As one of New Jersey’s leading property-casualty insurers, NJM’s roots trace back to the Progressive Movement of the early 20th century. It was during this time that workplace safety reform emerged as an important social issue in tandem with New Jersey’s early industrial growth, as many manufacturing jobs carried a high risk of injury.
In 1911, New Jersey signed into law the Workmen’s Compensation Act, requiring employers to provide workers injured on the job with medical care and partial wage replacement. A small group of factory owners—determined to deliver the laudable purposes of the new law in a cost-effective, safety-conscious and financially secure way—formed NJM.
NJM was incorporated on June 7, 1913 to operate in a mutual fashion for the sole benefit of its policyholders. NJM’s founders had a vision to return all profits to policyholders, not stockholders. That vision was realized in 1918 when the Company returned its first dividend on all workers’ compensation policies issued the prior year. The annual dividend tradition continues—uninterrupted—to this day, resulting in nearly $6 billion returned to policyholders.
NJM’s policyholder focus and its reputation for value and service soon caught the attention of consumers in addition to businesses. The company quickly expanded its products to accommodate the employees of its commercial customers. By 1921, NJM was doing its small part to support the economic engine driving the state’s growth by helping businesses and their employees ensure the risks associated with progress.
Today, 100 years after its formation, NJM continues to support its policyholders and expand its place in the New Jersey landscape in many ways.
The largest workers’ compensation insurer in the state, NJM provides coverage for more than 5,800 New Jersey businesses, which collectively employ more than 300,000 workers. The company’s success is largely due to proactively working with policyholders to help reduce on-the-job accidents, manage claims, and ensure access to quality medical care for injured employees. Policyholders and their employees benefit from the company’s experience and knowledge of the state’s workers’ comp system, enabling them to access superior medical services at a cost that is consistently below what other insurers can deliver.
NJM recently made these benefits available to even more businesses by forming NJM Claims Management Services LLC, a third-party administrator that can provide the same claim and medical management services to businesses that self-insure.
NJM is the state’s second largest writer of personal auto insurance. It provides coverage to more than one million drivers, while providing claims services that are consistently rated among the best in a national claims satisfaction study undertaken by a leading consumer publication. Also, consistent with its history and purpose, in a true mutual fashion the company returns “profits” each year to personal auto policyholders in the form of dividends. A regular dividend is applied as a credit to the renewal premium, and a special dividend is paid by check to each of the company’s approximately 440,000 policyholders at the end of each calendar year.
Similarly, as one of the state’s largest residential insurers, NJM helps protect its policyholders’ investments in their homes, condos and rental properties, with more than 318,000 insured residences. And, in order to meet their expanding needs, the company offers umbrella coverages with limits from $1 million to $5 million for additional liability protection, and recently extended its offerings to ensure policyholder access to personal watercraft and motorcycle insurance.
NJM provides coverage for businesses of all sizes, and currently insures more than 35,000 commercial vehicles. In addition to the hallmark dividends, the company provides a New Jersey-based customer service team of employees exclusively dedicated to commercial auto policyholders. As with all of its lines of business, NJM looks to establish long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with policyholders, with average commercial auto policy tenure of 13 years. In fact, the company’s longest running active customer has now reached its 83rd year as a policyholder.
NJM’s initial safety efforts focused on the workplaces of its policyholders throughout the Garden State. The company’s initiatives have expanded over the years to include an emphasis on safety in all aspects of its business.
In honor of its 100th anniversary in 2013, NJM launched a Teen Driver Safety Program, which includes a classroom-based driver’s education curriculum, and donated 65 state-of-the-art driving simulators to high schools across the state. To date, more than 75,000 students have participated in NJM’s program, which was recognized in 2016 by the National Safety Council’s Teen Driver Leadership Award.
A.M. Best Company, the country’s primary insurance rating agency, rates NJM “A+” (Superior) for financial strength and demonstrated ability to serve policyholders. NJM shares this distinction with only 8.8 percent of rated property-casualty insurers nationwide.
One of the company’s core values is to support the communities it is privileged to serve. Among its efforts in this regard, NJM has in recent years provided financial and organizational assistance to nonprofits such as the New Jersey State Museum, the American Cancer Society, Junior Achievement, the American Conference on Diversity and Special Olympics New Jersey.
Additionally, NJM encourages its employees’ participation in public service by providing up to eight hours of paid time for volunteerism each year, along with a company match on charitable donations of up to $1,000. NJM was a 2016 New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award Honoree for its leadership in corporate giving, and was a recipient of New Jersey Monthly Magazine’s Great Oak Award, honoring businesses in the state that support charitable causes.
NJM is among the largest employers in New Jersey, with nearly 2,500 workers servicing customers from offices in Parsippany, West Trenton and Hammonton. It is these employees that have made NJM the company it is today. NJM President & CEO, Bernie Flynn, says it best: “It is our employees throughout all levels of NJM that make this place work. They’re doing the most important job we have—serving the needs of our policyholders. That single-minded focus reflects the culture of our organization and remains as strong today as ever before. It is also the foundation upon which we prepare for the next 100 years.”
NJM’s mission to provide value-based insurance solutions with the highest levels of service, integrity and financial stewardship has been a constant in an ever-changing marketplace. To meet the needs and expectations of the next generation of policyholders, the company will continue to develop new products and services—and enhance the platforms on which they are delivered.
Despite the changes of the past and present, and those sure to come in the future, NJM remains committed to embracing each policyholder the way the corner “mom and pop” store embraces each customer, treating each one like someone special—because all of them are.
Visit njm.com to learn more.