American Farmers & Ranchers (AFR) insurance company has a history that is rich in growth and culture, tracing its roots to the Oklahoma Farmers Union (OFU), which was established in 1919. It has remained strong and stable for a long period of time now. It was also involved in the debates on Oklahoma's statehood, and took part in drafting the state's Constitution. It was also part of the lobby to push for the enactment of the law that created the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. One of the company's early leaders went on to become the first president of the state's Board of Agriculture. Through the years, AFR has maintained its leadership in legislative, cooperative development, and education programs.
OFU's goal during that time was to offer rural communities insurance for farm implements, farm buildings, farm products, livestock, and household goods. Death benefit and a tornado clause were added to the product offerings later. OFU needed to find 1,000 members who would purchase a policy before the OFU may be chartered. The insurance contracts should not be less than $500. The company started operations in January 1922 with a total of 284 policyholders.
During its early years, the company would involve local agents and secretaries of membership organizations in the selling of insurance policies, the adjusting of claims and, most of the time, the completion of the renovations on the reported loss. With the growth of the operations, the headquarters were transferred out of Custer County into Oklahoma City. Over 50% of the membership joined the company by 1924, and by 1935 the company reported having more than 13,000 policy holders.
Oklahoma Farmers Union established the Hail-Crop Insurance Department in 1938, as well as the Union Mutual Insurance Company. The latter sold insurance for schoolhouses, churches, lodges, and community halls. Automobile insurance began to be issued in 1945 through the Farmers Union Automobile and Casualty Company, which was run like a cooperative by the National Farmers Union. In 1959, the Oklahoma Farmers Union established the Union Casualty Company to start underwriting automobile insurance policies on its own. Around this time the union also purchased an interest in the Farmers and Ranchers Life Insurance Company which grew significantly, with its agents and officers coming from different generations, resulting in increased customer trust and loyalty.
The company's centenary took place in 2005, which celebrated its strength and financial stability. When the company expanded to Idaho after acquiring Twin Falls Mutual, it changed its name to American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual. Today this company is the leader in domestic insurance in all of Oklahoma State. Membership to both the Oklahoma Farmers Union (OFU) and American Farmers & Ranchers Mutual (AFR) included insurance coverage. The membership dues paid to American Farmers & Ranchers already include membership to Oklahoma Farmers Union, and its affiliate National Farmers Union, as well as the local and county organizations of the two organizations.
AFR Insurance sells a wide range of insurance products at competitive rates that match the farmers' lifestyles. The company has received a much coveted "A rating" for Financial Stability from Demotech. This rating was awarded after Demotech conducted an assessment of the insurance company's financial statements. The rating did not consider the size of the company, as Demotech is of the opinion that a small but well run insurance company can very well outperform a bigger insurer.
Members of OFU and AFR enjoy a host of benefits including premium discounts and special services. Members also have access to the two organizations' initiatives including Family Values, Agriculture and Rural Areas Promotion. They have legislative representation at the local, state, and national level. Members have access to cooperative development and attractive insurance products and programs. The organizations offer media response, information, promotion, and public relations services. Members can join county and local organization meetings. They have a subscription to the AFR News & Views Insider E-Newsletter as well as the National Farmers Union E-Newsletter.