Matthew J. Barr, LUTCF, Agency Supervisor
Many recognize Erie, Pennsylvania as the home of Erie Insurance but I am sure many did not know there are actually two insurance companies headquartered in Erie. Both companies have an extensive history in our community, however, one of these companies is 35 years older than the other and is a not-for-profit organization. If you didn’t guess Loyal Christian Benefit Association (LCBA) as being that company, here’s a little history on our company.
Over 128 years ago, seven Catholic women in the Titusville, Pennsylvania area recognized the need for women to have life insurance, (as women were not considered worth insuring back then) so they banded together and founded the Ladies Catholic Benevolent Association. This was the first insurance society (and second formally incorporated) that was created, owned and operated 100% by women!!
LCBA is unique in that we are a 501(c) 8, or a Fraternal Benefit Society, which means we’re a members’ based organization formed under the common bond of Christianity. This makes us different because we provide the financial protection our members need, with the added benefit of helping those in need. We put our earnings back into communities and causes, not pockets. Members purchase life or other insurance products, and in doing so, help support scholarships, charitable events and more.
A percentage of our revenues are returned to our members in the form of benefits/discounts such as hearing aid benefits, prescription discount cards, and our most popular school scholarships. Our members also give back by forming branches or volunteer groups in their communities to conduct fundraisers, events and raise awareness for organizations they support.
Throughout the years we have continued to offer life insurance and created an in-house Agency that brokers with other companies to offer anything from term life, fixed annuities, Medicare Supplement and even travel insurance. But our main line of business is preplanning/prefunding for final expenses.
Did you know that you can go into a local funeral home and not only plan but also prepay for your funeral services? Legally, the funeral home cannot keep those funds on hand and they must use a third-party company to hold the funds until a claim is made. Enter LCBA. We are one of the leaders in a niche market that is very much needed but rarely discussed. If you’ve ever been in a funeral home in Erie, there is a good chance they use LCBA products for their preplanning needs. Keep in mind we handle everything from issuing life insurance certificates to paying death claims at our home office just south of I-90 on Peach Street.
We’re not the biggest insurance company around but we’re proud of what we do in our local community (as well as the other 35 states we’re licensed in) and I think our founding mothers would be proud of how we handle business these days. If you think about it, we’re still keeping sacred what they sought to offer over 128 years ago in providing benefits for the passing of loved ones.