As a mutual insurance company owned by your policyholders, they expect nothing less than an organization that utilizes up-to-date technology, as well as one that respects their time. That’s why policyholders are widely requesting (in some cases demanding) that mutual insurance companies offer online proxies.
Your organization already offers policyholders multiple options via your website – the ability to shop and compare quotes, pay online, contact support services and more. So, when it comes time for your election, why wouldn’t you also give your valued policyholders the option to cast an online proxy?
Approximately 90 percent of American adults are online* at least 75 percent utilize mobile devices to access the web**. If your organization is not offering electronic proxies, you are missing out on a significant percentage of policyholder voices.
Mutual insurance companies offering the option for online proxy see immediate payoffs in the form of:
- Money saved on design, printing and mailing of paper ballots.
- Increased policyholder participation.
- Increased policyholder satisfaction with the company.
According to the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies:
“A key component of the concept of policyholder membership rights is the ability to participate in the governance of the organization. Governance rights relate to the right of a member to have a say in how the entity is managed or run.
In addition to the right to vote for a board of directors, in most states mutual policyholders also have the right to vote on fundamental corporate transactions involving mergers, demutualizations, and the sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the company.
In significant transactions, the eligibility of members to vote, timing of notices to members, and the form of the information provided to the members are controlled by general corporate law and specific laws applicable to mutual insurance companies, as well as the charter and bylaws of the mutual company. Timing and form of notices are crucial to a member’s ability to understand a proposed transaction. It is important, especially in controversial transactions, that mutual insurers do not rely solely on legal notices but instead use as many forms of communication as possible to constantly educate policyholders and other interested parties.”
Policyholders make your mutual insurance company strong, don’t disenfranchise them by making it inconvenient to vote by proxy. When you provide multiple, convenient options for your policyholders to pay their bills, more of them respond by paying their bills on time and in full. You can expect the same response when your organization offers an online proxy.
In fact, the same technology that allows you to offer accommodating proxy options also give you the opportunity to provide frequent and timely reminders to policyholders that inspire action, one-click access to election-related materials, social media sharing and more.
The same “bank-level” technology that currently powers your online services can also safely and securely guards your election.
It is possible to merge the traditional mutuality model with today’s technological capabilities. Your policyholders will thank you for the opportunity to participate in organizational governance in a convenient, easy-to-understand manner and your ROI will likely be far more than just an increase in returned proxies.
For more information on how to add online proxies to your next election, contact SBS, we’re here to help!
*Pew Research, 2019
**Pew Research, 2018