BCNG/Buxengard
Wilmington Mutual Insurance board members and staff include, seated, Kari Alstad, secretary of the board, office manager and agent; Steve Klug, vice president; Justin Landsom, president; Lawrence Fruechte, treasurer; and Krista Klug, office assistant and agent. Standing in the back are: board members Harold Meyer, Dale Neumann, Gary Buxengard, Allen Krueger and Greg Guillien.
BCNG/Buxengard Wilmington Mutual Insurance board members and staff include, seated, Kari Alstad, secretary of the board, office manager and agent; Steve Klug, vice president; Justin Landsom, president; Lawrence Fruechte, treasurer; and Krista Klug, office assistant and agent. Standing in the back are: board members Harold Meyer, Dale Neumann, Gary Buxengard, Allen Krueger and Greg Guillien.
The 140th annual meeting of the Wilmington Mutual Insurance Company was held Feb. 24 at the Fest Building in Spring Grove. The meeting was attended by policyholders, staff and guests.

Due to the snowstorm, attendance was reduced to 160 from the 273 who had signed up to attend.

“We are grateful for all who came, considering what Mother Nature threw us,” Justin Landsom, company president, stated in opening remarks.

“For the year 2016, we decreased our policy count by 37 for a total of 1,095 policies. This amounted to a net deduction of $6,814,965 of policies in force,” reported Kari Alstad, secretary of the company. “At the end of the year, we have insurance policies in force in the amount of $442,830,389.

Wilmington Mutual provides insurance coverage for fire, lightning and additional lines of coverage which includes cattle drowning, overturned wagon/ machinery, collision of machinery, water damage, vandalism and theft.

“When you live in a small community, you have friends and neighbors. It is the same with township farm mutuals, who are your friends and neighbors,” Alstad pointed out.

Insurance tips given

Alstad shared several tips regarding insurance matters:

• If you rent farm machinery, you need to add a special endorsement on your policy.

• Record household personal property items by taking photographs and storing them in a fireproof safe.

• Be sure to update/replace smoke alarms and detectors and remember to change batteries.

• If you go away for a period of time, shut off the main water valve for your home to avoid becoming vulnerable to the risk of water failures and water damage.

Board election held

Incumbents Gary Buxengard, Allen Krueger and Dale Neumann filed for office and were re-elected to three-year terms on the board.

Following the meeting, board members met to vote on officers, who will remain the same as last year with Justin Landsom as president. Steve Klug as vice president, Kari Alstad as secretary and Lawrence Fruechte as treasurer.

Guest speaks of fire safety

Guest speaker at the meeting was Tom Sloan, field representative for North Star Mutual Insurance based in Cottonwood, which provides reinsurance to a majority of the Minnesota township mutual insurance companies in the state. North Star insures for wind, hail, liability and inland marine.

Sloan shared a video from Minneapolis TV Channel 5Eyewitness News regarding fire safety and risks in the home. For the documentary, cameras were set up to capture in graphic detail what occurred during several scenarios.

“Your home is the most deadly, and dangerous, place to be when it comes to fire hazards,” the news reporter stated at the beginning. Topics covered in the video included:

• The homeowner should read labels regarding storage of paint and stain. It’s not the stained wood, but the rag used, that is the hazard.

• Gasoline should never be stored in the home, but rather in an outbuilding. In the home, fumes from gasoline can cause an inferno from the pilot light on the gas water heater or the spark from an electrical outlet.

• The kitchen is the number one place for fire. Forty percent of fires in the kitchen are unattended cooking.

• Fire sprinkler systems are one of the best options for the home. Sprinklers can douse flames in two seconds and cause less water damage to the home because the system sprays less water than the fire department sprays on a fire.

One of the misconceptions is that if one sprinkler goes off, they all go off. That is not true. Only the one where the fire is will start.

When doing construction, the cost to install sprinklers is about $2 per square foot. People spend $3,000 to sprinkle their grass, but not to do fire sprinklers. Sloan said that it is well worth the money to know a person’s family is safe and their home won’t burn to the ground.

• Unused natural gas lines are another main cause of fire in the home. When appliances are converted from gas to electric, and the old gas line isn’t removed, gas fumes can cause a fire. This gas smells like rotten eggs. Don’t flip any light switches on nor make the phone call from inside the home, because doing so can cause a spark.

Sloan concluded the program with this important message, “It will be time to ‘spring forward’ pretty soon. Remember to check the batteries for your smoke alarms.”