Aviva Life and Annuity Company

The Aviva Life and Annuity Company was incorporated on February 14 1896 as the Central Life Assurance Society of the United States. On July 21 1994, the company merged with the American Mutual Life Insurance Company. It was renamed the American Mutual Life Insurance Company on December 31 1994. On July 13 2006, the company announced that it had been acquired by Aviva plc.

Company History

Amerus

Central Life Assurance Society magazine, Christmas 1916

Amerus

Hulbert Mulock, Central Life Assurance Society President (and former Mayor of Des Moines), demonstrating sales techniques, c.1937

Amerus

Central Life Assurance Society banner

Amerus

Central Life Assurance Society agents

Amerus

Central Life Assurance Company advertisement

The company was founded by George Breckinridge Peak, who had trained as a minister but had been unable to continue as a result of damaging his vocal cords after contracting typhoid fever. Established in Iowa, it was based on conservative business principles and providing true protection for policyholders.

The company primarily dealt in providing whole life policies and its first claim, for $150, was registered after five years of trading. By 1900 the company had 1093 policies in force.

In 1902, the company demutualised and became a corporation. It remutualised in 1919.

The company insured a woman for the first time in 1904. Initially, however, any woman accepted for coverage had to have been married at least two years and have given birth to at least one child. The company was the first in the country to insure children before their first birthday, taking advantage of the baby boom. By 1948, its assets had increased by more than $1 million on the strength of this niche business.

On August 16 1950, the company was renamed the Central Life Assurance Company.

During the 1980s, the company diversified moving into real estate, mortgages, leasing and retail banking. On June 30 1996, the company was renamed the AmerUs Life Insurance Company. Finally, on November 1 2007, following its acquisition by Aviva, the company became known as the Aviva Life and Annuity Company.

In 2013 Aviva completed the sale of Aviva USA Corporation, its US life and annuities business, to Athene Holding Ltd.

Key dates

Year Event
1896 The company is established
1902 The company demutualises and becomes a corporation
1919 The company remutualises
1923 The company drops "of the United States" from its name
1950 Name changes to the Central Life Assurance Company
1994 The company merges with the American Mutual Life Insurance Company
1994 Name changes to the American Mutual Life Insurance Company
1996 Name changes to the AmerUs Life Insurance Company
2006 The company is acquired by Aviva
2007 Name changes to the Aviva Life and Annuity Company
2013 Aviva completed the sale of Aviva USA Corporation, its US life and annuities business, to Athene Holding Ltd

Subsidiaries and constituents*

Year Company name
- 1933 Illinois Life Insurance Company of Chicago
- 1939 General Mutual Life Insurance Company of Van Wert, Ohio
- 1982 Park Leasing
1895 - 1982 The Wisconsin Life Insurance Company (sold to Lincoln National in 1990)
1878 - 1984 BC Christopher Securities Company (sold 1987 to Fahnestock Corporation)
1908 - 1985 Interstate Assurance Company
c1951 - 1985 Iowa Realty
- 1988 Midland Financial Savings and Loan
- 1994 Carol Jones Realty
1897 - 1994 American Mutual Life Insurance Company
1983 - 1996 Ameritas Variable Life Insurance Company
- 1997 AmVestors Financial Corporation
- 1997 Delta Life Corporation
1905 - 2001 Indianapolis Life Insurance Company
1981 - 2005 American Vanguard Life Insurance Company

* Please note the first date given is the date of the establishment of the company and the second date is the date the company was acquired or became a subsidiary. Where only one date is given the company was established as a subsidiary of the parent company. Where one date is preceded by a hyphen the date of the establishment of the company is not known.

Head office premises

Year Address
1896 - 1897 Room in Van Ginkel Building, Fourth Street, Des Moines
1897 - 1905 Observatory Building, Fourth Street and Locust Street, Des Moines
1914 - 1954 Royal Union Building (renamed Insurance Exchange Building), Seventh Street and Grand Street, Des Moines
1954 - 1994 Central Life Building, Des Moines
1994 - Hub Tower, Des Moines

Staff and officials

President

Year Name
1895 - 1895 Byron A Beeson
1895 - 1896 David T Stanley
1896 - 1897 William McFarland
1897 - 1922 George B Peek
1923 - 1927 Oliver Miller
1927 - 1932 Dr Thomas C Denny
1932 - 1937 George Ayres
1937 - 1949 E Hulbert Mulock
1949 - 1964 William F Poorman
1964 - 1972 Norman T Fuhlrodt
1972 - 1992 Roger K Brooks
1992 - 1994 D T Doan
1995 - 1995 James J Streck
1995 - 1996 D T Doan
1996 - 2003 Roger K Brooks
2003 - Thomas C Godlasky

Secretary

Year Name
1895 - 1897 George B Peek
1897 - 1917 H G Everett
1917 - 1926 Dr Thomas C Denny
1926 - 1927 E Hulbert Mulock
1927 - 1947 F G Wolfinger
1947 - 1966 Carl H Page
1966 - 1971 Robert T Repass
1971 - 2006 James A Smallenberger
2007 - 2008 Christopher J Littlefield
2008 - Michael H Miller

Directors (1896)

  • Byron A Beeson
  • Charles F Ames
  • George W Rhine
  • Dr C E Stoner

Home branches and agencies

  • Wisconsin (1902)
  • By 1908, the company had operations in ten states, including Michigan, Washington and Colorado.

Published history

A Century of Success: The AmerUs Life Story by Jay Pridmore. Greenwich Publishing Group Inc. Lyme, Connecticut, 1996.

Further resources

Material relating to the history of the company is currently held within the business in the United States. Contact the Aviva Group Archive for more details.

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