How Hartford Connecticut became Insurance Capital of the World

Hartford Connecticut has always been regarded as the Insurance Capital of the World. This honor began a few years before the American Revolution and continues today.

During the early settlement of Hartford, the area was becoming a major shipping and import destination because it is not too far from the sea. Many business owners began to ship goods to and from destinations around the World. Many of the men who invested in the goods from places such as China, West Indies, and England, began to worry about the loss of their valuables to fire, Indian attack or even worse, dreaded pirates. In the beginning, they pooled assets and insured themselves. A few years after the Revolutionary war, in 1810, the nervous business owners formed this country’s first insurance company, The Hartford Fire Insurance Company, America’s oldest insurance company.

The Hartford Fire Insurance Company is still in business today, nearly two hundred years after its formation. We know it by Hartford Insurance. This was the first of many Insurance companies who would choose to take advantage of Hartford’s growth as a major Port in the United States. Companies like Travelers and Aetna moved here in the mid 1850’s. By this time, Insurance was becoming its own industry and Hartford Connecticut the industry’s capital.

Due to the industrial growth of the east, manufacturers found it necessary to insure their machinery. Ship builders insured the ships they built as well as the passengers who traveled on them. In 1897, Travelers Insurance Company opened an office in Hartford and offered the first Automotive Insurance Policy, and the rest became history.

Aetna, another Insurance giant, moved to Hartford and began selling life insurance policies in 1850. Hartford was attracting more companies every month. Everyone wanted to be covered under insurance. It was a security blanket during unstable times. The more people who moved to Hartford, the more companies were opened to suit their needs. Insurance became a huge employment for the residents. Cigna and Metlife joined the Hartford connection in the early days making Hartford the Insurance capital of the World. Just about every major insurance company in the country, was doing business out of an office or building in Hartford.

Only in the past twenty years have things begun to change. Though many companies still call Connecticut home, many have moved to small, less crowded cities around the Connecticut Valley. Places like Bloomfield Ct, is now home to Cigna and MetLife. Travelers recently constructed a huge building in Windsor CT and Aetna is getting ready to relocate to Middletown CT.

For two centuries the Insurance Industry has been the greatest employer for Connecticut residents . Selling insurance is a major source of money for Connecticut. Many of the workers have chosen to relocate with their companies and Hartford is beginning to decline in both the Insurance Industry and in population. Despite this downward trend, Hartford Connecticut is still known as the Insurance Capital of the World.