Growing up in the 1950s in a family where many members worked in the insurance industry, I considered insurance to be something quite different from business or finance or a job. Insurance was, well, something like religion — everyone had it, needed it, and seemed proud to be part of it. There was brand loyalty.

Mutual companies were big. As an insured in a mutual company, the policyholder was a part of that company and this identity meant something. Insurers with the name farm or farmers in it reflected remnants of the agrarian nation America had been, while other company names reflected other industries: Lumbermen’s, Hardware, Grain Dealers, Bankers, Millers, Manufacturers, or associations such as Farm Bureau, Grange, Auto Clubs, or well-known retailers like Sears Roebuck & Co.’s Allstate. Some insurers were named for cities such as Hartford, New York, Chicago, or St. Paul. Some reflected their historic aspects, insurers that had been around for decades, or a century, such as Fireman’s Fund, Travelers, INA, Aetna, or Liberty.

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