In the late 1970s, a handful of Oklahoma Bar members established what would later become one of the first six original bar-related captive insurance companies in the nation. Read our story below.
As the number of attorneys increased in the state, access to reliable, locally managed lawyers’ liability insurers shrunk. Our founders faced gaps in coverage, fluctuating rates and a lack of quality customer service. As a result, members of the Oklahoma Bar began to ask if there was a better way to insure themselves and their fellow Oklahoma lawyers.
In 1979, they came upon a solution. A group of Oklahoma Bar members banded together and visited their peers throughout the state’s 77 counties selling stock to other members. This stock would fund an insurance company that would eventually become the preeminent writer of lawyers’ professional liability insurance in the state.
The company soon incorporated under the name Oklahoma Bar Professional Liability Insurance Company and sold its first policy in November 1980. Shortly afterward, M.R. “Dick” Brackin, the endorsed agent of the Oklahoma Bar Association, moved his book of business to the Oklahoma Bar Professional Liability Insurance Company.
In our early years, purchasing stock was a prerequisite to be insured. This policy was soon abandoned and, as a result, our number of insureds grew rapidly. However, early claims from oil and gas, as well as a declining real estate market, created considerable stress on the organization’s operating performance. Reinsurance was particularly difficult to obtain, and terms were very restrictive.
In the mid-1980s, the company began requiring each lawyer to purchase a surplus debenture (known as a surplus note) in the amount of $400 to help increase desperately needed capital and surplus. By the late 1980s, policyholder surplus began to grow.
In 1992, the company began to redeem the surplus notes, paying back the $400 that each lawyer had contributed. Just two years later, all outstanding stock had been redeemed and the company converted to the mutual insurance company that it remains today—Oklahoma Attorneys Mutual Insurance Company.
The Board of Directors declared the first policyholder dividend in late 1994, which has continued unabated for more than 25 years and has returned over $32 million to policyholders.
After research showed a rebrand was needed, the company went through a substantial rebranding process. The resulting design is a mark that utilizes geometric shapes to create a suggestion of a moat or hedge around a central shape, symbolic of the protection OAMIC provides our policyholders. The exterior square is an “O,” and the interior shapes abstractly reflect the rest of the OAMIC letterforms. The stability of the overall shape reflects the long-term relationships OAMIC looks to establish with our insureds.
More than 40 years later, Oklahoma Attorneys Mutual Insurance Company remains the only professional liability insurer owned and managed by Oklahoma attorneys for the benefit of Oklahoma attorneys. We take pride in our deep roots in the state’s legal community, and look forward to a strong future serving Oklahoma attorneys.