History

A Legacy of Innovation and
Social Commitment

We stay true to our purpose through good times and bad

family temperance pledge

Founded to Pursue a Social Cause

Phoenix is founded by a group of prominent business, religious and civic leaders in Hartford, Connecticut as the American Temperance Life Insurance Company, a company that insures only those who abstain from alcohol.

1851
Ad for Home Life Insurance

First Life Insurance Company in New York

Home Life Insurance Company, which later merges with Phoenix, is formed in Brooklyn, N.Y. It is the first life insurer approved by the newly founded New York Insurance Department to do business in the state.

1860
Sales Aid

American Temperance Becomes Phoenix Mutual Life

American Temperance Life Insurance Company changes its name to Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company, as the temperance movement wanes and the nation turns its attention to the Civil War.

1861
Abe Lincoln

Phoenix Insures Abraham Lincoln

The Phoenix Board of Directors votes that the premiums on policies issued to President Lincoln, Vice President Hamlin and Speaker Colfax "be tendered to them as a gratuity." After Lincoln is assassinated, Phoenix issues a policy to the new president, Andrew Johnson, "free for one year."

1865
Chicago Fire

Legacy of Civic Support Begins in Chicago

After the devastating Chicago fire, Phoenix contributes $5,000 to a fund for survivors. This is our first recorded major act of corporate giving. Learn about Phoenix's current community involvement.

1871
Thompkins square riot

Survives Economic Downturn

Inflation is rampant and more than 100 life insurance companies close their doors, but Phoenix and Home Life hold fast. When Home Life becomes a target for an unwanted takeover, its Board of Directors takes a creative approach to persuade stockholders not to sell: It pays them their interest in gold.

1874
1893 Phoenix Policy

Policy of the Day

See a typical policy that was issued, in large part, by hand to Joseph Kopf, a 19 year-old grocery clerk in Cleveland Ohio as he began his career.

1893
First Employee Communication Program

Builds First Employee Communication Program

Phoenix publishes The Field, believed to be the first agent newsletter. One of America's first employee communications efforts, the program helped build a common culture across the country.

1901
First Agent Training Course

Launches First Agent Training Course

Phoenix introduces "A Prospectus and Ten Lessons Upon Life Insurance," which is the first agent training course used by a life insurance company. By increasing the professionalism of its advisors, the company created a strong reputation for years to come.

1906
First Use of Direct Mail

First to Use Direct Mail Marketing

Phoenix becomes the first life insurer to use direct mail advertising to obtain sales leads. Far ahead of its time, the effort helped agents across the country grow their local agencies.

1912
retire on $200

Launches first ad to drive insurance demand

Phoenix creates the first advertisement to promote the value of life insurance for the general public. It runs in Literary Digest. Three years later, Phoenix runs ads for its retirement income plan in national magazines, stating, “You don't have to be rich to retire at 55 on $200 a month.”

1923
Business of Running a Home

Helps customers with Financial Planning

Phoenix has strong ideals on the responsibility of service and distributes "The Business of Running a Home” to help its customers create security and peace of mind through effective financial planning and budgeting.

1926
Planned Estates Program

Focuses on Needs-Based Selling

Home Life introduces “Planned Estates,” a marketing program that emphasizes “problems to solve, not prospects to sell.” Decades ahead of its time, it encourages agents to become financial advisors. Home Life's business grows 60 percent from 1933 to 1939 as a result of the shift in practices.

1933
First to Reduce Rates for Women

First Company to Reduce Rates for Women

Recognizing that women generally live longer than men, Phoenix is the first company to offer reduced life insurance premium rates for women.

1955
Life and health logo

Enters the Group Life & Health Market

Pioneering a new concept in the insurance industry, Phoenix begins selling group life and health insurance plans to help fuel the growth of small businesses. This allows smaller businesses to offer employees benefits usually available only through larger corporations.

1957
Boat Building

Spurs Urban Renewal in Hartford

Phoenix builds a new corporate headquarters - the world's first two-sided office building - in Hartford, Connecticut. The building serves as a catalyst for the city's redevelopment. See photo gallery.

1963
Hazards of Smoking

Recognizes Hazards of Smoking

As the hazards of smoking gain mainstream public awareness, Phoenix is the first to offer discounted premiums on all policies to nonsmokers.

1967
Estate Planning Market Innovation

Strengthens Position in the Estate Planning Market

Survivorship or “second-to-die” policies are introduced, paying a benefit upon the death of the surviving policyholder. This success of this product enables the company to claim a preeminent role in the estate planning sector.

1982
Phoenix and Home Life Merger

Merges with Home Life

Phoenix and Home Life successfully navigate a major national real estate downturn by merging to create stronger company. The combination creates efficiencies and a top-25 U.S. carrier. The new company is called Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Company.

1992
NYSE

Successfully Launches IPO

Phoenix converts from a mutual to a stock company in order to create more flexibility for growth. The new public company is called The Phoenix Companies, Inc., trading under the symbol PNX.

2001
Boat Building

Headquarters Recognized as Historic Building

Phoenix's Hartford headquarters, the two-sided “boat building,” is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The company makes another major contribution to the Hartford skyline, donating a 2.2-acre site for the home of the new Connecticut Science Center. Learn more about the boat building.

2005
2007 Financial Crisis

Navigates Financial Crisis

The collapse of the Lehman Brothers and the mortgage market meltdown created stress for many financial institutions. Phoenix carefully worked through these challenges and adapted its business to reflect current economic conditions.

2007-2008
Saybrus Logo

Launches New Distribution Company

Phoenix forms a distribution company, Saybrus Partners, to sell Phoenix products and provide dedicated life insurance and annuity sales support to partner companies.

2009
Fixed Indexed Annuities

Focuses on growing retirement needs

Phoenix launches a line of fixed indexed annuity offerings to meet growing retirement needs as the first baby boomers turn 65. See Phoenix's current annuity portfolio.

2010

Nassau Re Founded

Nassau Re is founded and, over the next two years acquires Phoenix, Saybrus Partners, Constitution Life and CorAmerica and forms Nassau Re Cayman, and Nassau Corporate Credit.

2015
nassau re logo

Phoenix Rebranded as Nassau Re

Nassau Re becomes the consumer-facing brand for all insurance sales. Going forward, under the Nassau Re brand name, we will continue to:

  • Build your trust through reliability & consistency
  • Focus on what matters most to you as a policyholder
  • Provide good value for the products you purchased
  • Deliver quality service over the coming years
2018