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Wisconsin Cheese Makers' Association / Proceedings of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers' Association forty-third annual convention November 14, 15, 1934 assembled in the Eagles Auditorium Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Hicks, John
Cheese makers mutual insurance plan and progress,   pp. 46-49 PDF (957.7 KB)

Page 48

their business and who are well rated by their neighbors. In that way
bad risks will be avoided. In the second place, we cannot expect a
good experience from factories that are almost on fire. If the clear-
ance between the smoke stack and the roof boards is too small, if the
wiring is in bad condition and the fuses are over-loaded, if the place
is dirty and run down, we cannot expect a profit on that business. So
we will install a most rigid inspection service and insist that our rec-
ommendations be carried out. In that way careless losses will be
In the third place we are going to try to install some kind of fire
protection. In every factory there should be at least one fire ex-
tinguisher with the underwriter's label attached, on each floor of the
factory. Negotiations are now under way for buying those in quantity
lots direct from the manufacturers at the lowest prices.
So with that program of selection and inspection of factories com-
bined with fire prevention and fire protection, the final cost to our
members will be at as low a figure as sound insurance can be bought.
By sound insurance I mean insurance that pays cash on the barrel
head when you have a loss and at the full amount.
You would be surprised at the number of policies I see where long
delay in payment and probably a law suit seem inevitable in case of
loss. You would be surprised by stories told me of cheese makers who
had losses. One man had a four thousand dollar loss and he was paid
two thousand dollars. Another man lost $2200 when his fire loss was
settled and he was advised by his attorney that he could not collect.
Still another man received most of his money but it came to him in
dribs over a year's time.
Now you don't want that kind of insurance, but I wonder how cer-
tain you are whether you have it or not. Furthermore, I wonder how
certain you are that your present insurance connection will last.
Many of the stock companies are not writing cheese factories. Many
of those who do are threatening to discontinue.
Only three weeks ago I received a long distance telephone call from
one of the leading cheese makers in Clark County; he asked me to
write his fire insurance. The stock companies had cancelled his poli-
cies without warning. That could have happened to any of you. In
another county the cheese makers were all insured in one of the old
farm mutuals. They said we are satisfied here; our cost is lower than
yours. Conditions in that farm mutual changed, and the cheese mak-
ers were virtually forced out and asked to buy their insurance else-
where. That could have happened to anybody. Those things have
actually happened recently in the industry within my own personal
knowledge. Undoubtedly they have been happening for a great many
years. But why do they happen, why are rates high, why are there
any losses, why didn't anybody want your business? Those are impor-
tant questions. They lead up to my last question-why in the face of
those conditions can the Cheese Makers Mutual become successful?
Now, there is no mystery involved. The Mutual is not going to do
the impossible. In answer to those questions I point to history. Study

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