Guide to mutuals

What is a Mutual?

Mutuals aren’t a new idea; they have been around for hundreds of years. Whilst the concept is steeped in history, it’s more relevant today than it’s ever been. Mutuals offer a strong, stable and trusted alternative to traditional insurance companies with shareholders.

Regis create and manage mutuals – an alternative to traditional insurance

Mutuals do not have shareholders, instead each mutual is owned by its members – its customers. The mutual is operated solely for the benefit of the members. All members pay a contribution to the mutual which is used to pay claims and run the business. Members can attend Annual General Meetings and vote on important issues including who is elected to the board. The board makes key decisions such as what to do with any surplus after payment of claims, insurance premiums and administration costs.

Our mutuals offer a robust structure for claims and risk transfer, or as we call it; a redesigned approach to insurance.

At Regis we are passionate about mutuals.

Stages to building a mutual

Exploratory workshop

Initial workshop with the customer looking at all of the challenges and objectives identifying whether a Mutual would be viable. Listening to the customer to gather as much information as possible.

Concept & feasibility study

An initial playback of the options followed by a tailored study to determine the favoured and most viable product.

Design & build

An agile project process to ensure a smooth build reflecting the customer’s needs.

Launch & manage

Once the product is designed and adheres to all regulatory requirements, it will be launched and managed to ensure its success.

Exploratory workshop

Initial workshop with the customer looking at all of the challenges and objectives identifying whether a Mutual would be viable. Listening to the customer to gather as much information as possible.

Design & build

An agile project process to ensure the smooth build reflecting the customer’s needs.

Concept & Feasibility study

An initial playback of the options followed by a tailored study to determine the favoured and most viable product.

Launch & manage

Once the product is designed and adheres to all regulatory requirements, it will be launched and managed to ensure its success.

Quick top facts on mutuals

Mutual insurers are the fastest growing sector in the UK insurance industry.
The mutual and cooperative insurance sector served a record 988 million people in 2015.
The global market share of the mutual/co-operative sector was 26.75% in 2015.
The UK’s first discretionary mutual for the medical defence organisation was established in 1885.
In the late 1880’s there were over 27,000 registered mutual societies.
One of the first fire insurance companies, established in 1696, was a mutual.

Frequently Asked Questions

I work at a large company can a large company be mutual?

Potentially yes. A large company with various subsidiaries can run as a single company mutual. We would need to review the structure of your company and your risk cover requirements, but it is possible and a great way to make savings and manage your own surpluses.

For more information contact our mutual management team on info@rmml.com.

I’m part of a membership group and buy my insurance through them are there any benefits in the membership group being a mutual?

Yes! In general, membership groups make perfect mutuals. 

If insurance is already taken out for the members then a mutual could be created with the aim of providing better cover and cost savings. Mutual trading surpluses belong to the mutual’s members and can, if the mutual’s members agree, be used to benefit the whole group.

For more information contact our mutual management team on info@rmml.com.

I am a small business but I think a mutual is a great idea how can I link in with other affinity businesses to create a mutual?

We have created and manage mutuals that started as an idea from one key individual in a particular sector and have grown, for example the Activities Industry Mutual.

If you are interested in what we call an ‘Affinity Group’ mutual then we can help you by bringing other business into the mutual model. Sometimes these mutuals require more time to build – but once they are up and running they offer effective risk management and cost savings and create a shared vision to support the sector.

Or, if it is not quite the right time to establish a mutual, we can offer our broking service to support your insurance needs whilst you wait for a mutual to be established, simply email info@rmml.com.

Is a mutual suitable for my cover needs?

One of the benefits of a mutual is that it can be flexible for the cover that you need, they are not restricted like traditional insurers. They can be flexible and quickly adapt to emerging and developing risks.

Often it depends on the size of your current premium spend. One calculation we do is to see how much you currently pay out to an insurer, then you can review what you could potentially save.

If you’d like to find out more then please contact us and we will look to see how we can support you.

How long does it take to establish a mutual?

We’ve outlined the process for establishing a mutual but we prefer to review the timings once we know what is required. We have a strong team in place that can establish a mutual to the timeframes that you require, but we need to explore the project first to truly understand how long it will take. Confirming the timings generally takes place during the concept phase.

Will there be a charge for a feasibility study?

To help you decide if a mutual is the right option for you, we conduct a feasibility study. The cost of this study depends on what needs to be done to establish a mutual. Sometimes there are no costs involved, sometimes the studies incur costs due to the complexity of the data that needs to be analysed. Whatever the approach this all agreed in consultation with you. 

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