During the past decade, ELCO Mutual Life and Annuity nearly tripled its size by providing safe and sound products to our policyholders. We do not have hidden fees or administrative costs. Our products are designed to be simple and easy to understand for the best interest to our number one customer, the policyholder. This has been a constant philosophy for our policyholders for over 74 years!
Another priority for us is our customer service. We may be one of the last companies who actually answer the telephone with people. Our staff does an excellent job in servicing our policyholders. This is evident by the low number of complaints. We had only four complaints in 2019, which is what we have averaged for over two decades. Why? Because we listen and we care.
In 2019, we continued our growth despite the Federal Reserve decreasing interest rates on three different occasions. Assets are over $900 million and our surplus, which is the safety margin for our policyholders is $85 million. This means that we back every $100 of liability with $109.45 of assets. The 25 largest insurers average $107 in this category.
We are fortunate to have a relationship with J P Morgan Asset Management. In the current economic climate with challenges such as inversion and tight yields, they have provided us with a robust investment portfolio and safe alternatives to produce safe and sound yields.
For over 20 years we have offered Medicaid Compliant Annuities. Working with a nationally renowned Medicaid Attorney and his agency, Krause Financial Services. Our relationship with them has provided a good standing with the state Medicaid agencies.
Our Multi-Year Guaranteed Annuities are designed for seniors with annual free withdrawals of principal of 15% and never a penalty on the interest accrued. Some companies offer similar looking products, but unlike ELCO, they place a portion of the financial risk on the consumer.
We have offered preneed life insurance through our associates at Senior Advantage Consultants for nearly a quarter of a century. We also offer final expense and ordinary whole life insurance with very competitive rates. Our life portfolio, like all of our products are fair and provide good benefits. And, as a mutual company, all of ELCO's whole life products are participating, meaning they have the opportunity to grow using non-guaranteed dividends.
We look forward to the next decade starting in 2020 by continuing to offer consumer designed product. After all, this is what is expected of our owners, the policyholders.
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