The benefits of a mutual
PAMIA’s Members benefit from its mutual status in a number of ways:
As a mutual is owned and controlled by its Members, it is completely focussed on their specific needs. The Board of Directors ensures that the Managers provide the very best services. This is particularly important in the area of claims handling where mutual insurers invest heavily compared to their commercial competitors. Thomas Miller has been administrating PAMIA since it was formed in 1989 and has an excellent track record in helping Members to manage claims, successfully and efficiently.
Commercial insurers are motivated by profit and consequently they regularly stop insuring particular classes of business if they think they can make more profit by moving into other areas of business. A mutual has no profit motive. PAMIA’s founding Members realised that all practitioners in the intellectual property field faced similar risks and were all suffering from unfair pricing by commercial insurers. The formation of PAMIA has reportedly reduced some clients’ premiums by a factor of four or five, whilst giving them the committed service they need.
Ultimate control of a mutual is in the hands of its Members whereas ultimate control of a commercial insurer is in the hands of its shareholders. The Board of Directors of a mutual is made up of Members, elected at annual general meetings. The Board is responsible for the mutual’s policy and strategy, ensuring that it always acts in the interests of the group it was set up to serve.