United Kingdom

Aviva Group companies have been insurance pioneers in the UK for more than 300 years and have been involved in many aspects of British life and significant events during this period, from insuring Queen Victoria to paying out to settle claims after the Great Train Robbery.

Country History

1696

On 12 November, the Hand-in-Hand Fire & Life Insurance Society (originally known as Contributors for insuring houses, chambers, or rooms, from loss by fire by amicable contribution) is established in London following a meeting in Tom’s Coffee House at St Martin’s Lane near Charing Cross. Although two fire offices, the Fire Office and the Friendly Society, already exist by this date, the Hand-in-Hand is the first fire insurer in the UK established on the mutual principal.

1706

On 25 July, London bookseller John Hartley establishes the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office. Founded under a charter of Queen Anne, the company claims to be the first mutual life assurance society established in the world and has the power to issue endowments.

1714

The Union Fire Office (also known as Double Hand-in-Hand) is established in London. Under an agreement with the Hand-in-Hand, the new company limits itself to insuring goods and possessions while the Hand-in-Hand insures only buildings.

1721

The Brotherly Society of Annuitants, later part of the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office, is established.

1730

The Hand-in-Hand becomes the oldest surviving fire insurer with the Friendly Society liquidated by this time.

1745

The Amicable Society acquires the Brotherly Society of Annuitants.

1777

Quilter Goodison, later part of the Commercial Union Assurance Company, is established.

1783

On 13 November, the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Fire Office is established, the first Aviva constituent known to operate outside London.

1792

In November, the Norwich General Assurance Company is established in Norwich by Thomas Bignold.

1797

On 1 March, the Norwich Union Society, for Insuring of Buildings, Goods, Merchandizes & Effects from Loss by Fire is established by Thomas Bignold.

1807

The West of England Fire Insurance Company is established in Exeter.

1808

The Norwich Union Society, for Insurances on Lives and Survivorships is established by Thomas Bignold in response to an exceptionally severe winter with high mortality. Both the Anchor Fire Office, later part of the Norwich General Assurance Company, and the Atlas Assurance Company, later part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Accident Insurance Company Ltd are established.

1809

On 2 November, the North British & Mercantile Insurance Company Ltd is established in Edinburgh by contract of co-partnery. It is first known as the North British Insurance Company against Loss by Fire. The Hercules Fire Insurance Company (No. 1) is also established in Edinburgh.

1811

The Norwich General Assurance Company acquires the Anchor Fire Office.

1820

The Essex Life Insurance Society, later part of the Norwich Union Life Insurance Society is established.

1821

The Norwich General Assurance Company merges with the Norwich Union Fire Office. By now, Aviva constituent companies are operating in Bath, Birmingham, Cambridge, Canterbury, Croydon, Dorchester, Dorking, Dover, Edinburgh, Exeter, Falmouth, Halifax, Ipswich, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Lowestoft, Lyme Regis, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Oxford, Plymouth, Reigate, Stowmarket, Thetford and Winchester.

1822

In March, James Stuart of Dunearn, a director of North British & Mercantile and later founder of the United Kingdom Life Assurance Company is involved in the last duel fought in Scotland in which he shoots and kills Sir Alexander Boswell.

1823

On August 28, the Edinburgh Life Assurance Company is established at Edinburgh under a deed of co-partnership. Forfarshire and Perthshire Fire, later part of the Northern Assurance Company, is established. Aviva constituents are now additionally operating in Aberdeen, Dundee, Fife, Inverness, Perth and Stirling.

1824

On 9 August, the Indemnity Mutual Marine Assurance Company begins to undertake marine insurance. The company is the first to open for business following the passing of the Marine Insurance Bill of that year, which ends the monopoly of Lloyds of London, London Assurance and the Royal Exchange Assurance on marine insurance. On 20 November, the Scottish Union Insurance Company is established in Edinburgh under a contract of co-partnery. Other Aviva constituent companies established this year are the Yorkshire Fire and Life Insurance Company, the Manchester Fire Assurance Company and Essex Economic Fire, later part of Manchester Fire Assurance Company.

1825

On 23 November, the Scottish Provincial Assurance Company, later part of North British & Mercantile, is established in Aberdeen as the Aberdeen Fire & Life Assurance Company. The Lancashire Insurance Company, part of whose business is later sold to the Ocean Accident & Guarantee Corporation Ltd, and Foster & Braithwaite, later part of Commercial Union, are also established.

1827

Norwich Union Life acquires the Essex Life Insurance Society.

1830

Sackville Estates Ltd, later part of Commercial Union, is established.

1832

The Subscribers Annuitant Society of Bristol, later part of the General Life and Fire Assurance Company, is established.

1833

The merchant banking firm Arbuthnot Latham and Company is established in London.

1834

On 1 April, the Universal Life Assurance Society is established. Later in the year, the United Kingdom Life Assurance Company is established. Aviva constituents have now extended operations to include Ashford, Belfast, Bradford, Cardigan, Carlisle, Carmarthen, Cheltenham, Durham, Glasgow, Huddersfield, Middlesbrough, Newport, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Reading, Salisbury, Southampton, Swansea, Tunbridge Wells, Worcester, Wrexham and York.

1835

The Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Fire and Life Assurance Company, part whose business is later sold to Norwich Union Life, is established.

Hand in Hand

Hand-in-Hand policy, 1779

1836

In April, the North of Scotland Fire and Life Assurance Company is established in Aberdeen.

1837

On 23 October, the Protestant Dissenters’ and General Life and Fire Assurance Company is established. Mutual Accumulation Life, later part of the City of Glasgow Life Assurance and Reversionary Company, is also established.

1839

On 2 January, City of Glasgow Life Assurance and Reversionary Company is established under a contract of co-partnery.

1840

The Provident Clerks’ Mutual Benefit Association is established.

In June, the Guarantee Society begins operating, offering the very first fidelity insurance. Taking the place of a wealthy friend or relative the company guarantees the employers of individuals such as postmasters, banking staff, insurance staff and agents against loss should the individual embezzle or defraud them.

Other Aviva constituent companies established this year are the Reliance Mutual Life Assurance Society, later part of Norwich Union Life; the Achilles British & Foreign Life Assurance Association and Loan Bank, later part of the Great Britain Mutual Life Assurance Society; and Morayshire Fire, later part of North British & Mercantile.

1841

On 19 March, the National Fire Insurance Company of Scotland is established. Ashton Tod Maclaren, later part of Commercial Union, is also established.

1843

On 21 November, the General Hail Storm Insurance Society is established in Norwich under a deed of settlement.

1844

On 12 February, the Great Britain Mutual Life Assurance Society is established. Later in the year, the company acquires the Achilles British & Foreign Life Assurance Association and Loan Bank. On 1 March, the Western of Scotland Fire and Life Insurance Company, later part of the North of Scotland Fire and Life Assurance Company, is established as the Western Fire Insurance Company of Scotland. The Scottish Masonic and General Life Assurance Association (known as the Scottish Freemasons’ Life Association), later part of the North of Scotland Fire and Life Assurance Company is also established.

1845

The Bon Accord Life and Fire Assurance Guarantee Reversionary and Annuity Company, later part of The Northern, is established in Aberdeen. The Agriculturist Cattle Insurance Company, part of whose business is later acquired by Norwich Union Life and the United Deposit Company, later part of the National Fire and Life Insurance Company of Scotland are also established.

1846

The British Empire Mutual Fire Assurance Society, later part of the General Life and Fire Assurance Company, is established. Aviva constituents have now extended operations to Bedford, Bodmin, Boston, Chatham, Douglas (Isle of Man), Gloucester, Jersey, Maidenhead, Newport (Isle of Wight), Northampton, Runcorn, Sheffield, Shrewsbury and Skipton.

Norwich Union fire

Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society Birmingham agency advertisement

1847

The County Hailstorm Insurance Company, later part of the General Hail Storm Insurance Society, is established. The North of Scotland Fire and Life Company acquires Western of Scotland Fire and Life while the City of Glasgow Life Assurance and Reversionary Company acquires Mutual Accumulation Life.

1848

Railway Assurance Accident, later part of the Accidental Death Insurance Company (No.1), is established. On 28 July, Norwich Union Life acquires the life business of the Agriculturist Cattle Insurance Company. On 15 December, the Universal Railway Casualty Compensation Company is established, the first company specifically formed to undertake accident insurance. This is limited initially to accidents on the railway. The North of Scotland Fire and Life Company acquires the Scottish Masonic and General Life Assurance Association, known as the Scottish Freemasons’ Life Association.

1849

The Accidental Death Indemnity Association is established in London. The company initially intends to insure against accidental death in which the death occurs within three months of the accident. After a few months the company’s actuary, Edward Ryley, suggests providing insurance against non-fatal injuries arising from accidents, making the company the “founder of the modern business of Accident Insurance”.

The North of Scotland Fire and Life Company acquires the Bon Accord Life and Fire Assurance Guarantee Reversionary and Annuity Company while the Scottish Union Insurance Company acquires the first Hercules Fire Insurance Company.

The East of England Mutual Life Assurance Society, later part of Reliance Mutual Life, and the Norfolk Farmers’ Cattle Insurance Society, later part of the Livestock Insurance Company of Great Britain, are both established this year.

1851

The Times and State Insurance Company, whose accident businesses are later sold to the Accidental Death Insurance Company (No. 2), is established.

1852

The Plate Glass Universal Insurance Company is established, becoming the first plate glass insurer in the UK. Maritime Passengers’ Insurance Company, parts of whose business are later sold to the first and second Accidental Death Insurance Companies, is established. The first Accidental Death Company also acquires Railway Assurance Accident.

1853

National Live Stock, later part of the Norfolk Farmers’ Cattle Insurance Society; the General Live Stock Insurance Company, later part of the London and County Hail and Cattle Insurance Company; and the London Mercantile Exchange, later part of East of England Mutual Life Assurance Society, are all established this year. The National Fire and Life Insurance Company of Scotland acquires the United Deposit Company.

1854

Travellers’ and Marine Insurance Company is established as an accident company, granting policies to combine land and sea risks. London and County Hail and Cattle Insurance Company, later part of Norfolk Farmers' Cattle Insurance Society is established. Marine and General Travellers' Insurance Company is established.

1855

The General Accident and Compensation Company, later part of the Travellers’ and Marine Insurance Company, is established. The National Economic Hail Storm Assurance Company, later part of the General Hail Storm Insurance Society is also established. The East of England Mutual Life Assurance Society, later part of Reliance Mutual Life, acquires the London Mercantile Exchange while North British & Mercantile acquires Morayshire Fire. Union Fire insures both Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales.

East of England header

East of England Mutual Life Assurance Society policy, 1856

1856

On 1 September, the Norwich and London Accident and Casualty Insurance Association is established. British Exchequer Life, later part of British Foreign and Colonial Life, is also established. The Northern acquires Forfarshire and Perthshire Fire.

1857

The General Hail Storm Insurance Society acquires the National Economic Hail Storm Assurance Company; General Life and Fire acquires the British Empire Mutual Fire Assurance Society; the Manchester Fire Assurance Company acquires Essex Economic Fire; London and County Hail and Cattle acquires the General Live Stock Insurance Company and the first Accidental Death Insurance Company acquires the life business of Maritime Passengers’.

A number of large-scale insurance frauds occur this year, including that of the Shilling family against both the first Accidental Death Insurance Company and the Railway Passengers’ Assurance Company. As a result of these frauds, the first Accidental Death Insurance Company transfers all its business to the Travellers’ and Marine Insurance Company to protect its original shareholders from loss.

1858

The Consols Insurance Association, later part of The Provident Clerks’ Mutual Life Assurance Association is established. The Vulcan Boiler and General Insurance Company Ltd, part of whose business is later acquired by Commercial Union, is also established. British, Foreign and Colonial Life, later part of Consols Insurance, is established and acquires British Exchequer Life.

1859

On 29 November “The Ocean” Marine Insurance Company is established under a deed of settlement.

North British Insurance Company against loss by fire acquires the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Fire Office while the Norfolk Farmers’ Cattle Insurance Society, later part of the Livestock Insurance Company of Great Britain, acquires London and County Hail and Cattle.

The second Accidental Death Insurance Company acquires the Marine and General Travellers’ Company, the General Accident and Compensation Company and the accident business of both the Maritime Passengers’ Insurance Company and the Times and State Insurance Company. Consols Insurance acquires British, Foreign and Colonial Life while the Reliance Mutual Life Assurance Society, later part of Norwich Union Life, acquires East of England Mutual Life Assurance Society.

1860

The London and Provincial Marine Insurance Company is established. The Victoria Assurance Society Ltd, later part of Norwich Union Life, is established as the Victoria Mutual Assurance Society Ltd. The Plate Glass Insurance Company acquires the British Nation Plate Glass Insurance Company.

1861

On 28 September, Commercial Union is established in London under a deed of settlement. The Mercantile Fire Insurance Company and Volunteer Service Life, both later part of North British & Mercantile are also established.

1862

On 4 August, the London and Lancashire Life Assurance Company is established by deed of settlement.

The Oldham Fire Insurance Company Ltd and the Midland Steam Boiler Inspection and Assurance Company, later part of The Scottish Boiler Insurance and Engine Inspection Company Ltd, are also established.

The Provident Clerks’ Mutual Life Assurance Association acquires Consols Insurance; the Norfolk Farmers’ Cattle Insurance Society, later part of the Livestock Insurance Company of Great Britain, acquires National Live Stock; and North British Insurance Company against loss by fire acquires both the United Kingdom Life Assurance Company and the Mercantile Fire Insurance Company.

1863

On 30 April, The National Guarantee and Suretyship Association Ltd is incorporated. The Guardian Plate Glass Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Union Assurance (No.1) is established. Aviva constituents have now extended operations to Alnwick, Barnsley, Barnstaple, Bolton, Cardiff, Chester, Coventry, Dartford, Derby, Folkestone, Grantham, Hastings, Kettering, Maidstone, Newark, Rochester, Stamford, Stockton-on-tees, Sunderland and Wakefield.

1864

Maritime Insurance of Liverpool, later part of Scottish Union and National is established. The Home and Colonial (Fire, Life, and Marine) Insurance Company, part of whose business is later sold to The Northern, is also established. The Financial Insurance Company Ltd, part of whose business is later sold to the Provident Clerks’ & General Guarantee Association Ltd, and the London & Southwark Fire and Life Insurance Corporation, part of whose business is later sold to London and Lancashire Life, are both established.

1865

On 28 July, the Provident Clerks’ & General Guarantee Association and the Provident Clerks’ and General Accident Insurance Company are established. Other Aviva constituent companies established this year are the Scottish Imperial Insurance Company, later part of Norwich Union Life; the Birmingham Alliance Life Insurance Company, part of whose business is later sold to the first Accident Insurance Company Ltd; and the Equitable Hail Insurance Company, later part of the General Hail Storm Insurance Society. North British & Mercantile acquires Volunteer Service Life.

1866

The Citizen Assurance Corporation Ltd, whose business is later divided between Provident Clerks’ Mutual Life Assurance Association and Provident Clerks’ & General Guarantee Association, is established. Norwich Union Life acquires the Amicable Society while Provident Clerks’ & General Guarantee acquires the guarantee business of the Financial Insurance Company. The Northern acquires the fire and life business of Home and Colonial.

1867

On 7 November, the Ulster Marine Insurance Company Ltd. is incorporated in Belfast. Imperial Guardian, later part of The Great Britain Mutual Life Assurance Society, is established. General Hail Storm acquires Equitable Hail while the first Accident Insurance Company acquires the accident business of the Birmingham Alliance Life Insurance Company.

1868

Britannia Home & Colonial, later part of the Lion Fire Insurance Company Ltd, is established as Britannia Fire. Other Aviva constituent companies established this year are Northern Marine, later part of Ocean Marine, and the General Accident and Guarantee Company, later part of the second Accident Insurance Company, which originates the idea of allocating some portion of profits to policy holders.

1869

The Bristol and London Assurance Corporation Ltd, later part of The Great Britain Mutual Life is established. Norwich Union Life acquires the life business of the Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Fire and Life Assurance Company, The Great Britain Mutual Life acquires Imperial Guardian and the first Accident Insurance Company acquires the County Marine Company Ltd.

1870

The Mutual Fire Assurance Corporation, later part of the Palatine Insurance Company Ltd, and the Commercial Accident Assurance Society Ltd, later part of the Ocean, Railway, and General Travellers’ Assurance Company Ltd are both established. The Plate Glass Insurance Company acquires the National Alliance Plate Glass Insurance Company while the second Accident Insurance Company acquires both the first Accident Insurance Company Ltd and the General Accident and Guarantee Company.

1871

On 17 March, The Merchants’ Marine Insurance Company Ltd is incorporated. On 14 December, the Ocean, Railway, and General Travellers’ Assurance Company is established.

1872

In May, the National Safe Deposit Company Ltd is incorporated, with the primary objective of providing fire and burglar proof accommodation for the storage of valuable items. Ocean, Railway, and General acquires the Commercial Accident Assurance Society Ltd. The Norfolk Farmers’ Cattle Insurance Society can claim to be the only company of its class to have withstood plagues of pneumonia (or lung disease) as well as a more recent cattle plague. The South British Fire and Marine Insurance Company of New Zealand opens an agency in Glasgow.

1873

The Archangel Marine Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, is established.

1874

On 18 May, The Bloomfield Land and Building Company Ltd, is incorporated in Belfast to acquire land in County Down.

The Cotton Waste Dealers’ Fire Insurance Company, later part of Union Assurance (No1), is established as Cotton Waste Dealers’ Mutual Fire.

The Commercial Guarantee Society, later part of the Ocean and General Guarantee Company Ltd; Bradford Plate Glass Mutual, later part of the Yorkshire Insurance Company Ltd; and the Livestock Insurance Company of Great Britain, later part of the Imperial Livestock Insurance Association, are all established.

Livestock Insurance acquires the Norfolk Farmers’ Cattle Insurance Society while both Provident Clerks’ & General Guarantee and Provident Clerks’ Mutual Life acquire the business of the Citizen Assurance Corporation.

1875

The Imperial Union and Accident Assurance Company, later part of Ocean Accident & Guarantee, is established while the Bristol and London Assurance Corporation is acquired by the Great Britain Mutual Life Assurance Society. The South British Fire and Marine Insurance Company of New Zealand opens an agency in Liverpool.

1876

On 13 April, the Provident Clerks’ & General Accident Insurance Company Ltd is established while, on 20 May, the Scottish Metropolitan Life Assurance Company is also established. Three other companies begin operating this year: the Ocean and General Guarantee Company Ltd; Rossendale Mutual Fire, later part of Hand-in-Hand; and Railway and General Accidents, later part of the Ocean, Railway and General Accident Assurance Company.

1877

On 12 January, the Scottish Accident Insurance Company Ltd is incorporated, claiming to be the first Scottish accident company.

On 23 November, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Accident Insurance Company Ltd is established in Manchester.

The Star Accident Company, later part of Ocean, Railway and General; the Accident Insurance Association of Scotland Ltd, later part of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Accident Insurance Company; the United Fire Reinsurance Company Ltd, later part of the Palatine Insurance Company Ltd; and the Lancashire Key and Property Registry, later part of the Scottish National Key Registry and Assurance Association are all established.

Scottish Union merges with the Scottish National Insurance Company and becomes the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company.

1878

The Imperial Livestock Insurance Association is established and acquires the Livestock Insurance Company of Great Britain. The Manchester and London Fire Insurance Company, later part of the Manchester Assurance Company is also established. Ocean, Railway and General acquires both the Star Accident Company and Railway and General Accidents while Ocean and General acquires the Commercial Guarantee Society. Aviva constituents have now extended operations to Banbury, Brighton, Grimsby, Leicester, Luton, Oldham and Rochdale.

1879

The Anglo-French Fire Insurance Company Ltd is established in London and Paris and acquires Britannia Home & Colonial. The English and Scottish Boiler Insurance Company Ltd, later part of The Scottish Boiler Insurance and Engine Inspection Company Ltd, is also established. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Accident Insurance Company acquires the Accident Insurance Association of Scotland Ltd while the London and Lancashire Life Assurance Company acquires the life business of London & Southwark Fire and Life.

1880

On 25 October, the Employers’ Liability Assurance Corporation Ltd is incorporated. It is the first company set up to offer employers’ liability insurance, allowing both the employer and employee peace of mind. The Lion Life and Accident Insurance Company Ltd is established as the Lion Life Assurance Company Ltd. Commercial Union acquires the Archangel Marine Insurance Company.

1881

In February, The City of London Fire Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Palatine Insurance, is established.

On 16 September, The Scottish Boiler Insurance and Engine Inspection Company is established.

The City of London Marine Insurance Corporation Ltd, later part of Ocean Marine; the Glasgow and London Insurance Company Ltd, later part of the Economic Fire Office; and London and North Western Fire, later part of the National Assurance Company of Ireland, all begin operations.

Later in the year, the Employers’ Liability and Workpeople’s Provident and Accident Insurance Company Ltd of Birmingham, later part of The Lancashire and Yorkshire Insurance Company, is established along with London and County Fire, later part of Glasgow and London Insurance Company Ltd, and The Mutual Accident Association Ltd, later part of Palatine Insurance.

1882

The National Marine Insurance Association Ltd, later part of Ocean Marine, is established. The National Employers’ and General Accident Assurance Association, part of whose business is later sold to the Employers’ Liability Assurance Corporation, and Isle of Man Fire, later part of Palatine Insurance, are also established. The National Assurance Company of Ireland acquires The Great Britain Mutual Life Assurance Society and The Scottish Boiler Insurance and Engine Inspection Company acquires the Scottish business of the Yorkshire Boiler Insurance and Steam Users Company Ltd.

1883

Clydesdale Fire, later part of the Economic Fire Office, is established. Ocean, Railway and General acquires the accident business of Lion Life and Accident while the Manchester Assurance Company acquires the Manchester and London Fire Insurance Company Ltd.

1884

On 3 May, The Lancashire & Yorkshire Reversionary Interest Company Ltd is incorporated in Manchester.

Universal Plate Glass, later part of the London Plate Glass Insurance Company; Scottish Standard Fire, later part of the National Assurance Company of Ireland; Nottinghamshire and Midland Fire Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Commercial Union; the Home Fire Insurance Company of Glasgow, later part of Norwich Union Fire; and the North of England Fire Insurance Company, later part of the Yorkshire Fire and Life Insurance Company, all begin operations this year.

The Employers’ Liability Assurance Corporation acquires the liability business of the National Employers’ and General Accident Assurance Association while the National Assurance Company of Ireland acquires London and North Western Fire.

1885

On 16 December, The General Accident and Employers’ Liability Assurance Association is established.

The London Plate Glass Insurance Company, later part of the Yorkshire; the Scottish Economic Life Assurance Society, later part of the Scottish Metropolitan Life Assurance Company; The Mercantile Accident & Guarantee Company Ltd of Glasgow; and the Scottish National Key Registry and Assurance Association Ltd, later part of Scottish Union and National, are all established.

The South British Fire and Marine Insurance Company of New Zealand opens a branch in London and the Railway Passengers Assurance Company comes to an arrangement with W A Sandys to insure the holders of his Insurance Railway Guide – probably the first example of accident coupon insurance in the UK.

1886

The Palatine Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, is established in Manchester. The Economic Fire Office and the Mortgage Insurance Corporation Ltd, part of whose business is later sold to the Ocean Accident & Guarantee Corporation are also established while, on 10 December, the West of Scotland Fire Office Ltd begins operations. London Plate Glass, later part of Yorkshire Insurance Company, acquires Universal Plate Glass.

1887

The London Amicable Assurance Society Ltd, later part of Scottish Metropolitan Life, is established, along with the Crown Accident Insurance Company Ltd of Bristol, later part of the Norwich and London Accident Insurance Association and the Commercial Fire Insurance Company of Scotland Ltd of Edinburgh, part of whose business is later sold to Scottish Metropolitan.

The Hand-in-Hand acquires Rossendale Mutual Fire, the National Assurance Company of Ireland acquires Scottish Standard Fire and The Lancashire and Yorkshire Accident Insurance Company acquires the accident business of The Atlas Assurance Company.

This is also the year of the great Exeter theatre fire, the last fire attended by the West Of England Fire and Life Insurance Company’s fire engine “little west”.

1888

The Scottish Alliance Insurance Company Ltd is incorporated in Glasgow, along with the Northern Plate Glass Insurance Company Ltd, later part of General Accident; the Standard Accident Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Scottish Metropolitan; and the Manchester and London Accident Company, later part of Standard Accident. Scottish Metropolitan acquires the Scottish Economic Life Assurance Society Ltd; Ocean Marine acquires the City of London Marine Insurance Corporation Ltd; and The Scottish Boiler Insurance and Engine Inspection Company Ltd acquires both the English and Scottish Boiler Insurance Company Ltd and the Midland Steam Boiler Inspection and Assurance Company.

1889

The Security Company Ltd, later part of Ocean Accident & Guarantee is established, along with Provincial Homes, later part of the London and Provincial Marine and General Insurance Company Ltd. The Economic Fire Office acquires Clydesdale Fire, North British & Mercantile acquires the Scottish Provincial Assurance Company, Commercial Union acquires the Nottinghamshire and Midland Fire Insurance Company Ltd and Standard Accident acquires the Manchester and London Accident Company.

1890

On 25 July, the Fine Art Insurance Company Ltd, later part of North British & Mercantile, is established, along with the North British Boiler and Machinery Insurance Company Ltd, later part of The Scottish Boiler Insurance and Engine Inspection Company Ltd.

The Globe Accident Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Commercial Union; and Travellers’ Accident, later part of the Crown Accident Insurance Company Ltd of Bristol; all begin operations.

The Glasgow and London Insurance Company Ltd acquires London and County Fire and is then itself acquired by the Economic Fire Office.

In the same year, Ocean and General acquires the Ocean, Railway, and General Travellers’ Assurance Company, the Yorkshire acquires the North of England Fire Insurance Company Ltd, General Life and Fire acquires the Subscribers Annuitant Society of Bristol and Palatine Insurance acquires both The Mutual Accident Association Ltd and The Mutual Fire Assurance Corporation.

Security advert

The Security Company Ltd. advertisement, 1891

1891

On 23 February, The General Accident Assurance Corporation Ltd is established to take over the business, assets and liabilities of The General Accident and Employers’ Liability Assurance Association.

On 13 April, the London and Provincial Law Investment Corporation Ltd is established as is the Carriage Insurance Company Ltd, later part of the Imperial Livestock Insurance Association Ltd.

Palatine Insurance acquires Isle of Man Fire while Scottish Alliance acquires the Mercantile Accident & Guarantee Company Ltd of Glasgow.

This year also sees the publication of the first issue of the Norwich Union Fire staff magazine.

1892

On March 30, The Property and Estates Company Ltd, later part of the Yorkshire, is established. The North British Boiler and Machinery Insurance Company Ltd, later part of The Scottish Boiler Insurance and Engine Inspection Company Ltd and the Vehicular & General Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Commercial Union are also established. Scottish Metropolitan acquires Standard Accident, Ocean Marine acquires Northern Marine, the General Hail Storm Insurance Society acquires the County Hailstorm Insurance Company and Palatine Insurance acquires The City of London Fire Insurance Company.

1893

A number of acquisitions occur this year: Norwich Union Life acquires the Reliance Mutual Life Assurance Society; the Crown Accident Insurance Company Ltd of Bristol, later part of the Norwich and London Accident Insurance Association, acquires Travellers’ Accident; and Palatine Insurance acquires United Fire, formerly the United Fire Reinsurance Company Ltd.

In June, the Commercial Union board approves expenditure of £100 to illuminate the head and West End offices for the royal wedding of George Duke of York (later George V) to Mary of Teck.

1894

The Economic Fire Office goes into liquidation. The company’s fire business is transferred to Commercial Union while its accident and fidelity business goes to the Ocean Accident & Guarantee Corporation.

The World Marine and General Insurance Company Ltd, later part of The Northern, is established as the World Marine Insurance Company while the Scottish Re-insurance Company is established as a subsidiary of the West of Scotland Fire Office.

Three other future Aviva Group companies begin operating this year: The North of Scotland Plate Glass Insurance Company Ltd, later part of General Accident; the London and Provincial Cycle Insurance Corporation Ltd, later part of the London and Provincial Law Investment Corporation; and the Alliance Plate Glass Insurance Company of Bristol, later part of Commercial Union.

Ocean Accident acquires the Imperial Union and Accident Assurance Company while Commercial Union acquires the West of England Fire and Life Insurance Company.

Later in the year, Norwich Union Fire acquires the Home Fire Insurance Company of Glasgow and Scottish Metropolitan acquires the London Amicable Assurance Society Ltd.

1895

On 18 March, the Hastings & St Leonards & District Mutual Plate Glass Insurance Company Ltd is established, along with the Scottish General Fire Assurance Corporation Ltd, later part of General Accident, and Fire Reinsurance of London, later part of the King Insurance Company Ltd. The Scottish County & Mercantile Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Commercial Union is also established, as Farmers’ and Landowners’. Ocean Accident acquires part of the business of the Mortgage Insurance Corporation Ltd.

1896

The National Cycle & Motor Car Insurance Company Ltd of London, part of whose business is later transferred to both Scottish Metropolitan and the London and Provincial Cycle Insurance Corporation Ltd, is established.

The North of Scotland Fire Insurance Company Ltd of Inverness, later part of Norwich Union Fire, is also established, along with the Windsor and Eton Mutual Plate Glass Insurance Company Ltd, later part of General Accident; the Midland Mutual Plate Glass Insurance Company of Dudley, later part of Commercial Union; and the County Livestock Insurance Association Ltd, later part of the Farmers’ Fire and Accident Insurance Association.

In November, The Lancashire and Yorkshire Accident Insurance Company Ltd acquires Employers’ Liability and Workpeople’s Provident and Accident Insurance Company Ltd of Birmingham and Scottish Metropolitan acquires the accident business of the Scottish Alliance Insurance Company Ltd.

1897

On 1 January, Ocean Marine acquires the National Marine Insurance Association Ltd. Later in the year, the Imperial Livestock Insurance Association acquires the Carriage Insurance Company Ltd while the Norwich and London Accident Insurance Association acquires the Crown Accident Insurance Company Ltd of Bristol. On June 12, The National Insurance Company of Great Britain is established in Glasgow.

1898

On 22 June, A L Wharf Company Ltd, later part of the Arbuthnot Latham Bank, is established.

Also established this year are:

The British Clayworkers Mutual Insurance Corporation Ltd, later part of the British General Insurance Company Ltd; Traders Mutual Employers’, later part of the Compensation & Guarantee Fund; the Wool Industries Employers’ Insurance Association of Dewsbury, later part of Manchester Fire and Life; the Employers’ Indemnity Company Ltd, later part of Ocean Accident; the London and Scottish Boiler Insurance Company, later part of The Scottish Boiler Insurance and Engine Inspection Company; and the Life and Health Assurance Association Ltd, later part of General Accident.

Norwich Union Fire acquires the North of Scotland Fire Insurance Company Ltd of Inverness, the Norwich and London Accident Insurance Association acquires the General Hailstorm Insurance Society, the London and Provincial Cycle Insurance Corporation acquires the plate glass business of the National Cycle & Motor Car Insurance Company and Scottish Metropolitan acquires the accident and employers liability business of both the National Cycle & Motor Car Insurance Company of London and the Edinburgh-based Commercial Fire Insurance Company of Scotland Ltd.

1899

The Scottish Live Stock Insurance Company Ltd is established, along with the Scottish County and Mercantile Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Commercial Union; the Norwich & District Master Builders Insurance Association, later part of General Accident; the Compensation and Guarantee Fund, later part of The Northern; and the Western Fire Insurance Company of Glasgow, later part of the West of Scotland Fire Office. Ocean Accident acquires The Security Company of London and the Provincial Law Investment Corporation acquires the London and Provincial Cycle Insurance Corporation.

Palatine

Palatine Insurance Company promotional bookmark, c 1900

1900

The Farmers’ Finance and Insurance Office, later part of the Yorkshire, is established as the Farmers’ Fire and Accident Insurance Association.

Also established this year are the Norwich Mutual Plate Glass Insurance Association Ltd, later part of Norwich Union Fire, and the St Albans Plate Glass Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Commercial Union.

In February, the Manchester Assurance Company acquires the Wool Industries Employers’ Insurance Association of Dewsbury.

Later in the year, Commercial Union acquires Palatine Insurance; Ocean Accident acquires the accident business of the Lancashire Insurance Company; General Accident acquires the Scottish General Fire Assurance Corporation; the Compensation & Guarantee Fund, later part of The Northern, acquires Traders Mutual Employers’; and the Scottish National Key Registry and Assurance Association Ltd acquires the Lancashire Key and Property Registry.

CU cricket

Commercial Union Assurance Company staff cricket team, c 1900

1901

The King Insurance Company Ltd, part of whose business is later acquired by Commercial Union, is established.

On 29 May, North British & Mercantile acquires the Universal Life Assurance Society while, on 31 May, The Lancashire and Yorkshire Accident Insurance Company Ltd acquires the accident business of Manchester Fire and Life Assurance Company.

In the same year, the West of Scotland Fire Office acquires the Western Fire Insurance Company of Glasgow, Ocean Accident acquires the Employers’ Indemnity Company and Commercial Union acquires both the Globe Accident Insurance Company Ltd and the Vehicular & General Insurance Company Ltd.

1902

On 1 January, the Yorkshire acquires the Lion Insurance Company, which is in liquidation.

On 7 August, the United Legal Indemnity Insurance Society Ltd, later part of the Yorkshire, is established.

On 2 October, Holloways’ Properties Ltd, later part of Commercial Union, is incorporated as Holloway Brothers (London) Ltd.

Also established this year are The Regent Fire Insurance Company Ltd, later part of General Accident, and three General Accident subsidiaries: The General Auto-car Insurance Company Ltd, The Motor Car Insurance Company Ltd and The Automobile Insurance Company Ltd.

The Scottish Boiler Insurance and Engine Inspection Company acquires the London and Scottish Boiler Insurance Company.

1903

The Premier Insurance Company, part of whose business is later sold to the Yorkshire, is established. In November, the business, property and assets of Scottish Alliance are transferred to the first Union Assurance Society. Commercial Union acquires the workmen’s compensation and general accident and fidelity business of the Vulcan Boiler and General Insurance Company Ltd.

1904

On 7 January, the British General Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Commercial Union is incorporated and acquires the Northern Homes & General Insurance Company. On 16 June, Commercial Union acquires the West of Scotland Fire Office while the King Insurance Company acquires Fire Reinsurance of London.

1905

The National Accident Compensation Company Ltd, later part of British General Insurance, is established. In June, the assets and business of the Hand-in-Hand, the oldest fire insurance company in the UK, are transferred to Commercial Union.

1906

The International Insurance Company Ltd, later part of the Liverpool Victoria Insurance Corporation Ltd, is established as the International Motor Insurance Company Ltd.

Also established this year are the Red Cross Indemnity Assurance Company; the British Crown Plate Glass Insurance, later part of the Yorkshire; and the Scottish Commercial Plate Glass Insurance Company Ltd, later part of The National Insurance Company of Great Britain. Scottish Union and National acquires the Lancashire and Yorkshire Insurance Company Ltd while Norwich Union Life acquires Scottish Imperial, General Accident acquires The Regent Fire Insurance Company and Union Assurance acquires the Guardian Plate Glass Insurance Company Ltd.

General Accident pays out on probably the first claim under the Workmans’ Compensation Act of 1906.

1907

The Liverpool Victoria Insurance Corporation, later part of Commercial Union, is established, along with the Northern Equitable Insurance Company and the Traders and General Insurance Association Ltd, both later part of the British General Insurance Company.

Also established this year are the Royal Scottish Insurance Company, later part of The Northern; North Eastern, later part of the King Insurance Company; and the Law Guarantee Trust and Accident Society Ltd, part of whose business is later sold to Ocean Accident. Provident Clerks’ & General Guarantee Association Ltd acquires the business of its sister company Provident Clerks’ and General Accident and changes its name to the Provident Clerks’ and General Guarantee Company Ltd.

In the same year, The Northern acquires the Compensation & Guarantee Fund and Commercial Union acquires both the Scottish County and Mercantile Insurance Company Ltd and the Union Assurance Society.

1908

The British and European Insurance Company Ltd, later part of the British General Insurance Company, and the Medway Insurance Company, later part of The Northern, are both established.

In May, the Yorkshire acquires the Hastings & St Leonards & District Mutual Plate Glass Insurance Company. The company also acquires the London Plate Glass Insurance Company and the British Crown Plate Glass Insurance Company.

The London and Provincial Marine and General Insurance Company acquires Provincial Homes, North British & Mercantile acquires Ocean Marine and General Accident acquires the Norwich & District Master Builders Insurance Association.

1909

On 26 March, the Welsh Insurance Corporation Ltd, later part of London & Lancashire Life and General Assurance Association, is established.

On 25 October, The Counties and General Insurance Company Ltd is incorporated while the Omnium Insurance Corporation Ltd, later part of the London & Lancashire Life and General, and the City Life Assurance Company Ltd, later part of the British General Insurance Company are also established.

On 9 August, General Accident Fire & Life Assurance Corporation completes the acquisition of The Law Fidelity and General Insurance Corporation Ltd.

In the same month, the company acquires the Scottish Live Stock Insurance Company Ltd. General Accident also acquires the Life and Health Assurance Association Ltd and the Northern Plate Glass Insurance Company while Norwich Union Life acquires the Victoria Assurance Society Ltd, the Yorkshire acquires the United Legal Indemnity Insurance Society Ltd and Norwich Union Fire acquires the Norwich and London Accident Insurance Association.

1910

On 20 June, The Travellers’ Baggage Insurance Association Ltd is established.

The Gresham Insurance Company Ltd, later part of Aviva plc, begins operating as the Gresham Fire and Accident Insurance Society Ltd while the Westminster & Kensington Freeholds Ltd is established as a subsidiary of North British & Mercantile.

The British General Insurance Company acquires British Clayworkers Mutual Insurance Corporation Ltd, The National Insurance Company of Great Britain acquires the Scottish Commercial Plate Glass Insurance Company, North British & Mercantile acquires The Railway Passengers Assurance Company and Liverpool Victoria Insurance acquires the International Insurance Company.

Ocean Accident acquires the license business of the Law Guarantee Trust and Accident Society Ltd, and is then subsequently acquired by Commercial Union.

Commercial Union also acquires the Alliance Plate Glass Insurance Company of Bristol and, on 29 September, the Plate Glass Insurance Company of the City of London Ltd.

1911

The London & Lancashire Life and General acquires both Omnium Insurance and the Welsh Insurance Corporation while General Accident, providers of travel, motor and livestock insurance for several members of the Royal family, becomes the first insurance company to be granted a Royal Warrant.

Gresham

Gresham Fire and Accident Insurance Society Ltd. advertisement, 1915

1912

On 1 August, the London & Lancashire Life and General acquires Scottish Metropolitan. In the same year the Yorkshire acquires The Counties and General Insurance Company Ltd and Commercial Union acquires the Imperial Accident Insurance Company. On 31 December, the United Scottish Herring Drifters Insurance Company Ltd is established.

1913

In July, the Yorkshire acquires the London and Provincial Marine and General Insurance Company and, the following month, acquires The Scottish Boiler Insurance and Engine Inspection Company. The company also acquires all except the fire and workmen’s compensation business of the Premier Insurance Company. Scottish Union and National acquires the City of Glasgow Life Assurance Company while Commercial Union acquires Liverpool Victoria Insurance; the British Mercantile Masters, Officers & Engineers Certificate Protection Society Ltd and the Midland Mutual Plate Glass Insurance Company of Dudley.

GA general building

General Accident London head office building, c 1915

1914

The second White Cross Insurance Association Ltd is incorporated in September as a subsidiary of the Northern.

The Home and Foreign Re-insurance Company Ltd is established as a subsidiary of the West of Scotland Fire Office and sold to Commercial Union in the same year.

The King Insurance Company acquires North Eastern and its own direct business is sold to Commercial Union.

On 2 March, The Guarantee Society becomes a subsidiary of the Yorkshire. Scottish Union and National acquires Maritime Insurance of Liverpool, The Northern acquires The National Guarantee and Suretyship Association Ltd, the British General Insurance Company acquires the Northern Equitable Insurance Company and The Northern acquires the Royal Scottish Insurance Company.

1915

Commercial Union acquires the St Albans Plate Glass Insurance Company and Union Assurance acquires the Cotton Waste Dealers’ Fire Insurance Company. Meanwhile, the Norwich Mutual Plate Glass Insurance Association becomes allied to Norwich Union Fire.

Railway acciddent department

Railway Passengers Assurance accident department staff, c 1916

1917

The National Benefit Assurance Company Ltd, later part of the British General Insurance Company, is established. On 13 August, The Northern acquires The Provident Accident and Guarantee Company. The company also acquires both the Fine Art & General Insurance Company and the Indemnity Marine Assurance Company. Commercial Union acquires the Birmingham Plate Glass Insurance Company and, on 11 September, acquires The National Insurance Company of Great Britain.

1918

Commercial Union acquires Manchester and London Underwriters. In December, the company acquires the Edinburgh Assurance Company. On 24 December, the Road Transport and General Insurance Company Ltd is incorporated. In the same year, the Yorkshire acquires the Ulster Marine Insurance Company while the British General Insurance Company acquires the British and European Insurance Company.

GA staff Cardiff

General Accident Fire & Life Assurance Corporation Ltd. staff at Cardiff branch, 1919

1919

On 7 April, the second Commercial Insurance Company of Ireland Ltd is incorporated in Belfast.

On 26 May, the Automobile and Aircraft Insurance Company is incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of General Accident and, on 4 November, the Scottish Automobile and General Insurance Company Ltd is also incorporated.

The English Insurance Company Ltd is incorporated on 4 December while the World Auxiliary Insurance Corporation Ltd, later part of Commercial Union is also incorporated in this year.

On 2 June, the Employers’ Liability Assurance Corporation acquires The Merchants’ Marine Insurance Company while The Northern acquires the Medway Insurance Company.

1920

The Northern acquires the World Marine and General Insurance Company Ltd.

1921

The Yorkshire acquires The Lancashire & Yorkshire Reversionary Interest Company Ltd, the Oldham Fire Insurance Company Ltd and Bradford Plate Glass Mutual.

Welsh Insurance Corporation headed notepaper, 1920

1922

On 7 October, the Motor Credit Services Ltd is incorporated. The British General Insurance Company acquires the Traders and General Insurance Association Ltd, the National Benefit Assurance Company Ltd and the National Accident Compensation Company Ltd. Also this year, the Yorkshire acquires both the National Safe Deposit Company Ltd and the second Commercial Insurance Company of Ireland.

1923

General Accident acquires the English Insurance Company Ltd, the Road Transport and General Insurance Company and The North of Scotland Plate Glass Insurance Company. The British General Insurance Company Ltd acquires the City Life Assurance Company Ltd, The Northern acquires the London and Scottish Assurance Corporation and the Farmers’ Fire and Accident Insurance Association Ltd acquires the County Livestock Insurance Association Ltd.

GA staff trip

General Accident Fire & Life Assurance Corporation Ltd. staff outing, 1923

1924

Commercial Union acquires the West of Scotland Insurance Office Ltd.

1925

General Accident acquires both the General Life Assurance Company and Motor Credit Services. The Provident Accident and Guarantee Company acquires the second White Cross Insurance Association and Norwich Union Life acquires Norwich Union Fire.

1926

Commercial Union acquires the British General Insurance Company.

1927

Commercial Union is forced to relocate staff and repair its head offices in Cornhill, which collapse as a result of building work carried out by its neighbour, Lloyds Bank.

Railway passengers motor

Railway Passengers Assurance Company proposal, 1927

1928

On 24 March, Lex Garages Ltd is incorporated. Commercial Union acquires the Travellers’ Insurance Association Ltd.

1929

Automotor Finance Ltd is established as a subsidiary of the Scottish Automobile and General Insurance Company Ltd.

1931

The Yorkshire acquires The Property Estates and Reversion Company Ltd.

1933

In May, General Accident acquires the Scottish Automobile and General Insurance Company and its subsidiary, Automotor Finance. The company also acquires the Windsor and Eton Mutual Plate Glass Insurance Company Ltd.

1935

On 28 January, Timberlaine Properties plc, later part of General Accident, is incorporated as the Brighton, Worthing and District Property and Investment Corporation Ltd.

1936

On 1 July, Macalister & Dundas Ltd, later part of the London & Edinburgh Group, is incorporated in Scotland as J W Macalister & Dundas (Assessors) Ltd. Ajax Insurance Holdings Ltd, later part of Norwich Union Fire, is established.

Poster

Provident Mutual Life Assurance Association poster, 1940s

1946

On November 11, Frank Sandell & Sons (Worthing) Ltd, later a subsidiary of Timberlaine Properties Ltd, is incorporated.

1947

The Yorkshire acquires The Bloomfield Land and Building Company Ltd.

1951

Actors Leonard Rossiter and Michael Williams are both working for Commercial Union in its Liverpool branch.

1952

The Yorkshire acquires the Farmers’ Finance and Insurance Office.

1953

Scottish Union and National acquires the Scottish National Key Registry and Assurance Association Ltd.

1954

The United Scottish Insurance Company acquires the Fishing Vessels’ Salvage Association Ltd and the United Kingdom Steam Tug and Trawler Insurance and Indemnity Association Ltd.

1955

Norwich Union Fire acquires the Norwich Mutual Plate Glass Insurance Association Ltd.

Edinburgh prop

Edinburgh Life proposal, 1959

1959

On 22 January, Grampian Properties Ltd is incorporated. Hill House, later Hill House Hammond Ltd, part of Norwich Union Fire, is also established this year. Norwich Union Fire acquires Scottish Union and National and Commercial Union acquires North British & Mercantile.

1960

The Northern acquires the Employers’ Liability Assurance Corporation.

1963

The Yorkshire acquires the Scottish Insurance Corporation Ltd. On 7 August, a mail train from Glasgow is stopped by a signal between Leighton Buzzard and Cheddington in Buckinghamshire. £2,595,291 in used notes is taken from the train. Commercial Union pays out a total of £1,091,340 10s 0d. The heist becomes known as the Great Train Robbery.

1967

On 11 December, the London and Edinburgh Insurance Company, later part of Norwich Union plc, is incorporated as the London & Edinburgh General Insurance Company Ltd. General Accident acquires the majority shareholding in the Yorkshire.

Yorkshire-General Rougier Street York offices, c 1972

1968

In September, the Scottish General Insurance Company Ltd pioneers a new form of motor insurance for the General Accident group; the DC (Direct Communication) plan offers “Better protection for the better driver”. General Accident acquires the remaining share capital of the Yorkshire and Commercial Union acquires The Northern.

1971

Commercial Union acquires Holloways’ Properties Ltd, the World Auxiliary Insurance Corporation Ltd and Sackville Estates Ltd.

1973

On 22 January, Commercial Union sells the issued share capital of the World Marine and General Insurance Company Ltd to Leslie & Godwin.

1974

In May, the Estates House Investment Trust Ltd, later part of Commercial Union, is established as Presta Investments Ltd.

GA private car leaflet

General Accident Fire & Life Assurance Corporation Ltd. leaflet, 1975

1975

On 10 April, Commercial Union Risk Management Ltd is established.

In May, under a scheme of arrangement, the Estates House Investment Trust acquires the assets, undertakings and liabilities of the following companies:

  • British Isles & General Investment Trust Ltd;
  • Cairnton Investment Trust Ltd;
  • First Re-investment Trust Ltd;
  • Melbourne and General Investment Trust Ltd;
  • Nelson Financial Trust Ltd;
  • New World & General Investments Ltd;
  • Scottish, Overseas Investments Ltd;
  • Sterling & Overseas Investments Ltd;
  • United Kingdom & Overseas Investment Company Ltd;
  • Colonial and Foreign Securities Investment Trust Company Ltd;
  • The General Securities Investment Trust Company Ltd;
  • Morgan, Lyons & Co Ltd;
  • Preferential Investment Trust Ltd;
  • Second Re-Investment Trust Ltd;
  • Trust of Trans-Canada Shares Ltd.

In October, General Accident acquires the Brighton, Worthing and District Property and Investment Corporation Ltd.

Norwich Union horse

Norwich Union Insurance advertisement, 1976

1977

Commercial Union acquires the Estates House Investment Trust Ltd.

1983

On 4 October, Plant Safety Ltd is established following the merger of the Commercial Union and General Accident engineering departments. The new company is owned jointly by the two companies.

1986

Commercial acquires Ashton Tod Maclaren.

1988

In November, Commercial Union acquires Quilter Goodison Company Ltd from Banque Paribas.

CU ad

Commercial Union advertisement, 1982

1989

Norwich Union Fire acquires Ajax Insurance Holdings Ltd. General Accident plc is incorporated as Forward Link plc.

1990

On 9 February, Commercial Union plc is incorporated as a holding company for the Commercial Union Group.

1991

Norwich Union Fire acquires Hill House Hammond Ltd.

1992

On 10 April, the Commercial Union head office at St Helen’s, London, later Aviva head office, is badly damaged by an IRA bomb. Scottish Union and National sells Maritime Insurance of Liverpool.

1995

On 28 September, Provident Mutual Life Assurance Ltd announces its merger with General Accident.

1996

In December, Norwich Union plc is incorporated as FileCo (No. 5) plc.

CGU poster

CGU poster, 1999

1998

On 25 February, Commercial Union plc announces that it is merging with General Accident plc. On 2 June, Commercial Union plc is renamed CGU plc. On 16 November, Norwich Union plc acquires the London & Edinburgh Group.

2000

On 21 February, CGU plc announces that it is merging with Norwich Union plc to form CGNU plc.

2002

On 1 July, CGNU plc changes its name to Aviva plc.

2004

On 16 August, Aviva plc announces that Norwich Union Insurance Ltd, its UK general insurance business, has acquired the entire share capital of HPI Group Holdings Ltd from Phoenix Equity Partners.

2005

On 31 March, Aviva plc acquires Gresham Insurance Company Ltd.

2005

Aviva plc acquires RAC plc.

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