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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -CUNA Mutual has lost the insurance business from the nation’s largest corporate and a near billion dollar corporate. For the first time in its 30-year history, U.S. Central is using another insurance company for its fidelity bond and other core coverage, such as director and officer liability and property coverage. The $36 billion U.S. Central said after doing its routine annual review of its insurance it decided to go with a proposal from a group of carriers led by Chubb. The policy was effective in July. U.S. Central said it will save $155,000, while getting more extensive coverage. One factor that played a role in this change was U.S. Central’s inability to get fiduciary liability coverage from CUNA Mutual, which it was able to obtain from its new carriers. This would cover things such as trading mishaps. As part of normal business practice, U.S. Central informed all of its corporate members of the change, but said it in no way wants to influence other corporates. “This isn’t intended to set a precedent for any of our members. They make their own decisions based on their business needs. We will always strive to stay within the credit union movement. If there was a comparable bid for comparable coverage, it would have been no change for us,” said U.S. Central Director of Communications Roger Dick. U.S. Central used insurance broker Lockton Companies, San Antonio, to find its new carriers. Portland, Oregon based Northwest Corporate has also moved away from CUNA Mutual. The $990 million corporate said for the first time in a long time it took an in-depth look at its insurance coverage. Northwest Corporate President/CEO Kathy Garner, who serves on the U.S. Central board, said after some looking around, the corporate discovered if it changed carriers it could get the same coverage at a lower cost. Northwest eventually decided to increase its coverage, and did so without paying more than it did with CUNA Mutual. Garner said during its review the corporate learned a lot about where it had too much coverage and where it didn’t have enough. For example, it was not covered in the event of an earthquake or flooding. With nearby Mt. St. Helens poised to erupt, it’s possible the corporate could feel some earthquake effects. “We didn’t have it. I just assumed it came with property insurance,” said Garner. Like U.S. Central, Northwest Corporate found new coverage through Lockton Companies. Garner said Northwest plans to evaluate its insurance coverage each year and would again consider CUNA Mutual. CUNA Mutual said the fact that 94% of all credit unions have their bond with CUNA Mutual proves it is bringing quality and value to credit unions. CUNA Mutual said it has seen new competitors come and go. “Many have tried entering this marketplace but have exited. We on the other hand have remained constant serving only the credit union marketplace,” said CUNA Mutual Senior Manager, Media Relations Rick Uhlmann. “We often find credit unions that leave CUNA Mutual for a competitor return because their bond carrier cannot sustain its pricing, provides poor service, or exits the market entirely. We’re the only credit union-specific bond provider. No one else understands the credit union business and their exposures better than CUNA Mutual,” said Uhlmann. Garner stressed that her role on the U.S. Central board had nothing to do with Northwest’s decision to change carriers, though when she discovered U.S. Central was re-evaluating its insurance position, it spurred Northwest to look at its own coverage. [email protected]

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