The American Automobile Associations (AAA) was formed in 1902, when cars were just beginning to appear on our nation’s roads. They were a voice for America’s car owners, and produced maps and guides for their use. Today, they offer all types insurance, not just car insurance.
Foremost was founded in 1952 to provide insurance for mobile home owners. Today they are part of the Farmers Insurance Group. They now offer a wide variety of insurance, including some niches which other companies may not. Foremost offers insurance for seasonal homes, personal watercraft, scooters, golf carts and more.
Grange was created in 1935, during the Great Depression, to provide insurance for members of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. Today they offer insurance to everyone and sell exclusively through independent agents.
According to their website, “Hagerty exists to keep classic cars on the road.” On their site they have valuations tools, as well as articles and videos about classic cars. They also insure classic trucks, motorcycles, boats, and military vehicles. If you have a World War II Sherman tank or Willys Jeep that you want to insure, Hagerty can cover it. All vehicles must be de-militarized, so if you still use your tank to fire live shells, they won’t insure it.
The Hanover Insurance Group consists of over a dozen different companies. Their founding in 1852 pre-dates the American Civil War. Originally the Hanover Fire Insurance Company, they had to deal with three major fires within six years after the war. In 1866, 1,800 buildings in Portland Maine burned down. The Great Chicago Fire burned three square miles of the city in 1871. Only one year later, Boston suffered a fire which torched nearly half of the city. Today they provide a variety of personal and business insurance, sold exclusively through independent agents.
The Hartford’s founding occurred in 1810, back when James Madison was president. In the past two centuries they have had a couple presidents as clients. In 1861, they insured Abraham Lincoln’s Illinois home when he left to become president. They also insured President Eisenhower’s farm in Gettysburg, which he used as a presidential retreat. They have also insured some well-known landmarks, such as Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Liberty Mutual opened in 1912 as the Massachusetts Employees Insurance Association and provided workers compensation insurance. Six years later, they began providing automotive insurance. Liberty Mutual was an early promoter of workplace safety. They produced a 400-page safety manual entitled Industrial Accident Prevention. Liberty Mutual also produced a silent film in 1920 called The hand of Fate for training purposes. They also advocated for safety measures such as guards around industrial machinery and emergency shut-off escalator switches. Today they provide a range of personal and business insurance products and their loss prevention unit continues to promote workplace safety.
Nationwide began operations in Ohio as Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company during 1926. Seven years later they added fire insurance to their offerings, and acquired Life Insurance Company of America in 1935. The name change to Nationwide occurred in 1955 when the company set a goal of selling insurance across the country. Today the company provides financial services as well as insurance.
If you have ever watched television, you have no doubt seen Flo (Actually Stephanie Courtney) plugging Progressive Insurance, and wisely recommending that you bundle your home and auto insurance. She debuted in 2008 and has become so popular that you can now get a Flo costume for Halloween at Party City. Progressive Mutual Insurance Company was launched in 1937. It has a history of innovation in the insurance industry, including:
- First drive-in claims location
- First to offer buy by phone
- First auto insurer to with a website
- First to offer instant online quotes
Travelers was founded in Hartford during 1864, while the Civil War was raging. It introduced accident insurance to the United States. One of its first customers was the president of a local bank. Travelers insured him on his four city block walk from the bank to his home for two cents. The 1855 founding of St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company occurred in the territory of Minnesota. Minnesota became a state three years later. These two companies merged in 2004. Today they offer all types of personal insurance from weddings to pets. They also offer a variety of insurance products for many different industries.
General Insurance Company of America began operation in 1923. They created a subsidiary called Selective Auto and Fire Insurance Company of America (SAFECO) in 1953. It was so successful that they renamed the company SAFECO in the late 1960s. They became part of Liberty Mutual in 2008, and now focus exclusively on personal insurance.
The Donegal Insurance Group story began in the small town of Marietta in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, where a small group of farmers came together to provide mutual protection for their farms and property. On May 13, 1889, James A. Beaver, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, issued Letters of Patent to the Donegal and Conoy Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Marietta, Pennsylvania. Today, the Company offers personal and commercial property and casualty insurance in 26 states.