" had to be rewritten to make this change. All new policies were non-assessable, requiring only premium payment.

Also at this time, the current office had become too small, so the company engaged some Lansing architects to design a 22,000-square-foot building with a stone exterior and large expanse of glass. It was designed to accommodate 65 employees; there were only 41 at the time. In June 1961, employees entered the new, half-million-dollar structure on Woodlawn Avenue.

Once Hastings Mutual become a general line insurance company, it was necessary to have agents who were qualified and licensed by the state as general agents. The company sponsored a school at a camp in Battle Creek and brought in 80 to 90 agents for training. The school was run by the same person and for the same number of days as the insurance school at Michigan State University, and it was a resounding success. Hastings Mutual qualified a statewide network of general agents who passed the licensing test with an average grade of 70%, while the general average for other applicants was 30-40%.


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