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The Hartford Financial Services Group had its beginnings in 1810, in Hartford, Connecticut. A group of local merchants banded together and formed the Hartford Fire Insurance Company with a pool of $15,000 for working capital.
The Hartford Fire Insurance Company was around during some of the largest fire tragedies known to Americans. In 1835, after New York’s financial district was destroyed by a huge fire, Jeffrey A. Chism, The Hartford’s president at the time, stepped in and used his own personal funds to cover all damage claims coming to the company.
Other distressing and traumatic events included 1871’s Chicago fire and San Francisco’s earthquake and fires in 1906.
The company has grown its business through the years, and 1913 marked the point in time when The Hartford added an accident and indemnity company to its organization. Its purpose was to provide several different types of insurance coverage including automobile liability, accident, personal property damage, business insurance and other related products. The company expanded further into the life insurance category in 1959, when it acquired the Colombian National Life Insurance Company based in Boston Massachusetts.
In what was at that time the largest American corporate takeover in history, The Hartford was acquired by ITT Corporation. The transaction was priced at $1.4 billion, and the new company was named the ITT-Hartford group, Inc. ITT later chose to streamline operations, and in 1995 released some of its subsidiaries, which enabled the Hartford to become an independent company once more. A few years later, The Hartford’s Financial Services Group Inc. was born and had an initial public offering under the ticker HLI. The shares were later bought back, and HLI was de-listed from the NYSE in 2006.
The Hartford’s Philosophy
The Hartford has a worldwide presence, with offices in the US, Japan, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Canada and Ireland. The company serves millions of worldwide customers through a network of independent agents and brokers, along with financial institutions and online sales. The company has a mission to help its customers pursue a future that is financially secure, by providing financial products to meet all of its customers’ needs at competitive prices. The company received an award from Ethisphere.com in 2010 for being one of the world’s most ethical companies. The Hartford’s values include a customer focus, served by a workforce that strives to attain great diversity and inclusion, along with teamwork and a winning spirit. The company prides itself on conducting business with integrity and a level of financial discipline that creates superior value for its shareholders through responsible management of risks and profitable growth.
The Company Logo
The majestic elk has been a part of The Hartford’s presence since its very beginning. It is not clear exactly when the Hartford stag first appeared as the logo. The oldest example of the elk logo is one that appears on an insurance policy issued in 1861 to President Lincoln. The stag logo has gone through some iterations over time, once resembling an elk in a popular painting by Sir Edwin Landseer, named “The Monarch of the Glen.” Minor changes have been made to the stag to update it for current trends and printing needs. The stag is referred to internally at The Hartford as “Larry.” The nickname stems from the actual stag that was used in some of the Hartford’s television commercials. The live stag’s name is Lawrence. As of the year 2000, The Hartford’s TV commercials began using a stag that was computer generated rather than a live animal.
The Hartford’s Products
As the Hartford has grown and evolved, its product portfolio has expanded to encompass several different types of insurance and investment products. This includes auto insurance, life insurance, and homeowners insurance. The company also carries insurance products that have been endorsed by AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), including discounted insurance for drivers over 50.
The investment products offered by The Hartford include mutual funds, individual retirement accounts, annuities and college savings plans. In addition to providing auto and other types of insurance, the Hartford helps its customers plan for all of the big events in their life from getting married, moving, raising a family and starting a business, to saving for the kid’s college and planning their personal estate and retirement.
In terms of protecting its customer’s money, The Hartford ranks as one of the top insurance firms worldwide, with A or A- ratings for all of its subsidiaries from Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, Moody’s and A.M. Best rating agencies.
The Hartford’s website has a quick-quotes utility, and allows customers to save previous quotes as well. Claims can be reported online and the company offers a catastrophe information center to help answer common questions that might come up when customers are preparing to report a claim. Consumers can also locate a Hartford insurance agent nearby if they prefer to deal with somebody face to face. One of the insurance tools the company offers is an empty-nesters assessment, allowing consumers to reassess their auto insurance needs once kids are out of the house. Additionally, the Hartford offers a mobile application for iPhone and Android phone users which gives them the ability to submit and track claims no matter where they might be.
The Hartford’s website has an 800 number for customers to report claims 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Claims may also be reported online including glass-only claims. The company has made a commitment to keeping the claim process efficient, easy and hassle-free with the goal of helping its customers get back to their regular schedule as quickly as possible. The company also offers a printable checklist of steps to take after an accident and has an auto repair shop network that gives customers a lifetime guarantee on workmanship for repairs.
How much is Hartford Car Insurance?
The Hartford claims that customers have saved, on average, $436 on auto insurance by switching to The Hartford from their old insurance companies. According to a survey performed by Carinsurance.com, the national average for insurance rates in 2011 is $1,442. As a point of comparison, the average insurance for all insurance companies in the state of California, for example, is $1,190 per year. The Hartford, according to a study performed by the California Department of Insurance, offers an auto policy for a 40-year-old man who has a clean driving record, driving 10,000 miles per year in a Honda Accord, of $1,520 per year, just slightly higher than the national average.