Our 100 Years

Celebrating 100 years
In 1909 the Iowa State Association of Mutual Insurance Companies met to discuss the need of a reinsurance organization for county mutuals.  Seven Iowa mutual managers took it upon themselves to create the Iowa Farmers Mutual Reinsurance Association, the first organization dedicated to the reinsurance of farm mutuals in the country. 

Over the past 100 years, Grinnell Mutual, along with our farm mutual members and their policyholders, has experienced tremendous challenges and opportunities.  From that first one-man office in Greenfield, Iowa, in 1909 to our 700-person office located in Grinnell, Iowa, today, Grinnell Mutual continues to anticipate the changing needs of our policyholders.

Through these past 100 years, the one tradition that has made Grinnell Mutual a great company is the personal service provided by its people.  That tradition led to its founding and continues to be Grinnell Mutual’s guiding force 100 years later.

Key events

1900s - 1930s

  • 1909 -- Articles of incorporation and by-laws for the Iowa Farmers Mutual Insurance Association are filed with the State of Iowa.  The Association shared office space with Adair County Mutual.
  • 1930 – The articles of incorporation are amended to allow expansion into other states.  
  • 1934 – The office was moved from Greenfield to Grinnell.
  • 1935 – Became the Farmers Mutual Reinsurance Association.
  • 1937 – 100 percent Class C reinsurance helped prevent the insolvency of mutuals.
  • 1938 – A patent was granted on a new mutual spark arrester. 

1940s - 1950s

  • 1941 – A drastic reduction in fire losses is attributed to innovative farm and home inspection programs.
  • 1944 – L.G. Keeney is elected secretary-treasurer.  (Known as 'Mr. Reinsurance,' he was elected posthumously to the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame in 2002.)
  • 1945 – The board adopted the windstorm insurance program.
  • 1947 – Resolutions are passed to do business in Illinois and Minnesota.
  • 1948 – The company name changed to Farmers Mutual Reinsurance Company.
  • 1952 – Direct lines programs are activated for mercantile, town dwellings, inland marine and special farm business.
  • 1956 – Grinnell Mutual enters the auto and casualty fields.
  • 1957 – An engineering department is established to address consumer safety and enhance loss prevention programs.

1960s - 1970s

  • 1960 – Board authorizes the purchase of land south of Grinnell for corporate building site.
  • 1961 – The company develops the FarMutual® brand for its farm mutual members. The company filed for admission into Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
  • 1963 – The corporate name changed to Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.
  • 1965 – Former President Dwight Eisenhower lands at the company airstrip during a visit to Grinnell College.
  • 1966 – The company is admitted to Indiana.

1980s - 2000s

  • 1980 – The company is admitted to Wisconsin.
  • 1984 – Grinnell Mutual celebrates its 75th anniversary.
  • 1991 – Dan Agnew becomes president.  (Agnew was elected to the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame in 2009 while still serving as president and CEO.)
  • 1992 – Grinnell Mutual introduces its first commercial target market. 
  • 1999 – Grinnell Mutual launches its arson and fraud reward program.
  • 2004 – Grinnell Mutual’s President’s Club for the top agents and mutuals is established.
  • 2009 – Grinnell Mutual celebrates its 100th anniversary.