1934: Expansion to Minnesota
In 1934, EMC received approval to enter Minnesota and contracted with an agency in Red Wing. Claims adjuster W. J. Hynes was sent there to open a claims office to service the business produced by that agency. Policies were issued for liability, property damage, collision, fire, theft and comprehensive lines.
1942: Minneapolis Branch
Eight years after entering Minnesota, the Minneapolis branch office was officially established. In the 1950s, the branch office was moved to downtown Minneapolis. At one time, it was located in the Northwestern National Bank Building.
1970s: On the Move
While the branch occupied an office near Franklin and Nicollet Avenues, an explosion occurred about a block away. Concern for employee safety caused the branch to relocate to Bloomington in 1972.
After the move to Bloomington, a thief broke in through the back door and escaped with a number of claim drafts. Fortunately for EMC, the intruder made out the drafts in his real name and was easily tracked down by the police!
In 1976, ground was broken for a new office in a complex in the western suburb of Minnetonka. This office was completely renovated in 1995 and still houses the branch office today.
1981: Unique Products
In the mid-70s, the EMC branch office in Des Moines began using safety dividend groups, and the Minneapolis Branch was quick to pick up the idea. Two safety dividend groups were formed: the Minnesota Manufactured Housing Association in 1981 and the Northwest Petroleum Marketers Association in 1983, which is now named the Minnesota Petroleum Marketers (MPM) Association.
Both programs are still going strong, and other niche markets have been added: garbage haulers, school districts, gravel haulers and equipment dealers. The branch office underwriters work hard to build strong relationships with agents and customers through frequent contact and personal visits. They help agents to sell accounts, and customers to improve their safety records by working closely with loss control representatives.
2011: Strength, Stability, Service
Today the Minneapolis Branch office has 45 employees under the direction of Branch Manager Jerry Harlow. The office serves more than 130 agencies across the state. In 2010, net written premium was more than $39 million, with 69 percent in commercial lines and 31 percent in personal lines.