Through conflagrations, hurricanes and a devastating earthquake in San Francisco in 1906, Aviva Group companies insured ordinary Americans for almost 200 years.
American of Philadelphia, later part of the Commercial Union Assurance Company, is established.
The Pennsylvania Fire Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, is established.
On 2 March, the Potomac Fire Insurance Company, later part of the General Accident Fire & Life Assurance Corporation, is established “to make all kinds of insurances against loss or damage by fire and insurances on inland transportation of goods, wares, merchandise, and country produce.”
Potomac Fire changes its name to the Potomac Insurance Company of Georgetown.
The Camden Fire Insurance Association, later part of General Accident, is established.
The American Central Insurance Company of St Louis, later part of Commercial Union, is established to offer fire, tornado and marine insurance.
On 30 November, the Northern Assurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, opens a branch in San Francisco, under Smith Bros & Co and Dr Kelly.
In December, the Northern appoints Robert C Janion as agent for Honolulu.
The Northern establishes a head office in Philadelphia with resident agent William Getty.
On 3 January, the Northern opens an agency in St Louis.
The Travellers' Accident Insurance Company is founded. The company is modelled on the Railway Passengers Assurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, and is the first United States accident insurer. On 12 December, the board of Commercial Union appoints Dickson de Wolf & Co as agent for San Francisco.
The California Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, is established as a marine insurer in San Francisco.
The North British & Mercantile Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, enters the American market.
North British & Mercantile establishes operations in Boston and New York.
Camden Fire becomes a joint stock company. On 20 December, Commercial Union appoints Alliger Bros of 37 & 39 Wall Street agent for New York.
By this date, Commercial Union has begun to transact fire and marine insurance in New York. In October, a large fire in Chicago destroys 18,000 buildings and kills an estimated 300 people. North British & Mercantile's liability is $1,840,000. By 1871, the company has opened a branch at 50 William Street, New York, under the management of William Conner Jr, Charles E White and Samuel P Blagden.
In April, the Northern appoints Mr T H Davis agent for Honolulu.
By this date, North British & Mercantile has established agencies in New Orleans and San Francisco.
North British & Mercantile now has a board in Boston and appoints Magill & Dennisom agent for San Francisco.
The Ocean Marine Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, establishes a branch in New York. The North British & Mercantile New York branch is located at 54 William Street, under the management of Ezra White.
In October, Commercial Union opens an office in New York, with Alfred Pell as manager. Ocean Marine appoints an agency for New York. The Scottish Union and National Insurance Company, later part of the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society, establishes offices in Hartford, Connecticut. In June, Norwich Union Fire appoints agents for San Francisco in conjunction with the Royal and London and Lancashire companies.
Commercial Union opens a Pacific coast branch under the management of John Rae Hamilton. The South British Fire and Marine Insurance Company of New Zealand, later part of General Accident, appoints Mr W J Callingham agent for the company’s joint branch with the National Fire and Marine Insurance Company in San Francisco. Norwich Union Fire appoints Faulkner Bell & Co agent for San Francisco. Commercial Union appoints Charles Frederick Mullins agent for Chicago. The agency is located at La Salle Street and covers Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.
Norwich Union Fire opens a New York branch “for conduct of Society’s affairs in the States East of the Rocky Mountains.”
The Lion Fire Insurance Company, later part of General Accident, enters the United States market and establishes headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut. In October, Scottish Union and National appoints Martin Bennett as manager/general agent for the United States. In November, the company appoints agents for Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Massachusetts.
The Union Assurance Society, later part of Commercial Union, enters the American market. Scottish Union and National appoints Messrs MacDonal and Hawes to act in conjunction with Messrs Hagan and Manhein of the Connecticut Company as resident agents for San Francisco. Messrs J Bachman & Brother are appointed agents for Oregon.
Commercial Union appoints Hibbard & Vance marine agent for Milwaukee. The National Marine Insurance Association, later part of Commercial Union, has appointed an agent for New York. South British appoints J C Phillips & Co agent for New York; Laidlaw & Co agent for Portland, Oregon, and H W Peabody & Co agent for Boston.
The Northern operates branches in Boston at 30 Congress Street, under Alfred Bullard; in Chicago at 204 La Salle Street, under Mr W D Crooke and in San Francisco at California Street, under Robert Dickson. The company's New York head office has moved to 153 Broadway. The new manager is Henry H Hall. Walter Congreve of Norwich Union Fire visits the company's San Francisco agent, Faulkner Bell & Co, and writes that he "cannot speak too highly of" Mr Hare of the New York branch.
Norwich Union Fire appoints Edgar Wallace Carpenter agent for San Francisco. The Employers' Liability Assurance Corporation, later part of Commercial Union, opens a branch in Boston, under Endicott & Macomber, introducing the first employers’ liability insurance to the United States. An investigation by South British into its business in San Francisco reveals that the cashier employed by company agent, Mr Callingham, has embezzled $21,584. Mr Callingham pledges to repay the amount.
Mr J D MacPherson takes over the management of the United States branch of South British after the National Fire and Marine Insurance Company withdraws from the country. The Northern opens a branch in Cincinnati at 82 West Third Street, under Warren F Goodwin. Commercial Union moves to new offices in San Francisco at the Livingston Buildings on the south corner of Battery and California.
Employers Liability Assurance begins elevator insurance in America. Control of the South British branch passes to Mr A S Murray.
By this date, Commercial Union has begun to issue fire and marine policies at 301 California Street, San Francisco, under manager Mr C F Mullins and secretary Mr J L Woods. The company incorporates the Commercial Union Fire Insurance Company of New York. Union appoints Evan G Evans of 302 California Street as agent for San Francisco.
South British withdraws from the United States. By this date, the Indemnity Marine Assurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, has established operations in the United States.
Ocean Marine has appointed an agency in California, under William Herbert Philips and William Henry Charnock, while the National Assurance Company of Ireland (No 1), later part of General Accident, has appointed H M Newhall & Co of 309-311 Sansome Street as agent for San Francisco. In April, H M Newhall & Co are appointed to represent Ocean Marine.
Scottish Union and National now has agencies throughout the United States.
Camden Fire opens an office in Philadelphia.
Norwich Union Fire opens a branch in San Francisco. By this date, the Ocean Accident & Guarantee Corporation, later part of Commercial Union, has begun to write credit insurance in the United States. By this date, Ocean Marine has appointed Edmund L Woods as agent for California.
The Indemnity Fire Insurance Company of New York is established as a subsidiary of Norwich Union Fire.
Potomac has now established agencies in a number of states. By this date, Scottish Union and National has appointed Brown Eaton & Co as agent for Boston. The company has a new manager for the United States, James H Brewster, and a branch at Hartford, under manager Mr M Bennett, who also represents the Lion.
In April, General Accident begins operating a personal accident, accident, health and burglary business in Philadelphia, with William Sawtell Muir and John Paul Haughton as joint managers. They are based in a building at the northeast corner of 4th and Walnut Street, which was once home to first lady Dolly Madison. The company establishes a local insurer, the General Accident Insurance Company of Philadelphia, and acquires the business of the New England Mutual Accident Association of Boston.
The Manchester Fire and Life Assurance Company, whose accident business is later part of Norwich Union Fire, acquires the American of New York. Also by this date Union Assurance is operating from 35 Pine Street New York.
Manchester Fire and Life now has branches in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. General Accident decides to undertake liability risks in the United States.
Lion sells off its American business.
Commercial Union appoints Boit & Co as marine agent for Boston.
General Accident is now operating in 19 states and acquires a new building on the southwest corner of 4th and Walnut. The company’s agents in New York are Messrs Duer & Gillespie, who also represent the Law Fidelity and General Insurance Corporation, later part of General Accident, in New York.
Norwich Union Fire can be found at 56 & 58 Pine Street, New York, under resident manager Mr J Montgomery Hare. In the wake of the great Baltimore conflagration, Potomac pays out claims worth $225,000. Norwich Union Fire’s net losses amount to $574,000.
San Francisco is rocked by a devastating earthquake. The California Insurance Company covers losses of $1,800,000 by asking each stockholder to pay $305 for every share they hold. Union pays out £800,000 and Norwich Union Fire's net loss is $1,519,700.Following the disaster, Commercial Union acquires American of Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania Insurance Company has William E Chapin as manager at 503 & 510 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. The Northern is operating at 38 Pine Street, New York, under George W Babb and North British & Mercantile can be found at 76 William Street, New York.
General Accident reorganises its operations in the United States. William Muir and John Paul Haughton are dismissed for spending too much of their time in other activities and Franklin Moore is appointed manager in their place.
General Accident writes its first United States motor policy.
The Norwich and London Accident Insurance Association, later part of Norwich Union Fire, establishes operations in the United States.
The Indemnity Fire Insurance Company of New York ceases doing business and Norwich Union Fire withdraws from San Francisco. Ocean Accident appoints Charles Edward Dickinson agent for Seattle.
By this date Union Assurance is operating at 35 Pine Street New York.
By this date, The General Accident Insurance Company of Philadelphia is offering accident and health insurance.
Commercial Union appoints Messrs Mather & Co marine agent for Philadelphia and Adams & Porter agent for Houston.
By this date, L’Abeille Bourguignonne, later part of Commercial Union, has established operations in the United States and Commercial Union appoints David Ross Lecraw as marine underwriter for New York.
Following criticism of the unsatisfactory settlement of claims, General Accident appoints new joint managers Claude Norie-Miller and John A Kelly to replace Franklin Moore. The company acquires Potomac. The Yorkshire Insurance Company, later part of General Accident, begins direct fire business in the United States, under Mr Boyd, who is responsible for claims relating to damage caused by fire and lightening. By this date Commercial Union has appointed Dickson De Wolf & Co as agent for San Francisco.
On 12 June, the British General Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, appoints Fred S James & Co as agent for America. By this date General Accident has moved its American head office to 55 John Street, New York.
Commercial Union acquires the California Insurance Company and appoints William Betteridge manager of its marine branch in Chicago.
Potomac appoints agents for Illinois and Pennsylvania.
General Accident investigates its United States business after “ruinous underwriting of automobile liability” by Franklin Moore and “still more ruinous underwriting of liability business” by John Kelly.
Frederick Richardson is appointed manager of General Accident in America and the American head office moves back to Philadelphia. Norwich Union Fire commences marine business in the United States.
North British & Mercantile acquires the Pennsylvania Fire Insurance Company.
Commercial Union acquires the American Central Insurance Company of St Louis.
Norwich Union Fire establishes the Indemnity Company of New York for the transaction of accident business in America. By this date Scottish Union and National has moved to 75 Elm Street, Hartford, Connecticut. The Hawkeye-Security Insurance Company, later part of General Accident, is established.
The South British and New Zealand Insurance Company, later part of General Accident, open a joint office in New York, under Mr H E Kempthorne, and San Francisco, under Mr W M Speyer.
In March, the Employers Fire Insurance Company of America, later part of Commercial Union, commences business.
Scottish Union and National opens a new branch at 201 Sansome Street, San Francisco, under general agent Henry W Fore. Norwich Union Fire acquires the Eagle Fire Company of New York, which was established in 1806.
In March, the American Employers’ Insurance Company (USA), later part of Commercial Union, commences business as a subsidiary of Employers Liability. In April, the American Union Insurance Company of New York, later part of Norwich Union Fire, is incorporated with a head office at 75 Maiden Lane, New York.
General Accident officially opens its new building at 414 Walnut Street, Philadelphia. The building is designed by Frank R Watson. By this date the Yorkshire has established operations in San Francisco under McKee Sherrard.
By this date British General appoints Messrs Henry I Brown & Co as acting managers. The General Accident Insurance Company of Philadelphia is dissolved and the NZI and South British joint New York branch closes.
The Commercial Union manager in New York, Mr Palache, is replaced by Mr Koeckert, with Mr A J Makins as his deputy. The company now has branches in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta and Dallas. Also by this year British General has withdrawn from the United States.
Potomac is now operating in 40 of the 48 states, as well as having operations in Hawaii. Also by this date Palatine Insurance, a subsidiary of Commercial Union, is operating at 1 Park Avenue New York.
By this date, the General Accident New York office has moved to 100 William Street.
The General Accident United States manager, Mr Richardson, retires and is replaced by James Mitchell, with John H Grady as principal officer. The company opens new offices in Indianapolis, Dallas, Columbus, Springfield, Chicago, California and Washington.
Scottish Union and National appoints a new United States manager, Thomas R Fletcher. The company’s San Francisco branch has moved to 227 Pine Street, under manager Robert J Coolidge.
General Accident staff in America, hearing about the blitz in London, raise money to donate a mobile canteen to the UK. In 13 months, the canteen drives 17,554 miles, serving 250,000 meals to victims of the blitz and to workers, rescue parties, soldiers, firemen and demolition squads.
North British & Mercantile now has a number of subsidiaries in the United States, including the Commonwealth Insurance Company of New York, the Homeland Insurance Company of America, the Mercantile Insurance Company of America, the Pennsylvania Fire Insurance Company and the Underlying Securities Corporation.
General Accident appoints Mr A W Wilsterman manger for the United States.
General Accident purchases new office space in the Independence Building on the corner of 5th and Walnut. The Indemnity Company of New York and Eagle merge. The new company retains the Eagle name.
On May 8, the American Marine & General Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, is incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Northern.
On 15 August, General Accident forms the Pennsylvania General Insurance Company to compete in the American motor market.
On 4 June, the Potomac Insurance Company is incorporated.
In January, South British ceases writing business in the United States, apart from a small marine account in New York. By this date North British & Mercantile is operating from 150 William Street New York.
The Pennsylvania Insurance Company and the Mercantile Insurance Company of America are listed as subsidiaries of North British & Mercantile.
Norwich Union Fire withdraws from the United States market and also ends its association with Eagle.
General Accident purchases Camden Fire.
On 6 April the sale of the American Union Insurance Company of New York, a former subsidiary of Scottish Union and National, is reported to the Norwich Union Fire board.
General Accident pays out $1,200,000 in claims after Hurricane Betsy strikes Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi.
The Pennsylvania Insurance Company merges with the Commercial Union Insurance Company of New York to form a wholly owned Commercial Union subsidiary called the Employers Commercial Union Insurance Company of America. Commercial Union also forms Commercial Union Corporation Inc for the domestication of its business in the United States.
General Accident United States manager Mr Moynahan retires and is replaced by John Kaufman. The new General Accident building, Independence South, is completed. The building is 12 stories high and is the first in Pennsylvania where, in the event of fire, elevators automatically return to first floor and open.
James C Corcoran succeeds John Kaufman as General Accident manager for the United States.
Henry S Stone is replaced as Commercial Union Corporation president by Lawson Swearingen.
The General Accident Corporation of America is established.
On 2 January, Potomac changes its name to the General Accident Insurance Company of America and takes on the business of the General Accident United States branch. A new company, Potomac Insurance Company of Illinois, is established to protect the Potomac name.
In August, the General Accident Insurance Company of America acquires the North Pacific Insurance Company and the Oregon Automobile Insurance Company from the Northwest National Insurance Company.
The General Accident Insurance Company of America now employs 4,500 staff and has 35 branches.
General Accident acquires the Silvey Group of Okalahoma from Royal Group Inc, including the Midwestern Insurance Company and the Farmers and Merchants Insurance Company.
In July, General Accident acquires the Hawkeye-Security Group of Iowa from IB Holdings Inc.
Commercial Union is now operating in America as the Commercial Union Corporation of Delaware.
The Commercial Union Corporation acquires the Houston General Insurance Company.
Commercial Union Corporation acquires National Farmers Union Insurance (USA), the National Farmers Union Property and Casualty Company, the National Farmers Union Service Corporation and the National Farmers Union Standard Insurance Company. The Commercial Union Corporation merges with the General Accident Corporation of America and changes its name to the CGU Corporation.
The General Accident Insurance Company of America changes its name to the CGU Insurance Company.
CGNU, later Aviva, disposes of the CGU Corporation, the CGU Insurance Company and Potomac of Illinois.
On 13 July, AmerUs Group Co, which can trace its history back to 1896, and Aviva plc sign a definitive agreement under which Aviva will acquire AmerUs Group Co for $69 per share in cash for all outstanding shares of AmerUs Group Co common stock.
On 1 November, AmerUs Life Insurance Company changes its name to Aviva Life and Annuity Company.
On 2nd October 2013 Aviva completed the sale of Aviva USA Corporation, its US life and annuities business, to Athene Holding Ltd.