Our rich, proud 222-year history reads like a book and it tells the story of how our company was founded and has been an integral part of the lives of the people of Baltimore, Maryland and Pennsylvania since 1794. It‘s a history that also illustrates the quality, success and staying power of our unique homeowners insurance product — perpetual insurance. So read on and find out why we’ve provided perpetually good homeowners insurance for the last 222 years, and why we are confident we will be around to do the same for the next 222 years.
We have an extraordinary team of people at Baltimore Equitable Insurance. Our Chief Executive Officer, Mary B. Harlee — pictured here with Joseph Townsend, our Treasurer from 1794-1841 — leads our entire organization. Mary is assisted by the best underwriters, claims specialists, accounting professionals, and support staff in the insurance industry.
Together, we provide our customers with an unbeatable level of knowledge and experience of perpetual insurance. As our policyholders can attest, we also provide great customer service. We will deal with all your questions, concerns and claims in a friendly and timely manner, while ensuring that your needs are met every step of the way.
Our team can boast decades of loyalty to Baltimore Equitable Insurance. Mary B. Harlee, Chief Executive Officer, has been with Baltimore Equitable Insurance in various roles since 1983. The majority of our employees have been with the company for over five years, and some for over ten years. Stephen Donaldson, the Vice-President and Sales Manager started with the company in 2000, celebrating over fifteen years of serving our Baltimore Equitable Insurance policyholders. Thus we can proudly say, when it comes to perpetual insurance, we have the best team of people working hand in hand with you.
Some of the most respected individuals in Baltimore serve on our board. They represent the best attributes of Baltimore Equitable Insurance.
Tedd M. Alexander III
Vice President of T. Rowe Price Group Inc., Institutional Client Service Executive
Richard O. Berndt
Managing Partner, Gallagher Evelius & Jones LLP
Juliet A. Eurich
Executive Director, Alvin and Fanny B. Thalheimer Foundation
Freeman A. Hrabowski III
President, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
David W. Kinkopf
Partner at Gallagher, Evelius & Jones
John D. Linehan
Vice President of T. Rowe Price Group Inc., Portfolio Manager of T. Rowe Price Equity Income Fund
Hugh W. Mohler
Partner, Employee One Benefits Solution
Philip J. Raub
Retired, Harford Mutual Insurance Company
Arnold I. Richman
Chairman, The Shelter Group
James S. Riepe
Senior Advisor and Retired Vice Chairman, T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.
Marjorie Rodgers Cheshire
President and Chief Operating Officer, A&R Development Corp
Perpetual insurance is a unique insurance product that’s really great for your home and your bank balance — and it’s completely different and far more cost effective than ordinary homeowners insurance like what you get from Geico, Progressive and Allstate.
With ordinary homeowners insurance, you pay a yearly premium, your rates go up on a yearly basis (more so if you have made any claims during the year), and you never get any of your money back from the insurance company. Not so with Baltimore Equitable Insurance. With our perpetual insurance policy, there are no monthly premiums. You pay one lump sum at the start, and then you are covered perpetually after that. The only other payments you ever have to make are small, yearly payments as the value of your home goes up, to simply cover the cost of insuring the increase in value. And that’s it!
Additionally, once you lock in your rate, it’ll never go up, no matter how many claims you make. So for instance, if you take out a perpetual insurance policy in 2016, you will pay 2016 rates for the entire time you have the policy — even if you make a claim.
We also offer disappearing deductible options that reward you for claim-free years. Each year without a claim, your deductible is reduced by either $100 or $200 per year (depending on the deductible chosen). After five consecutive claim-free years, your deductible disappears. And while a claim would re-start the cycle, the deductible applied to that claim (depending on where you were in the disappearing cycle) could be as low as zero.
Finally, and best of all, if you ever decide to cancel your policy, we’ll give all your money back — every single dime you’ve ever paid. How are we able to do that? Because we make money on the interest from our customers deposits, not the premiums. Thus the deposit you pay stays intact and when you cancel your policy, we can give you all your money back.
We think it makes great financial sense to purchase a Baltimore Equitable Insurance policy and here’s why:
After the initial phone call and estimate of deposit, a friendly, experienced team member will meet with you in person in order to arrive at a cost to rebuild your home.
For this example a home that would cost $400,000 to rebuild, would require about a $16,000 deposit.
|Refunded deposit upon
You would pay this initial deposit just once, in place of a yearly premium. After that, you only make further refundable deposits to increase coverage as the value of your home goes up, or if you add on to your house. If you ever wish to cancel your policy, you get back all the money you’ve paid in, every single dime, no matter how many claims you’ve made.
In Maryland, the average homeowners premium is currently $850 a year, which adds up to a lot of money over time — especially when it’s money that you’ll never see again. So in our opinion, the math is easy. You can be in the red by $850 a year with Allstate, Progressive or Geico, or be perpetually $16,000 in the black with Baltimore Equitable Insurance.
That’s why, when all is said and done, our perpetual insurance policy adds up to a much better choice for homeowners.
A Baltimore Equitable perpetual insurance policy is an asset. A premium paid to a traditional insurance company is a liability. That's the basic difference that makes our perpetual insurance superior.
Baltimore Equitable’s policy is an asset because it's something the policyholder owns and therefore has financial value. A premium paid to a traditional insurance company, on the other hand, has no value to the policyholder at all once the premium is paid. Those dollars are the property of the insurance company, while the money you pay to Baltimore Equitable is still your money.
Our product serves only this region. While that's unfortunate for residents of other states, our geographic limitations provide a great benefit for our clients: prices remain affordable because our customers don't share the cost burden associated with higher risk areas of the country. Given all the ways it benefits you, it’s no wonder that our perpetual homeowners insurance is perpetually the best policy you can buy.
Your “quote” or the amount of your refundable deposit is based on the cost to rebuild your home today. But as we all know, costs to rebuild—material and labor costs—go up as the years go by. That’s why we review your policy each year and make a recommendation to keep you up to date. These increases are added to your fully refundable deposit. Other changes in coverage can occur if you remodel or add to your home. The good news is that unlike premiums from a traditional insurance company, your current home’s original rate will never increase. So even if you do have to add coverages, you’ll be doing it at the original cost per thousand.
We handle claims the same way a traditional homeowners insurance company would — only better. Prompt and fair claims are one reason we've managed to thrive for over 200 years. What makes our claims process special? We use our own adjusters, and they’re local too, so they have a better understanding of what is going on in your neighborhood. They are carefully chosen by us ensuring that each is an experienced professional who understands the importance of treating our prized policyholders with the respect they deserve.
We know there must be lots of questions going through your mind as you learn all about Perpetual Insurance. We have therefore compiled a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you have additional, or specific questions about your situation, simply give us a call during normal business hours. You will reach a “live” person who will direct your call to one of our specialists.
We have been going strong since 1794, largely because word of mouth advertising has spread the news about our unique product and dedication to our customers. Which means for over more than 222 years, thousands of customers have told their friends, neighbors, and relatives what they like about Baltimore Equitable Insurance. Here's just a small sample of what they have to say about us.
Alan: Policyholder since 1986
"I continue to be impressed by the positive experiences we have had with your claims process. I frequently recommended you to my friends."
Lisa: Policyholder since 2006
"Your company treats us like a person. I like that you know who I am and never ask for my policy number!"
Caroline: Policyholder since 2005
"A simple survey can't fully express my appreciation to you for your handling of my claim... your emotional support, sensitivity, and calm efficiency, as well as our mutual trust. These contrast sharply with other insurance companies in which the insured becomes the adversary the minute he submits a claim."
Mort: Policyholder since 1989
"We would like to take a moment and thank you for what Baltimore Equitable has done for us! This past year has been a difficult time for us, and we are grateful you helped ease our burden a bit. We are very pleased customers!"
Nathan: Policyholders since 1985
"We recommend Baltimore Equitable Insurance to one and all, as we believe that there is no better service — anywhere!"
Charles: Policyholder since 2001
"The employees and service provided by Baltimore Equitable Insurance are FANTASTIC!! You have made us "Raving Fans", and we sleep better at night knowing that you have us covered. Thank you so much!"
Carl: Policyholder since 1994
"I bought my policy in 1994. When I need more insurance, I pay 1994 prices."
We're proud of our financial strength. As of the end of 2015, Baltimore Equitable had assets of $152 million (nearly all of it liquid) and liabilities of $49 million in the form of our deposits. This means we could refund every dollar of deposit we hold 3.1 times. And as our 2015 net income of $1.2 million indicates, we're only getting stronger.
We're pleased to report that we're the very picture of financial health. We have assets of $152 million and deposits of$49 million. Another way to look at our finances—and perhaps the most illustrative way—is in terms of our surplus. If every policyholder decided to cancel their policy and we refunded all their deposits and paid our remaining debts, we would still have over $90 million in the bank. Which means in addition to a proud history, we've got a solid foundation for the future.
Since 1899, AM Best has been the measure by which the financial health of insurance companies has been taken. They look at organizations like ours in terms of financial strength and creditworthiness, as well as enterprise management risks, strategic planning, profitability, and many other areas of corporate function. We currently have an A (Excellent) Rating, which emphasizes our stability for over a century.
Click on the links for our Annual Statements and learn even more about our financial strength.