The roots of fraternalism date back as far the 1700’s and 1800’s when the foundations for today’s life insurance companies, credit unions, and fraternal benefit societies were established. Like many organizations in those early days, they were formed out of a specific need to provide mutual benefit to their members.
The early insurance companies were known as mutual companies. Basically, that meant that the policyholders owned the companies, and there were no shareholders. Profits were turned back to the policyholders in the form of dividends. There still are some “mutual” companies today. They are becoming an endangered species. Over the last 15 years in particular, most mutual companies have become “demutualized”. In other words, gone public. The policyholders were issued shares for value and the companies often trade stocks publicly. They compete on the stock exchange like other public companies, and the profits and benefits go to the shareholders first.
Many credit unions were also established for the benefit of members. They took deposits and issued loans to members. Members usually received preferred treatment over public institutions. Members usually had common denominators of a large employer or an organization such as a union. About 30 to 40 years ago, credit unions started to let “other family members” also join and share in the benefits. Today most credit unions operate very openly and are accessible to the public, much like banks and trust companies.
About Fraternal Benefit Societies
Fraternal benefit societies were formed because of a common bond that groups of people shared. Most were formed by like-minded groups of people who started organizing themselves and whose efforts focused on providing mutual aid and other beneficial things for their members. Fraternal benefit societies are still thriving today, and offer their members many valuable benefits.
Foresters™ is one of those fraternal benefit societies. Along with its sister company, Unity Life of Canada, Foresters offers more than just insurance products. As a fraternal benefit society that has been active for nearly 135 years, Foresters offers its members a valuable package of member benefits as part of every product sale. The Benefit Guys are proud to represent both of these Canadian companies, which do not just offer very competitive and innovative insurance products, but also the complimentary fraternal member benefits, included with every insurance purchase. The Benefit Guys will quote Foresters brief story:
For 130 years, Foresters™ has been guided by a very powerful principle: the growth and prosperity of our members and their families is linked to the communities in which they live.
We are committed to understanding your unique needs and offering products to assist you with your financial security and peace of mind. We are also committed to providing access to our services, in ways that best fit with your busy lives.
Our customers are members of our organization. As a member, you enjoy a more personal and rewarding relationship than you may get from more traditional financial services providers. As a holder of a Foresters product, you are eligible for Foresters Member Benefits including competitive scholarships for young people. We measure our success not only by Foresters financial strength, but also by the positive impact we have on our members’ communities and the children who represent their future. We sponsor children’s charities across the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. We also provide opportunities for our members to volunteer in their local communities.
We are investing in the financial security of our members.
We are sharing with the communities in which they live.
Through all that we do, through our members who volunteer, and through the children we help, we are inspiring others to follow our leadership.
Today, over 735,000 Foresters members (policyholders) enjoy the many member benefits that Foresters offers. Participation in insurance programs offered by Unity Life and Foresters enables you to share in the benefits of membership. If you would like more specific information on those additional benefits, you can click here and go directly to their website. There are some options available to you, for any online products you may want to purchase. If you still have questions, or want some more personally-related information for your family, by all means contact us and let the Benefit Guys know how we can be of further service.
Foresters TM is a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, Toronto, Canada, M3C 1T9.