Stepping through the doors of the Windsor-Mount Joy Mutual Insurance Company, one is awed by the nautical theme and intricate model ships scattered throughout the building. Former company manager and the namesake of G.R. Klinefelter Underwriters once owned and operated a cruise ship in the Chesapeake Bay. The 4-masted schooner, which he called the Grace G. Bennett, sailed the Chesapeake from 1946-1951.
His time operating the Grace G. Bennett would eventually inspire a book of insurance business that included ocean marine policies.
Before taking charge of the Windsor Insurance Company, G.R. Klinefelter had been serving on the Board of Directors for the Berks & Lehigh Mutual Insurance Company. At the time, he was running G. R. Klinefelter Insurance Agency from his basement.
When the Windsor and Mount Joy Insurance companies were founded in their respective towns, their mission was protecting the interests of businesses and families in their communities. The Mount Joy Company was founded on August 4, 1844, and the Windsor Company followed shortly after. The rich histories of the two companies came together when Klinefelter pushed for the merger in 1963 that formed the Windsor-Mount Joy Mutual Insurance Company.
Klinefelter’s leadership at the company is as apparent through the scrolls of its history as it is in the walls of the building. At one point, he was managing ten companies, including casualty relief organizations and other small mutual companies. Following the merger of the two troubled companies from Windsor and Mount Joy he led the company to consolidate business and target the Mid-Atlantic region.
Over the years that followed, the company would go on to consolidate management of the Allen Mutual Insurance Company in 1965, the Eastern Shore of Virginia Fire Insurance Company in 1966, the Farmers American Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Bucks County in 1969, and the Towamensing Mutual Insurance Company in 1975.
The company today sits on the main street of downtown Ephrata, PA. Since moving on July 1, 1982, this location has represented the history of creative underwriting at the companies that formed the Windsor-Mount Joy Mutual Insurance Company. Throughout the history of the company, they have shown a strong ability to compete with larger carriers by finding niche markets to serve.
Since moving to Ephrata, the company has continued to expand by acquiring the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Dug Hill in 2009, the Washington Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Lawrence County, PA in 2010, and many others.
While many of the same principles apply to insurance as they did in 1844, the methods of delivering coverage and determining risk have changed. The company has always been proud to offer high-quality customer service, and now with a focus on competing in the digital era, they can be closer to clients than ever before.
The leadership of Windsor-Mount Joy, Michael Klinefelter, President and CEO, Douglas Underwood, Chief Operating Officer, and their colleagues, are taking the company forward by utilizing technology and metadata to assess risk better, allowing agents to write and learn about policies offerings remotely, and providing 24/7 coverage when a claim occurs.
Technology has allowed the company to communicate with policyholders, agents, and employees in ways that make the business of insurance stronger and improve customer relations. Behind the technology is a knowledgeable staff that understands the needs of their customers and are available to provide expert assistance throughout the claims and underwriting processes.
The winds of change have steered the vessel that is Windsor-Mount Joy Mutual Insurance ever forward with a focus on creative policy offerings, strong underwriting practices, and flexible dedication to serving their policyholders’ distinct needs.
This article was previously published in the PAMIC Pulse.