Montana Insurance Managers was founded in May of 1984 as a collective effort of several Eastern Montana agents to capture an appointment with a monoline worker’s compensation carrier, EBI/Orion. Individually the agents weren’t attractive to EBI, but collectively they were, and while the market opportunity was not actually known at the time of the formation and appointment, the group wrote over $1 million in premium with EBI by the end of the first year.
From the appointment with EBI, other markets were developed by Montana Insurance Managers, with standard companies who specialized in market niches. Companies like Pennsylvania Hospital Company (PHICO), and Federated Mutual were added to the supplier list of MIM over time.
Circumstances changed with the passage of time, and the worker’s compensation climate of Montana became so severe that virtually all contracts written by private companies were terminated in favor of the State Compensation Insurance Fund, which was so underpriced that they eventually developed an unfunded liability that exceeded $500 million. EBI ultimately left the state, but Montana Insurance Managers evolved through negotiated enhanced agency appointments and compensation agreements for it’s members using standard line companies that were writing through all or some of the members.
With the collective effort of the 16 members of Montana Insurance Managers, long-ranged planning has taken place on a bi-annual basis, providing market direction for various lines of business, including agricultural prospects.