WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Storden — Rural Westbrook farmer Gene Lindaman was asked over 30 years ago by secretary Lee Bondhus to serve on the board. Today the company is run by secretary Ben Lohre and three other office employees.
Lindaman said, “for the most part it is mostly a volunteer position although we receive a small stipend. We meet every other month to discuss the financials, discuss losses, and approve claim payments.”
Lindaman explained some of the background of how the mutuals got started.
The company is over 100 years old. The mutuals started when some farmers got together to form an association to cover fire perils on their farms. The mutuals were first started through townships and were first called township mutuals.
Today the mutuals often cover many townships within their area. The coverages they have cover buildings, fire, theft, and collision on machinery. The mutuals do not cover wind, but they do package separate wind coverage with their own coverage.
Their biggest losses often come from hog confinements and nurseries. The policies cover livestock suffocation and fire.
The company also carries reinsurance coverage for large losses — it protects our company from huge losses, and is mandated by the state. “Without this coverage the small size of the mutuals could be wiped out by several huge losses,” said Lindaman.
Lindaman who served from June 9, 1981 retired April 10, 2012.
He said, “I enjoyed being on the board because I learned a lot about the insurance business. I also had the privilege of working with many nice people both at the local and state level.” He met some very interesting people at the state level, and became good friends with some of the people he met while attending state meetings.
Lindaman has been active in his church serving on its council. He serves on the Westbrook EDA board, and the Sanford Westbrook Hospital board.
Lindaman and his wife Jan now live in Westbrook and have three grown children, Brett, Michelle, and Nicole.
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