Jewelers Mutual Insurance celebrates a sparkling centennial
Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, marking its 100th birthday this year, has been a constant presence and “family member” among the generations of jewelry-industry participants who through the years have seen their businesses grow and prosper, and have sometimes passed the family business down to the next generation.
Jewelers Mutual, North America’s leading insurer “solely dedicated to insuring jewelry and the jewelry industry,” offers coverage in retail, repair, custom design, jewelry appraising, wholesale and manufacturing. It is a mutual company whose customers - jeweler policyholders and individuals who purchase personal jewelry insurance - are members of the company.
“This is all we do,” says Patrick Drummond, vice president of sales & marketing for Jewelers Mutual. “We started in retail and it’s the bulk of our business, but we insure all aspects of the jewelry industry.
“We were founded by jewelers for jewelers. We started here in a jewelry store in Neenah, Wis., in 1913. At that time, jewelers were dealing with a lot of cleaning materials for watches, and that stuff was flammable. A lot of insurance companies didn’t want to insure jewelers, so the jewelers got together and started their own insurance company.”
Now the company insures 10,000 commercial jewelers throughout the United States and Canada. In 1953, the company expanded its services to personal jewelry policies, and today 270,000 individuals carry more than $4 billion in insurance coverage. “When a customer buys a ring, a lot of times the jeweler will make the customer aware of Jewelers Mutual’s personal jewelry insurance,” Patrick says. “It’s a perfect circle.”
Simply put, he says: “We are the jewelry industry’s insurance company. We are committed to jewelers, and one of the keys to our success is our focus. We exist solely for the benefit of our members; we don’t exist for shareholders. Our Board has always comprised jewelers; there are financial people too, but always there are jewelers sitting on our Board. Great relationships keep this company strong.”
Jewelers Mutual’s official birthday was March 12. “We did a cake cutting here in a celebration with our employees and some local dignitaries; the governor and the mayor declared it Jewelers Mutual Day,” Patrick says. “We’re very excited; we have a lot going on this year. We’ll do an event in May at our performing arts center for the community and all of our employees here.”
In early June, the company will be the title sponsor for JCK Rocks the Beach in Las Vegas, a big event open to 4,000 people and featuring the band Maroon 5 of “Moves Like Jagger” and “Payphone” fame. “That will be our celebration with the jewelry industry,” Patrick says.
Katherine Bodoh, director of industry relations & corporate events, recommends concert-goers arrive early. “Maroon 5 is such a huge hit right now,” she says. “We really wanted a chance to celebrate with the entire industry and we thought, what better way than JCK?”
Katherine points out a new feature on Jewelers Mutual’s website (www.jewelersmutual.com), an entertaining timeline that goes back 100 years. “We also have three new ads that are dedicated to the centennial, and it gives a great perspective with historical pictures, including our logo as it has evolved over the past 100 years.
“We’ll be celebrating at our booth at all the upcoming tradeshows and events,” she adds. “We encourage everyone to stop by our booth!”
Jewelers Mutual is endorsed by North America’s top trade associations, partnering with the American Gem Society, Canadian Jewellers Association, Jewelers of America, Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America, Canadian Jewellery Group, DiGem, and Jewellers Vigilance Canada.
“We’re proud of our strong partnerships,” Patrick says, “and we have exclusive endorsements from these very prestigious organizations.”
The company has a handful of competitors, such as Lloyd’s of London and a few domestic insurers. “We’re respectful of the competition, but we’re not as focused on the competition as we are on delivering the best product and services to our members that we can,” Patrick says. “Over the last five years, we’ve invested $6.1 million into associations and organizations dedicated to the protection, betterment and prosperity of the jewelry industry. We’re very invested in the health and vitality of the industry.”
Jewelers Mutual, which has scored 26 consecutive ratings of A+ Superior from A.M. Best Company, helps jewelry businesses “avoid crime and other perils, and also cope with and recover from losses when they do happen.”
“Our loss prevention expertise has evolved through time,” says Katherine. “We dedicate resources to doing everything in our power to educate jewelers on preventing crime and on loss prevention techniques.”
The company offers this thanks to the industry on its website: “Since our founding by jewelers in 1913, not a day has gone by that we haven’t felt privileged to support, inform and protect our mutual members and their customers. Thanks for the memories, members! We plan on being here to serve you for another 100 years.”