& Traders Life Insurance Company -
History of Farmers and Traders Life Insurance Company
Farmers and Traders Life Insurance, they have come quite a
distance since the Company's founding in 1914. It's been a
journey through history and technological change spanning
four wars, the Great Depression, economic booms and busts,
and the troubling fluctuations and uncertainties of the 1990's.
From those first insurance contracts filled out in fountain
pen by people born before the invention of the automobile,
we have moved into the computer age and to the breathtaking
possibilities offered by the Farmers and Traders Life Insurance
Web Site on the Internet. Through it all, the Company has
held firm to the original commitments of its founders - measured
growth, a personal approach to serving customers, and conservative
investments. And while Farmers and Traders Life Insurance
have favored the strategies of conservative management, they
have also recognized the need to adapt to changing technologies
and market forces in order to serve their clients and their
field force better.
and Traders was founded by members of the Grange, an agricultural
fraternal organization which held a large membership of all
farm people during the early 20th Century. Grange members
were predominantly isolated from many of the services available
in the cities. City-based insurance agents were unlikely to
take the time to venture far from their offices into an America
still largely rugged and rural and lacking the amenities of
cosmopolitan life. In 1914, in an effort to provide access
to life insurance for its members, the National Grange began
their own life insurance company, which was also open to the
and Traders Life set up a home office in Syracuse, New York
in 1914, and after a number of years, established its current
office at 960 James Street in Syracuse. Around the time Farmers
and Traders Life began formal operations, New York State had
written some of the toughest insurance regulations in the
country in response to a nationwide investigation of the insurance
industry by the Federally-sponsored Armstrong Commission.
As a fledgling insurance company committed to multi-state
operations, Farmers and Traders Life welcomed the chance to
operate in an environment that would offer greater protections
to its clients not only in New York but also in all states.
An added bonus was Syracuse's central location within New
York. The ripple effect of this early, strict regulation has
been that today, many agents from outside the state have sought
to become representatives of New York domiciled companies
because of the increased credibility and security this regulatory
one might expect, Farmers and Traders Life's original founders
were solid, hardworking citizens who held both a commitment
to independence and a strong belief in the importance of helping
their fellow man. They were determined people with well-grounded
standards of integrity and a belief in diligence and careful
decision making. They were not averse to risk itself, only
to needless or excessive risk. And promises were very important
to them. A promise and a handshake were the means by which
so much of their day-to-day business was done. Not surprisingly,
they believed the basis of all life insurance is a promise
and that philosophy was reflected in their careful, conservative
underwriting, investing, and marketing practices, which kept
risks to a minimum.
the years as the banking and insurance industries have meandered
through periods of high-risk investing in attempts to fulfill
glamorous promises, Farmers and Traders Life has maintained
a steady, level-headed course and weathered its difficulties
admirably. The result is an enviable position of financial
strength. Farmers and Traders Life is rated A- (Excellent)
by A.M. Best Company and has had an outstanding record of
dividend payments to policyowners. Today, the Company has
nearly two billion dollars of insurance coverage in force.
and Traders Life currently conducts its business through approximately
1,600 Agents in 28 states. The Company has refocused its attention
over the last five years on marketing life insurance on a
"needs" basis. Farmers and Traders Life Insurance
offer a complete portfolio of whole life and term insurance,
universal life insurance, as well as flexible and single premium
deferred annuities. Farmers and Traders' specialty sales include
worksite marketing and plans for the senior market.
and Traders continues to enjoy an enviable reputation for
marketing quality life insurance and annuity products. Farmers
and Traders Life Insurance remains committed to delivering
responsive policyowner service.
TRADITIONAL PRODUCTS WHOLE LIFE vs. TERM INSURANCE
Whole Life insurance provides death protection for as long
as you live. Because whole life remains in effect as long
as you pay premiums, the initial premiums will be higher than
comparable term insurance (in most cases). But you will pay
less over the long run because term rates will continually
increase each time you renew your policy in later years. And,
in some cases a health condition may arise which would prevent
you from being able to renew coverage at any cost.
some whole life plans, you will pay premiums for only a certain
period of years or until a certain age. At that point your
premiums cease but your death benefit coverage remains in
most whole life policies involve some "prefunding"
of future mortality costs, whole life policies have cash values.
Policy cash values are available to the policyowner at any
time by surrendering (canceling) the policy. Alternatively,
the cash values can normally be borrowed from the life insurance
company. Interest is charged on this loan, and the loan is
deducted from the policy cash value if surrendered or from
the face amount if a death claim is paid.
dividends are another source of policy values for some whole
Term Insurance provides death protection for a specific period
of time or "term" of one or more years. With term
plans, a death benefit is paid only if death occurs during
that term of years.
This type of coverage provides the largest immediate death
protection for the premium dollar. It is frequently used by
young families to provide significant and immediate death
benefits at the lowest cost. It is usually "converted"
or replaced with whole life coverage at a later date when
the wage earner(s) are better established.
term plans are "renewable" for one or more terms
even if your health has changed but, in every new term, the
premiums will be higher. Some term plans are also "convertible"
which means you may trade the term policy for a whole life
or other insurance plan even if you are not in good health.
Premiums for the new policy will be higher than you have been
paying for the term insurance.
Premiums for participating policies are usually based on fairly
conservative mortality, interest, and expense assumptions.
The insurer may then recognize more favorable experience through
the payment of dividends. While most participating policies
include an illustration of dividends, the actual dividends
paid are not guaranteed. If future mortality, interest, and
expenses are more favorable, dividends paid may be higher
than those illustrated, and vice versa. The term "dividend"
as used with life insurance should not be confused with the
same term used to refer to earnings on shared stock.
P.O. Box 1056,