By Lenore Fedow
Neenah, Wis.—Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company is taking the next step in transitioning to a mutual holding company, announcing dates for a policyholder vote and public meeting on the issue.

The company currently operates as a mutual insurance company, meaning it’s an insurer owned by its policyholders rather than stockholders.

Changing to a mutual holding company, or MHC, would allow Jewelers Mutual to become a wholly-owned stock subsidiary of the new MHC while preserving mutual policyholder rights, Mark Willson, vice president and general counsel at Jewelers Mutual, told National Jeweler in April when the plan was announced.

The transition will allow for more flexibility, enabling the company to better operate its current business as well as pursue other opportunities in the future, he said.

It will not affect current coverages, premium rates, loss prevention or claims-handling processes, or the board of directors, the company said.

Jewelers Mutual’s board had unanimously approved the change prior to the initial announcement in April. The plan was then filed with the Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, which needs to approve the transition.

If that happens, it then goes to existing and eligible policyholders for a vote.

Policyholders will be able to vote by proxy via mail or email, or can choose to attend a special policyholders meeting slated for Sept. 12 at the company’s headquarters in Neenah, Wisconsin, as per a company announcement Thursday.

Jewelers Mutual will send policyholders informational materials about the transition.

There will also be a public administrative hearing, which will take place on Aug. 15 at the insurance commissioner’s office in Madison, Wisconsin.

The company said it hopes to complete the process by January 2020.

For more information about the transition, jewelers can refer to the company website’s FAQ section or call 888-884-2424.

Editor’s note: This story was corrected on July 15 to clarify that Jewelers Mutual has policyholders, not shareholders.

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