eventeen years after Confederation, a group of Portage Plains settlers formed The Portage la Prairie Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company. A desire to protect farmers from the ravages of fire and lightning led seven men to lay the foundation for what was to become one of Canada's leading farm insurance companies. This is the story of how a small farm mutual rose from $61,000 in total risks insured in those early first years, to a multi-line company with offices coast-to-coast and over $25 million in gross premium income.
The path has not been without pitfalls. The company's history is fraught with major setbacks that rocked its very foundation. After a devastating cyclone, directors had to sign personal bank notes to guarantee full coverage to policy holders. There was a period of overzealous expansion that forced consolidation when other companies were surging ahead. But its basic philosophy as a mutual never changed.
Today, the company's motto is "Mutual Service with Security" and it's one that the company has adhered to over the years.
Perhaps to some, this may seem "old fashioned". But for the men and women of The Portage Mutual, it is a matter of fact and faith.
Surviving 100 years speaks well for the record of any company. In the first 40 to 50 years, the portage Mutual wrote farm insurance almost exclusively. It was a trend setter in farm insurance. But, with changing times and dwindling farm numbers, the company expanded into other areas, namely residential, commercial and automobile - from coast to coast.