Christian Associations, as a subset of the more general association movement such as fraternals, friendly societies and cooperatives have their origins in the aftermath of the industrial revolution of the late 1700's and early 1800's. The industrial revolution created a gap between the owners of capital and the workers. In such a backdrop people started combining in order to:
Associations flourished because it put the needs of its members ahead of profit organisations². They have tended to get together based on race or religion and have provided insurance to its members in addition to giving out loans and scholarships and preservation of the culture or religion of the association
Some associations stick to simple type covers whereas others have the latest product designs and types to rival traditional insurers. As compared to the health sharing arrangements these associations are both regulated and have a much more complete set of coverage.
Catholic Financial Life (Catholic Knights)
The merger of Catholic Knights and Catholic Family Life Insurance brought together two financially and fraternally strong organizations to become the second largest Catholic fraternal in the United States.
Because we're a community-based not-for-profit financial services provider, we have a "Main Street" not "Wall Street" approach. As a membership organization, we give back to our members, along with their communities while supporting local parishes, schools, and Catholic causes. It's life insurance the way it's meant to be.
Looking at the practises of the Catholic Knights, the surpluses (excess of assets over liabilities) are invested in socially responsible activities in accordance with the teachings of the church. Instead of dividends, tithe is paid to support the activities of the church or association. Should the solvency position become impaired, the Board of Directors have the option of allocating such deficit amongst all members, insured employees, or policy owners or any combination of the above. The member has the option of accepting a lower benefit amount, accept a lien on the policy or to pay the deficit. The Catholic Knights has a priest, bishop or cardinal appointed as spiritual director to advise the President or board of directors on advice based on Catholic teachings and practise. The spiritual director will be a non-voting member of the board of directors.³
The Polish Roman Catholic Union of America ("PRCUA") is the oldest Polish American fraternal in America. It was established in 1873 in the spirit of brotherhood to unite and help Polish immigrants. Since then, PRCUA has developed into a dynamic fraternal benefit society, whose insurance policies rank among the best offered anywhere. Today, PRCUA performs religious, charitable, educational and civic work on behalf of its members and the Polish American Community.
PRCUA is people-oriented. Members can participate in the activities of the Society which they join when they purchase insurance from PRCUA. Through these activities, and other cultural and sports programs, PRCUA actively encourages its members to be good Americans, good Poles, and good Catholics.
MAX - Mutual Aid Exchange
MAX is a faith-based insurance enterprise consisting of an insurance company, an agency, and a mutual aid organization. We use 4 core values to guide us and teach us in our daily lives. These 4 core values are: stewardship, community, mutual aid and spirit centered. We invite all persons of faith who share our values and can affirm the "Statement of Faith-Based Shared Values" to join us. MAX historically served the Anabaptist/Brethren/Quaker communities in the United States and Canada but is not tied to any specific denomination. Today, MAX can insure anyone who shares our Christian values.
MAX provides many types of affordable personal insurance products to the faith-based community. We offer home, farm, auto, renters, and other personal lines to help protect the members of the faith-based community.
MAX also offers business insurance. We can combine your insurance products like commercial property, general liability, and workers comp to help save you money. MAX also provides comprehensive church insurance specifically designed to protect you, your family and your assets.
Catholic Family Fraternal of Texas - K.J.Z.T.
Catholic Family Fraternal of Texas - K.J.Z.T. is the first mutual aid society in St. Joseph's Parish in Yoakum, Texas.
First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association
The First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association is a fraternal benefit society founded in 1892 in Cleveland, Ohio. Under the leadership of Mrs. Anna Hurban, FCSLA was formed to address the insurance needs of individuals of Slovak descent. Today, FCSLA has grown to over 425 branches in 47 states and Washington, D.C, representing over 85,000 members and their families.
In June 2007, FCSLA earned and still continues to maintain a rating of A- (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company, an independent insurance rating company that reevaluates companies once per year.
FCSLA and its members are actively involved in the Church, Catholic education, social and civic causes, and providing aid to those in need. The association sponsors over $248,000 in annual scholarships for young members.
Catholic Ladies of Columbia
Incorporated in Ohio March 12, 1897, the Catholic Ladies of Columbia is a non-profit fraternal life insurance society whose sole purpose is to meet the needs of Catholics, their families and friends through a sound life insurance program and competitive financial products while bringing members together in fellowship and service to others.
Loyal Christian Benefit Association (LCBA)
Loyal Christian Benefit Association (LCBA) is a life insurance provider with a conscience: A special kind of not-for-profit organization called a fraternal benefit society.
Like commercial life and health insurers, fraternal benefit societies offer insurance products and are chartered in accordance with state insurance laws. From there the differences are significant. Fraternal benefit societies are a unique mix of business and volunteerism.
All societies are mutual aid organizations that operate under a "common bond" (ours is Christianity); insure members and their families against death, disease and disability; and use profits to provide member benefits and to support meaningful community service through organized member branches. In contrast, commercial companies use profits to pay shareholders.
LCBA (Loyal Christian Benefit Association), is a fraternal life insurance company: A non-profit corporation that returns the earnings from the sale of financial service products to its member customers and their communities in the form of numerous direct member benefits and support of local community service projects.
The benefits of joining LCBA include:
Christian Brothers Services
Christian Brothers Services is a nonprofit organization that administers cooperative programs in the areas of health/retirement, property/casualty and consulting/technology to church organizations. Founded in 1960 by Brother Joel Damian, FSC, Christian Brothers Services began as a mutual cooperative purchasing group for Chicago area high schools conducted by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. Under Brother Damian's leadership, the Brothers realized that pooling the financial resources and risk exposures of the schools would allow both the congregation and the individual institutions greater financial strength and leverage to purchase better coverage, with higher limits, at significantly reduced costs; benefits that commercial insurance carriers could not offer nonprofit organizations. Over time, the company has grown to administer and serve 11 Trusts, which provide a variety of programs to congregations, organizations and dioceses both in the United States and Canada.
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a faith-based, not-for-profit membership organization nearly 2.5 million members strong. It is a Fortune 500 financial services organization with the strength of more than $75 billion in assets under management.
Being membership-owned, Thrivent Financial's focus is on their members, supporting the values of faith, family, stewardship and service. "You'll see it in the ways we help you and your family achieve financial security. You'll feel it in how we help members connect with each other. And you'll be proud of how we help members invest in their communities and congregations" is their promise.
Source: Hassan Scott Odierno, Actuarial Partners