In my mail recently, I received a colorful postcard from State Farm, the agency which insures my car, house, and several rental properties. I was “sorting” it directly into the trash when I noticed the word “dividend” peeking up at me.
Dividend. That’s right, my insurance company has declared a dividend for its New Jersey policyholders for the second year in a row. I’m so unused to this that last year I almost tossed out a $240 check they’d sent me for my dividend payment. Once I took another look at it, I called the company to make sure they hadn’t cancelled one of my policies, as I was worried the check might be a refund of monies paid.
It is a refund of sorts, but not due to a cancelled policy, the representative explained. “When we have a year where we profit, our policyholders profit too, since they’re also our owners.”
It was a nice surprise last year, especially since insurance rates in new jersey are so high, and now I’m looking forward to seeing how much I’ll get back this year. An internet search regarding the dividend yielded only 2006 information, so it seems I’ll have to wait for the company’s next correspondence or year-end financials to get more details.
Could it be they’ve avoided posting this among the news releases on their web site so other states don’t get jealous? Apparently the dividend payout is state-specific, so not everyone will be eligible.
Does your insurance company pay dividends?
Updated February 10, 2011 and originally published December 3, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.