The Travelers Companies Company History Timeline

(14,419 Jobs)

Saint Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. was founded March 5, 1853, in St Paul, Minnesota, serving local customers who were having a difficult time getting claim payments in a timely manner from insurance companies on the east coast of the United States.


The Travelers Insurance Company was founded in Hartford by James G. Batterson, a stone contractor who became aware for the first time of accident insurance for travelers (i.e., an early form of travel insurance) while traveling in England in 1859 from Leamington to London.


Public Company Incorporated: 1863 as The Travelers Insurance CompanyEmployees: 35,000Assets: $56.75 billionStock Exchanges: New York Pacific London


On March 24, 1864, James G. Batterson, founder of The Travelers Insurance Company, met local banker James Bolter at the Hartford, Connecticut, post office.


In 1865 Travelers began selling life insurance, becoming the first insurance company to offer more than one line of insurance.


The now-iconic red umbrella first appeared in Travelers advertising as early as 1870, but at that time was not yet the official logo.


Employer’s liability, a predecessor of workers’ compensation, was first sold in the United States by a British company in 1885.


In 1897 Travelers wrote its first automobile policy.


In 1901 James G. Batterson died, leaving control of the company to Sylvester Dunham.


Before 1902 the company’s agents were responsible for selling policies, recruiting agents, and for performing administrative chores.


In 1903 the first class of 12 agents began training at the industry’s first vocational school, started by Travelers.


He started his career at Travelers as an office boy for J. G. Batterson, and was soon promoted to actuary, and, in 1907, secretary of the company.


Group insurance, which would later make up a substantial segment of Travelers’s business, was introduced in 1913, written for the employees of the Ohio Electric Railway Company.


After World War I, in May 1919, the Travelers introduced a comprehensive aviation insurance program which included life, public liability, workers’ compensation, and passenger accident policies.


Travelers also published one of the first aviation-safety publications, Airplanes and Safety, in 1920.


When the stock market crashed in 1929, many institutional investors were ruined.


One such incident occurred in 1933, when a policyholder sent a letter to the company threatening to kill himself unless Travelers agreed to loan him one-third of his policy’s face value for three years at 5%. The letter gave instructions to reply in the public notices section of The New York Times.


In 1955 all of a homeowner’s insurance needs—fire, personal liability, windstorm, medical coverage for outsiders injured on the premises, and living expenses when a home becomes uninhabitable—were included in the Homeowners Policy.

Budd had joined the company in 1955 as an actuarial assistant.


In 1957 a building was dedicated to an education center, and a dormitory, Denniston Hall, named for the first instructor housed the students.


In 1958 Travelers opened its first suburban neighborhood branch office, near Atlanta, Georgia.

Also in 1958, with business booming, Travelers installed its first computer to help keep up with the paperwork.


In the ten years after the war, accidents increased 30%, and the cost of bodily injury claims rose 86%. Travelers began losing money on its automobile liability lines until 1959, when the company began basing insurance rates on a driver’s safety record.


In 1960 the company adopted the familiar red umbrella as a symbol of the protection provided by Travelers’s policies.


In 1965 Sterling Tooker, the company’s new president, announced Travelers’s intention to respond to the changes that were slowing the company’s growth.

At the end of 1965 Travelers Insurance Company reorganized its capital structure, becoming The Travelers Corporation.


In 1967 The Travelers entered the mutual funds business when it opened the Travelers Equities Fund.


The company’s diversification served as a buffer in 1968 when property and casualty underwritings lost $64 million.


In 1969 Sterling Tooker resigned as president and CEO of The Travelers Corporation and was succeeded by Roger C. Wilkins.


In 1971 Morrison H. Beach became The Travelers’ president and Roger Wilkins became chairman.


In 1974 The Travelers restructured its departments, splitting the property and casualty division along personal and commercial lines.

He became senior vice president in charge of the property and casualty business in 1974.


Morrison Beach became chairman, and remained CEO until 1981.


In 1982 The Travelers expanded its activities in the securities market when it purchased the clearing unit of Moseley, Hallgarten, Estabrook, and Weeden.


In 1986 it became a major player in securities with its $157.5 million purchase of Dillon, Reed & Company, one of Wall Street’s oldest investment-banking firms.


In 1987 Travelers suffered a substantial second-quarter loss of $337 million because of doubtful real estate investments it had made in the Southwest.


In 1995 it became The Travelers Group. It was bought by Primerica in December 1993, but the resulting company retained the Travelers name.


It bought Aetna's property and casualty business in 1996.


In April 1998, the Travelers Group merged with Citicorp to form Citigroup.


However, the synergies between the banking and insurance arms of the company did not work as well as planned, so Citigroup spun off Travelers Property and Casualty into a subsidiary company in 2002, although it kept the red umbrella logo.


In 2003, Travelers bought renewal rights for Royal & SunAlliance Personal Insurance and Commercial businesses.


In 2004, the St Paul and Travelers Companies merged and renamed itself St Paul Travelers, with the headquarters set in St Paul, Minnesota.


On June 8, 2009, Travelers replaced its former parent Citigroup on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.


In November 2010, Travelers entered into a joint venture agreement under which the company would invest in J. Malucelli Participações em Seguros e Resseguros S.A., the market leader in the surety insurance business in Brazil.


The transaction closed in June 2011 with Travelers acquiring a 43.4 percent interest.


At the time, Travelers had the option to increase its investment to retain a 49.5 percent interest, which the company later did in 2012.

J. Malucelli commenced writing property casualty business in 2012.


In June 2013, Travelers announced the acquisition of Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company from E-L Financial Corporation Limited (TSX: ELF). The transaction later closed in November 2013.


On August 4, 2015, the company announced that Alan Schnitzer would succeed Jay Fishman as Chief Executive Officer effective December 1, 2015.

The company's joint venture with J. Malucelli in Brazil completed the acquisition of a majority interest in Cardinal Compañía de Seguros, a Colombian start-up surety provider in September 2015.

In October 2015, Travelers acquired a majority interest in the property casualty business of its J. Malucelli joint venture in Brazil.


In March 2017, Travelers agreed to acquire UK-based Simply Business from Aquiline Capital Partners for approximately $490 million.

On August 4, 2017, Travelers completed its previously announced acquisition of Simply Business, a leading provider of small business insurance policies in the United Kingdom.


On August 15, 2018, Travelers acquired the majority stake of Zensurance, a digital business insurance brokerage in Canada.

In 2018, Travelers ranked 106 on the Fortune 500 list of largest United States companies.


"The Travelers Corporation ." International Directory of Company Histories. . (April 15, 2021).

Company Founded
New York, NY
Company Headquarter
Stanley Tollman
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