Award in Innovation | 2022 Winners

Congratulations to our 2022 winners!

  • OVERALL WINNER: Acuity Insurance
  • BEST IN CATEGORY – MUTUALITY: Red River Mutual Insurance Company
  • BEST IN CATEGORY – CREATIVITY: Farm Bureau Financial Services
  • BEST IN CATEGORY – ADAPTABILITY: Union Mutual Insurance Company


Acuity Insurance

The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies presents its 2022 Award in Innovation, sponsored by Guy Carpenter, to Acuity Insurance, headquartered in Sheboygan, Wis., for its innovative approach to strategic planning. This approach helps the company to set its direction, shape its brand, affirm it is headed on the right course, and allows it to make continual, incremental changes when they are needed.

“Over the past 20 years, our approach to strategic planning is directly correlated to our industry-leading financial and operational performance,” said Ben Salzmann, Acuity president and CEO. “From companywide growth in revenue and policyholders’ surplus to profitability that protects all our stakeholders, Acuity continues to surpass our competition.”

The impact of Acuity’s approach to strategic planning over the past two decades has enabled the company to experience companywide growth in revenue more than 2.6 times higher than the industry average rate; policyholder surplus more than 4.2 times higher than the industry average; voluntary turnover five times lower than the industry average; and revenue per employee more than 22 percent higher than the industry.

“Our strategic planning approach keeps us at the forefront of new developments, emerging trends, and forces shaping the insurance business. It is designed not just to help us react to changing conditions, but to capitalize on disruptive and potentially revolutionary developments taking place in insurance and beyond,” said Melissa Winter, Acuity’s vice president – Business Consulting. “We thank NAMIC for recognizing our innovation with this award, a clear reflection of the phenomenal team at Acuity that makes our success a reality.”

In presenting the overall award to Acuity during NAMIC’s 2022 Management Conference, Neil Alldredge, NAMIC’s president and CEO, remarked “Acuity clearly believes planning is a continual, disciplined, iterative process that helps the company manage organizational risk while maintaining relevance. It is critical we embrace and implement innovative processes, technologies, and, more importantly, ways of thinking to move our industry forward. Innovation, in whatever form, ensures that the industry stays competitive and provides the high level of service policyholders have come to rely on. I am grateful for the ingenuity and commitment Acuity has contributed to the insurance industry.”

BEST IN CATEGORY – MUTUALITY: Red River Mutual Insurance Company

Red River Mutual

Red River Mutual Insurance Company recently launched a new community sponsorship initiative called Spruce Up Your Story, designed to honor and protect the spaces in their communities that are well-worn and well-loved. Whether it was a small-town hockey rink in need of new boards, a town hall needing new siding, or a local library looking to enhance their greenspace, Red River helped make an impact where it was needed and deserved.

BEST IN CATEGORY – CREATIVITY: Farm Bureau Financial Services

Farm Bureau Financial Services

Farm Bureau Financial Services is taking an innovative approach to catastrophic claims response with their Crisis Therapy Dog Program. In this program, employee-owned, trained therapy dogs offer emotional support and comfort to client/members while the Catastrophe Team goes to work assessing damage and processing claims. Launched in 2019, the program includes four certified therapy dog teams who are deployed during severe weather events in several states.

BEST IN CATEGORY – ADAPTABILITY: Union Mutual Insurance Company

Union Mutual

Union Mutual Insurance Company created an immersive training experience called the Employee Development Program that allows participating employees to spend two years rotating through each department of the Company. The Program has accelerated professional development, enhanced company culture, and fostered an environment that encourages efficiency and innovation. The Program has also become an important part of the Company’s employee recruitment and retention efforts as it broadens employment opportunities and allows leadership to identify the ‘right person for the right seat.’


Mackenzie Slater
Director - Logistics & Production