75th Anniversary | Shelter Insurance®

Shelter Celebrates 75 Years of Service (1946 - 2021)

What started as a way to provide car insurance for Missouri service members who were returning from World War II has grown into something far greater than its founders could have imagined. Shelter Insurance – originally MFA Insurance – has weathered difficult financial times, devastating storms and all of the challenges every growing company faces. Those challenges were overcome by hard working employees and agents, and today the Shelter Insurance® group of Companies stands strong and ready to celebrate this special anniversary. Through the years, the Companies have expanded to 21 states and the insurance products offered have greatly increased. The addition of the Shelter Life Insurance Company, Shelter Reinsurance®, Haulers  Insurance Company, Inc., AmShield Insurance® and Say Insurance® through the years has provided exceptional opportunities for expansion and increasing financial stability. The Companies are poised for continued growth and innovation for many years to come.

Integrity is at the core of the Shelter brand, and through the years Shelter’s leaders have stressed the importance of doing the right thing for our customers, agents, employees and the communities we serve. A commitment to continuous improvement is essential to future success, especially when it comes to customer service. That is why Shelter’s leaders continue to emphasize innovation in every aspect of the Companies’ operations.   

Throughout 2021, anniversary celebrations will take center stage for the Shelter family. Look for information on upcoming events and other exciting developments as the year progresses.

Enjoy the following timeline to learn more about Shelter’s history:

• MFA Mutual Insurance Company Founded
• Fred V. Heinkel President
• State of Missouri Active
• First issue of company publication, Agency Bulletin
• State Insurance Department ranked MFA Mutual 15th out of 129 insurance companies doing business in Missouri
• First branch office opens in Springfield, MO.   
• Second branch office opens in St. Joseph, MO 
• MFA Mutual authorized to write insurance in Kansas   
• Jack Silvey becomes president of MFA Mutual Insurance Co.
• MFA Insurance offered medical coverage   
• MFA Mutual became the largest mutual casualty company in Missouri 
• Largest claim to date was filed for $11,250 after a fire destroyed a granary and 42,000 bushels of corn 

• The Company purchased KMMO radio station  
• Silvey celebrates 200th Anniversary of Mutual Insurance 1752-1952 
• MFA Mutual expands to Arkansas & Nebraska 
• MFA wrote 200,000th auto policy 
• MFA Mutual red flags manufactured by housewife seamstresses given away free to warn of slow moving farm equipment. 
• MFA Mutual expands to Kansas   
• Harold Douglas chosen to manage the newly owned KMMO 
• Home office opens new annex building for underwriters 
• MFA Mutual establishes agencies in Illinois 
• Popular advertising novelty, plastic baby pants 
• President Eisenhower gets MFA Mutual’s Farm Almanac 
• Broke ground on new home office 
• New Stock Casualty Insurance Company introduced

• New Headquarters – moved into present Home Office 
• Judd Wyatt received first Alfred P. Sloan Award 

• Silvey hosts visit with Nationwide Insurance President Murray Lincoln 
• MFA Life Insurance Company Formed 

• MFA Security Service Co. reorganizes to make auto loans 
• MFA Mutual expands to Iowa 
• Cafeteria Mural Dedication 
• Premium sales goal of “50 or More By ‘64” 
• MFA Mutual expands to Kentucky & Tennessee   
• Held first advanced agent school
• State of Indiana active 



• Began expansion on Home Office 
• President Silvey’s birthday celebration included a massive cake. 
• First use of magnetic tape drives came with the installation in 1961 of the IBM 7070 and 1401 systems 
• Regional claims service introduced 
• State of Minnesota & Oklahoma active
 
• Introduction of Board of Directors 
• A.D. Sappington replaced J. M. Silvey as president of MFA Mutual     
• First issue of employee newsletter, Contact, was distributed
• Broke ground on a new state office building for MFA Insurance companies in Little Rock, AR 
• Daniel Boone Underwriters began operations   
• Marilyn Maye sang the MFA jingle across 150 radio stations 
• Fountain dedicated 
• Corporate magazine renamed Action!   
• A major contributor to office technology was the Word Processing Center, introduced in 1969.   
• State of Colorado, Mississippi & Texas active   
• State of Louisiana active   
• 25th Anniversary Celebration 
• HO began to build gardens and replica of Newcomers school behind HO building 
 
• The term “Shield of Shelter” made its appearance. 
• Nellie Colson first woman Claims Adjuster   
• Introduction of Umbrella policy   
• Life reached $1 Billion in volume     
• Fast-action claims service launched 
• MFA Gardens dedicated 
• Jean Madden scheduled the first ever Summer Concert Series in the Shelter Gardens   
• President Carter visit   
• President A.D. Sappington passed away   
• Senior Vice President Howard B. Lang named by board as president. Gus Lehr became VP. 
• Sappington gate dedicated outside MFA Gardens 
• Daniel Boone Agency began operations     
• MFA adopts new shield logo 
• MFA decides they will change their name after 12/31/1981 
• Gus Lehr named President of Shelter Insurance® 


• First Shelter Day; Name changed to Shelter Insurance® from MFA Insurance 
• Shelter Foundation formed 
• Mobile Homeowners Insurance approved   
• New Custom-Coverage Homeowners Policy (HO-7) introduced   
• Shelter implements Agent Scholarship Program   
• Platinum Shield Homeowners Policy introduced   
• Jack Pettit named president   
• New Product - Platinum Shield® Universal Life policy   
• Agent automation – computers appeared in agent offices   
• States of Minnesota & Texas exited   
• Shelter sold KMMO   
• Shelter Reinsurance was formed   
• President Reagan drove by Home Office   
• First Diversity Intern Group   

• Training Center dedicated 
• Bob Maupin becomes president and COO 
• Shelter becomes a part of NAIA 
• Shelter becomes $1 Billion organization   
• Little Rock office dedicated   
• Shelter kicked off Show-Me State Games at Shelter Gardens    
• Former President and Chairman Fred V. Heinkel passed away 
• New Corporate emblem introduced slowly 


• President Bush visits Shelter Gardens 
• Gus Lehr stepped down as CEO & Bob Maupin stepped in as CEO 
• Wording on the Shelter Insurance® logo was changed to what it is today. 
• Employee Assistance Program introduced to workforce   
• Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan visits for Show-Me Games 
• Lehr-Battle Achievement Award Established 
• Home Office renovations to front entry   
• 50th Anniversary 
• Website domain name reserved (www.shelterins.com) 
• Vietnam Memorial Plaque Dedication 
  
• Bob Maupin retired 
• John Lenox named president 
• Home Office Expansion 
• Don Duello named president   
• Shelter implements Scholarship Program for Children of Shelter Employees & Agents   
 • 60th Anniversary   
• State of Nevada active  
• Shelter Life and P&C Companies Earn Top-50 Ranking   
• Shelter purchases Haulers Insurance Company, Inc.  
 • Over 1 Million Auto Policies  
 • Shelter purchases 3 SRVs  
• New slogan “We’re your Shield. We’re your Shelter” created 
  
• Social Media Initiative Launched 
• Shelter Reinsurance upgraded by A.M. Best for the company’s improved capitalization and favorable operating performance. 
• Life Insurance in Force Surpasses $20 Billion
• Mobile App Introduced 
• Shelter Life ranked among Top 50 in U.S. for achieving outstanding financial results in the areas of safety, consistency and performance over a five-year period from 2005 to 2009. 
• Shelter Insurance® named in Ward’s 50 Top Performers which signifies Shelter as one of the safest and best managed companies in the insurance industry. 
• Shelter Life ranked among Top 50 in U.S. again by the Ward Group®   
• Shelter’s Storm Team mobilizes to assist Joplin, MO area customers affected by an F5 tornado that struck the area. 
• Alternate Channels Department Established       
• Shelter opened its third call center location in Henderson, NV 
• Graphics wins award for the "It’s Your Journey" campaign 
• Shelter Bank closed after 13 years due to high government regulation compliance expenses. Shelter Bank closed in excellent financial condition. 
• Rick Means becomes president 
• Shelter’s first employee resource group, the Emerging Professionals Network (EPN), was formed.
• New Tennessee State Office Opened 
• Shelter’s Storm Team mobilizes to assist Moore, OK area customers affected by an F5 tornado that struck their area. 
• Shelter forms partnership with Multicultural Achievement Committee (MAC) Scholars 
• Shelter pilots Reverse Mentoring Program 
• Rick Means brings his vision statement to life with the image of the four-legged stool. 
• Shelter launches AmShield Insurance® 
• Shelter implemented Vitality, an employee wellness program. 
• Shelter Life Insurance Company Scores A+ Rating from A.M. Best 
• Shelter implements Supplier Diversity program 
     
• Newly renovated fountain unveiled 
• Shelter implements Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology 
• Shelter implements Agile Project Management 
• Shelter adds New Car Replacement coverage to auto policies 
• Shelter receives the inaugural Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement (MCPA) award in the Pollution Prevention category 
• Arkansas consumers benefit from new anti-fraud law drafted by Shelter Insurance® 
• Shelter Insurance® hires Manager of Diversity and Inclusion   
 
 
       
• Shelter makes Ingram’s list of Top 25 brands in Missouri 
• Shelter implements Success Grants Program 
• Shelter adds Roadside Assistance to personal auto policies 
• New employee resource group, Shelter Women’s Advocacy Group (SWAG), was formed 
• J.D. Power Ranks Shelter Insurance® “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Auto Insurers in the Central Region” on their U.S. Auto Insurance Study. 
• Shelter Insurance® Receives PCI Award for Insurance Legislative Advocacy 
• Shelter Launches Say Insurance® 
• Shelter implements Workday 
• Shelter Reinsurance Company Celebrates 30 Years 
• Shelter added Ohio to its operating territory             
• Shelter unveils Employee Value Proposition 
• Shelter Reinsurance Company Scores a+ Rating from A.M. Best 
• AmShield launched in Arizona and sold its first policies 
• Shelter helped create industry change with the Arkansas Senate Bill 133 & Missouri House Bill 339 
• Columbia NAACP honors Shelter for long-standing tradition of support with a Community Service Award
• Say Insurance® sold its first auto insurance policy in Illinois in September and is now writing in Illinois, Colorado, Missouri and Tennessee.
• Shelter Insurance® Named in Business Insurance’s Annual Best Places to Work in Insurance
• Groundbreaking ceremony for new Mississippi State Office
• Shelter breaks ground for new Claims facility at Home Office location in Columbia, MO. 

        

• J.D. Power Ranks Shelter Insurance® #1 for Second Time in Three Years 
• Shelter Insurance® Named in Business Insurance and Best Companies Group’s Annual Best Places to Work in Insurance 
• Shelter recognized by the Columbia Missourian with the Progress Award for Corporate Citizenship for our philanthropy & employee volunteer efforts.
• Shelter adopts Principles of Community, a Commitment to Inclusive Excellence
• Say Insurance® expands into a fifth state: Kansas
• AmShield Insurance® active in Arizona and Oregon.
• New employee resource groups, Happy Work Team & Multicultural Group, were formed
• New Director of Innovation position created.
• Shelter celebrated 30th Anniversary of Diversity Internship Program
• New Nevada call center opened in late August as a fully automated call center with 45 employees.
• Shelter assisted in the passage of Missouri House Bill 1531
• New state office building dedication ceremony in Jackson, Mississippi
• New Director of Data Strategy and Analytics position created.   
 
• New Employee Resource Group, Ra11y, formed 
• J.D. Power Ranks Shelter Insurance® #1 for Third Time in Four Years 
• Shelter Insurance® Named in Business Insurance and Best Companies Group’s Annual Best Places to Work in Insurance 
• Matt Moore becomes president 
• Director of Inclusion & Engagement and Manager of Diversity & Engagement positions added.
• Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Shelter sent employees to work from home beginning March 13th. 


 
 
   
• Company-wide Virtual Talent Contest held
• Innovation Field of Dreams portal introduced
• Inclusion and Engagement: Challenging Conversations meetings
• Behind the Shield podcasts introduced
• Premium Relief Payments were sent because people were driving less due to the pandemic and stay-at-home orders. 

• Shelter Agent Foundation Donations enabled agents to donate $1,000 to businesses in their area for a total of $1.5 million distributed to provide COVID-19 relief throughout the operating territories.  

• Auto Insurance Rate Reduction implemented 

Check out our 75th Anniversary Booklet for fun facts, stories and historical photos. The booklet is available below as a PDF.

75th Anniversary Booklet

Shelter's agents and employees wish to say a big "Congratulations" to Shelter for 75 great years. Take a look at these fun videos! 

 

  • For Your AUTO

    Person washing a car

    Auto insurance was our flagship product and has grown to include exceptional services such as new car replacement and roadside assistance!

    Shelter Auto
  • For Your HOME

    Front of a nice house

    Next, we began to offer homeowners insurance. Today, we offer a wide variety of coverages for wherever you call home and for your prized possessions. 

    Shelter Home
  • For Your LIFE

    Multigenerational Latino family

    In 1959, we added life insurance to our product lineup. Today, we offer term, permanent and Junior Life insurance coverages for whatever stage of life you’re in.

    Shelter Life
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