Next year I will be retiring from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, an organization founded to advance the cause of member companies and their policyholders. It’s been my work home for 25 years, and I’ve been honored to serve our members. The relationships I’ve developed with company leaders, our NAMIC team and the many industry friends I have made along the way have truly enriched my life.
Executive SummaryNAMIC CEO Charles Chamness looks back on a 25-year tenure as the leader of the mutual insurance company organization, remembering the people who have enriched his life and recalling changes in the industry and the association. Taking a page from the 1737 edition of "Poor Richard's Almanack," he also offers words of wisdom from the founder of the first successful U.S. mutual company, Benjamin Franklin, to carry the group forward, adding to his own takeaways for purpose-built companies in a sector that was set up for the long term.
While I have made too many memories to recount, what strikes me the most over these decades is how member companies always rise to meet the challenges the business of insurance presents. And there have been many! Yet, these insurers have and will continue to always put their policyholders first.
They have thrived, as has NAMIC. We have grown tremendously by all measures, including membership, services and staff. But more importantly, NAMIC has fulfilled its mission as the advocate for member companies and the property/casualty insurance industry.
When I arrived at NAMIC, the issues facing this industry were quite different. The P/C insurance industry was only lightly touched by federal policymakers since only a few issues from our state-regulated industry made it into the halls of Congress. The balance between federal and state has shifted dramatically over my tenure, which has been in response to issues such as terrorism, technology and extreme weather cycles as well as political movements like populism, globalism and the post-financial-crisis backlash. Meanwhile, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has continued its expansion in data calls, model laws and efforts to coordinate regulation among states. It has also taken on a much more expansive approach to oversight beyond the core focus of solvency regulation and market conduct, creating its own regulatory infrastructure.