Our history

Legacy companies

Hundreds of companies have come together to make Aviva.

  • In 1998, Commercial Union and General Accident merged to form CGU
  • In 2000, CGU merged with Norwich Union to become CGNU, later rebranded as Aviva
  • In 2015, Aviva acquired Friends Life.

This A-Z includes our most historically important constituent companies and those which have operated as independent insurance companies since 1950.

The company was established in 1849 and was the first of two Aviva companies with this name. It was provisionally registered as the Accidental Death Indemnity Association. Business soon expanded to cover non-fatal injuries, as well as accidental death, and the company is acknowledged as the founder of modern accident insurance. The business came to rest with the Accident Insurance Company Ltd, which was acquired by Commercial Union in 1906.

The Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office was founded by a charter of Queen Anne in July 1706. It was reputedly the world's first mutual life assurance office. The Amicable was acquired by the Norwich Union Life Insurance Society in 1866 and the act authorising the transaction described it accordingly as “the first experiment in life assurance”.

Established in June 1921 to take over the business of the well-known London merchant banking house of Arbuthnot Latham and Company (founded 1833). The company was purchased by NZI Trust and Investment Corporation Ltd in 1988. General Accident acquired both the following year in 1989.

Artagen Properties Ltd was established in January 1867 as the Artizans’, Labourers’ and General Dwellings Company Ltd.  The company’s founder, William Austin, wanted to build homes for the industrious poor to give them the benefits of good housing. The business was acquired by Sun Life in 1976, which became part of Friends Life in 2011.

The Australian Mutual Fire Insurance Society Ltd was established in Sydney Australia in 1871. The company was registered in September 1908 and was acquired by Commercial Union in 1920. The company continued to run as a separate concern and in 1960 ownership was transferred to Commercial Union Assurance Company of Australia Ltd. In 1995 the company was deregistered.

The AXA Equity and Law Life Assurance Society plc was established in London in 1844. The founders intended that their company, known as the Equity and Law Life Assurance Society, should provide insurance “on the lives of persons in every profession and station of life”. The company merged with Sun Life in 1997 and became part of Friends Life in 2011.

The British and European Insurance Company Ltd was established in London in November 1908. The company provided general insurance and became a subsidiary of the British General Insurance Company in 1918, which was acquired by Commercial Union in 1926.

The British General Insurance Company Ltd was established in London in January 1904. The company was initially created to undertake fire and accident insurance business in the UK and overseas. In 1926, the business became a subsidiary of Commercial Union and in August 1975 the company’s name changed to the Commercial Union Life Assurance Company Ltd.

The Canadian General Insurance Company was established in 1907 as the General Animals Insurance Company of Canada. In 1997, its holding company, Canadian General Insurance Group Ltd, was acquired by General Accident in Canada and the business was merged into the General Accident Assurance Company of Canada.

The Celtic Insurance Company Ltd was established in Dublin in May 1907 for the “granting in the United Kingdom or abroad of policies, tickets, or other instruments of insurance, assurance, guarantee and indemnification of any kind (excepting life)”.  In October 1911, the company’s shares were acquired by the Counties and General Insurance Company, which was acquired by Yorkshire Insurance the following year.  The business was finally absorbed into Yorkshire Insurance in 1961 at which point the company was liquidated. Yorkshire Insurance became a wholly owned subsidiary of General Accident in 1968.

CGU was formed following the merger of Commercial Union plc and General Accident plc, which was announced on 25 February 1998. On 21 February 2000, CGU announced a merger with Norwich Union plc to become CGNU plc, which was re-branded as Aviva in July 2002.

The Commercial Insurance Company of Ireland Ltd was incorporated in Belfast in April 1919. The company was registered to undertake all classes of insurance, except life and bond insurance. In August 1922, the business was acquired by the Yorkshire Insurance Company, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of General Accident in 1968.

Established in September 1861 as the Commercial Union Assurance Company. The company was formed in response to premium increases following the Great Fire of Tooley Street in June 1861. It was initially a fire insurer. In February 1998, the parent company, Commercial Union plc, announced a merger with General Accident plc. Commercial Union Assurance's name changed to CGU International Insurance plc and it became a subsidiary of the new holding company, CGU plc.

The Edinburgh Life Assurance Company was established in August 1823. In its early years, the company carved out a niche as a life and endowment insurer, but it extended its portfolio during the 20th century. In December 1918, the company was acquired by Commercial Union and it continued to operate as a subsidiary company under the name Edinburgh Assurance Company Ltd.

The Employers' Liability Assurance Corporation was incorporated in October 1880 to offer employers' liability and general accident insurance in the UK. It was the first company established to offer the former. Its chairman, Lord Claud Hamilton MP, insisted that they made employers work to prevent accidents by refusing to insure those it did not consider to be taking proper precautions. The company merged with the Northern Assurance Company in 1960 under a new holding company, the Northern and Employers Assurance Company Ltd. This was acquired by Commercial Union in 1968.

Founded in January 1921 as the English Estates Association Ltd. The company was established to “engage in all classes of estates business and garden city schemes”. The company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Friends’ Provident (then Friends' Provident and Century) in 1939.

The English Insurance Company Ltd was incorporated in December 1919 to provide life, fire, accident, employers' liability, and marine insurance. It became a subsidiary of General Accident in 1923. During 1982, General Accident acquired the remaining 47.7% of the company's ordinary share capital from Hill Samuel, making the company a wholly owned subsidiary.

Established in York in 1900 as the Farmers Fire and Accident Insurance Association. The company’s founder was John Hetherton. Hetherton had already established specialist plate glass and livestock companies in York. By 1951, the company specialised in offering loans to farmers so they could buy equipment. Its business was transferred to Yorkshire Insurance in 1955.  Yorkshire Insurance became a wholly owned subsidiary of General Accident in 1968.

The Fine Art and General Insurance Company Ltd was incorporated in July 1890 as the Fine Art Insurance Company. The company was originally established to offer fire insurance for pictures, objets d'art, and art exhibitions. It became a subsidiary of North British and Mercantile in 1917, which was acquired by Commercial Union in 1959.

Friends Life was created in 2011 following the amalgamation of Friends Provident, the majority of AXA's UK life business, and Bupa Health Assurance. The businesses were brought together and rebranded as the Friends Life Group, which provided pensions, investments and insurance, and retirement income products. The business was acquired by Aviva in April 2015.

Friends’ Provident was formed in Yorkshire by members of a religious group known as the Society of Friends (Quakers). This followed the death of one of their brethren, a master at Ackworth School, near Pontefract. He had died without making financial provision for his family and it was decided that a life assurance association should be created to serve the community. The company became part of the Friends Life Group in 2011, which was acquired by Aviva in 2015.

Established in February 1891 to take over the business, assets, and liabilities of the General Accident and Employers' Liability Assurance Association Ltd, which had been founded in 1885. The company was a pioneer in the motor insurance business and issued its first motor prospectus in 1896. On 25 February 1998 its parent company, General Accident plc, announced a merger with Commercial Union. Accordingly, on 1 October 1999, the company changed its name to CGU Insurance plc and became a subsidiary of the new holding company, CGU.

The General Hail Storm Insurance Society was established in Norwich in November 1843 to “grant policies of insurance against loss by hail storm to crops of corn, turnips, and other farming and gardening produce, as well as glass in dwelling houses, hot-houses, green-houses, and other buildings”. It was purchased in 1898 by the Norwich and London Accident Insurance Association, which was itself acquired by the Norwich Union Fire Society in 1909.

Established in October 1837 as the Protestant Dissenters' and General Life and Fire Assurance Company. It offered special rates for ministers and those “connected with the great body of Protestant Dissenters”. The company went through several name changes before becoming a subsidiary of General Accident in 1925. General Life acted as the life insurer in the General Accident group, changing its name to Yorkshire-General Life following GA's acquisition of Yorkshire Insurance in 1968. In 1985, it became General Accident Life Assurance Ltd and subsequently CGU Life Assurance Ltd (1998), and CGNU Life Assurance Ltd (2000).

The Gresham Insurance Company Ltd was established in London in 1910. The company was originally called the Gresham Fire and Accident Insurance Society and was formed to undertake fire, accident, and general business. In March 2005, the company was acquired by CGU International Insurance plc.

The Guarantee Society Ltd was established in London in June 1840 as a private partnership. Its aim was to guarantee employers against loss, should an individual employee embezzle or defraud them. The company was the first fidelity insurer and was formed as a result of an idea by Henry Rodgers. This was to answer the problems faced by those who had been let down by friends and relatives for whom they had acted as surety. In March 1914, the Guarantee Society became a subsidiary of the Yorkshire Insurance Company, which was acquired by General Accident in 1968.

The Hand in Hand Fire and Life Insurance Society was established in London in November 1696. The company was first called the "Contributors for Insuring Houses, Chambers or Rooms from Loss by Fire, by Amicable Contribution". It became known as the Hand in Hand after its mark (logo), which depicts two hands joined with a crown over them. In June 1905, the society was the UK’s oldest insurer when its assets and business were transferred to Commercial Union.

The Hercules Insurance Company of Scotland was established in 1809 as a fire insurer based in Edinburgh and later began to offer life assurance. The company produced Aviva’s earliest proposals and rates offering annuities as pensions so that “persons engaged in laborious trades may secure annuities for what may remain of their lives, after age, or any other cause, shall render them unfit for hard labour”. The company’s life business was sold to Scottish Union Insurance in 1835. Its fire business was also sold to Scottish Union in 1849. Scottish Union, under the name Scottish Union and National, was acquired by Norwich Union Fire in 1959.

Hibernian Insurance plc was established in Dublin in May 1908. The company was initially known as the Hibernian Fire and General Insurance Company Ltd and primarily provided fire insurance, concentrating on public authority business from the Dublin Corporation. In the 1960s, Commercial Union held the majority shareholding in the company, but it did not properly become part of the Aviva Group until January 2000, when its remaining shares were acquired by CGU plc.

The Imperial Accident Insurance Company Ltd was established in 1878 as the Imperial Livestock Insurance Association Ltd, a specialist livestock insurer. The company was acquired in 1912 by Commercial Union and continued operating as a subsidiary of that company, under the name Imperial Live Stock and General Insurance Company, until it was dissolved in 1948.

The Indemnity Mutual Marine Assurance Company Ltd was established in August 1824 to provide marine insurance for merchants and ship owners. It was the first company to open for business following the passing of the Marine Insurance Bill in 1824, which ended the monopoly of Lloyds and the London and Royal Exchange on marine insurance. In 1917, the company became a subsidiary of the Northern Assurance Company Ltd, which was acquired by Commercial Union in 1968.

La Paix was established in 1881 to provide accident insurance and was originally called La Caisse de Familles. The company changed its name to La Paix in 1902. In 1957, it merged with L’Abeille under a new holding company, which was eventually organised as Compagnie Financière du Groupe Victoire. Groupe Victoire’s general insurance operations were acquired by Commercial Union in 1994.

L'Abeille Compagnies d'Assurances can trace its history back to 1856. In that year, L'Abeille Bourguignonne Société d'Assurances contre la grêle was established in Dijon to offer hailstorm insurance. In 1957, the companies in L’Abeille group merged with La Paix under a new holding company, which was eventually organised as Compagnie Financière du Groupe Victoire. Groupe Victoire’s general insurance operations were acquired by Commercial Union in 1994.

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Reversionary Interest Company Ltd was established in Manchester in May 1884 to purchase life interests and reversions. The company provided finance for people who had expectations of an inheritance, but didn’t want to wait for the money. It became a subsidiary of Yorkshire Insurance in 1921, which was acquired by General Accident in 1968.

The Liberal Annuity Company of Dublin was established in May 1780 and formed into a company by agreement in 1786. Members paid an annual subscription fee which guaranteed an annuity for their widows and children in the event of death. The business was acquired by the National Assurance Company of Ireland in May 1876, which became a constituent of General Accident in 1968, with the latter's acquisition of Yorkshire Insurance.

The London & Edinburgh Insurance Group Ltd was incorporated in 1970 as Excess Holdings Ltd. In 1973, the company took ownership of the issued share capital of the London and Edinburgh Insurance Company and its associated companies, whose business had a history dating back to 1919. In 1988, the company changed its name to the London & Edinburgh Insurance Group. It was acquired by Norwich Union Insurance in 1998.

Established in October 1869 as the London and Manchester Industrial Assurance Company Ltd. The company provided life and endowment assurance and also had a sickness and medical aid department. In November 1998, the business was acquired by Friends’ Provident, which became part of Friends Life in 2011.

Established in 1860 by a group of merchants and ship owners as the London and Provincial Marine Insurance Company. In January 1912, the majority shareholding was purchased by the World Marine Insurance Company Ltd, which sold its stake to the Yorkshire Insurance Company a year later. Yorkshire Insurance became a wholly owned subsidiary of General Accident in 1968.

The London and Scottish Assurance Corporation Ltd was established in August 1862 as the London and Lancashire Life Assurance Company. In 1919, the company changed its name to the London and Scottish Assurance Corporation and in 1923 it became a subsidiary of the Northern Assurance Company. Northern Assurance became a subsidiary of Commercial Union in 1968 through its acquisition of the Northern and Employers Assurance Company Ltd.

The Mercantile Accident and Guarantee Company Ltd was established in Glasgow in 1885. The company initially offered general accident, fidelity guarantee, and employers' liability insurance. The Mercantile Accident was the first UK insurer to offer burglary insurance, which it introduced in June 1889. The business was absorbed in 1891 by the Scottish Alliance Insurance Company. Scottish Alliance was amalgamated by the Union Assurance Society in 1903, which became a subsidiary of Commercial Union in 1907.

The Merchants' Marine Insurance Company Ltd was established in London in March 1871. Initially a marine insurer, the company was providing accident, fire, marine, and motor insurance by the time it was acquired by the Employers’ Liability Assurance Corporation in June 1919. Employers’ Liability merged with Northern Assurance in 1960 under a new holding company, the Northern and Employers Assurance Company Ltd, which was acquired by Commercial Union in 1968.

The National Assurance Company of Ireland was established in Dublin in December 1822. The company began to offer fire insurance from January 1823 and soon branched out into life and marine insurance as well. Between 1904 and 1907, the company negotiated a number of agreements to transfer its goodwill and agency connections in the UK and colonies to the Yorkshire Insurance Company, which became a wholly owned subsidiary of General Accident in 1968.

The National Guarantee and Suretyship Association Ltd was established in April 1863 to insure organisations against misappropriation of funds or other losses due to the actions of their staff. In 1914, the company became a subsidiary of the Northern Assurance Company, which was acquired by Commercial Union in 1968.

The National Insurance Company of Great Britain Ltd was founded in Glasgow in June 1897. The company was established as a fire insurer, but soon opened accident, burglary, and plate glass departments. It became a subsidiary of Commercial Union in September 1917.

The National Mutual Life Association of Australasia Ltd was established in Australia in August 1869 and started operating in the UK in 1898. In 1993, Friends’ Provident acquired National Mutual of Australia’s life assurance and unit trust business in the UK.

The National Reversionary Investment Company was established in London in 1837. The company was founded “for the purchase of absolute or contingent reversions, life interests and policies of assurance on lives”.  The business was acquired in 1910 by the Equity and Law Life Assurance Society.

Established in May 1872 as the National Safe Deposit Company Ltd. The object of the company was to provide fire and burglar proof accommodation for the storage of valuable items. It was acquired by the Yorkshire Insurance Company in 1920 and was eventually run as a trustee company for General Accident. It changed its name to General Accident Executor & Trustee Company Ltd in 1973.

The Newcastle upon Tyne Fire Office was established in November 1783 to insure buildings, houses, and goods from damage by fire. In January 1800, the company extended its business to include life assurance and, in 1859, the business was absorbed by the North British Insurance Company, later called North British and Mercantile. North British and Mercantile became a subsidiary of Commercial Union in 1959.

The North British and Mercantile Insurance Company Ltd was established in Edinburgh in April 1809. The company was originally called the North British Insurance Company, or North British Fire Office, but changed its name in 1862 after merging with the Mercantile Fire Insurance Company. After 150 years of independence, the company became a subsidiary of Commercial Union in 1959.

The Northern and Employers Assurance Company Ltd was a holding company established in 1960 to effect the merger of the Northern Assurance Company and Employers’ Liability Assurance Company. The group was acquired by Commercial Union in 1968.

Established in Aberdeen in 1836 as the North of Scotland Fire and Life Assurance Company. It was renamed the Northern Assurance Company in June 1848. The company merged with the Employers' Liability Assurance Corporation in 1960 under a new holding company, the Northern and Employers Assurance Company Ltd, which was acquired by Commercial Union in 1968.

Established in September 1856 by Charles Rackham Gilman as the Norwich and London Accident and Casualty Insurance Association. By 1870, the association was offering insurance “against accidental death with compensation in case of personal injury by accidents of all kinds”. The company was acquired by Norwich Union Fire in 1909.

The Norwich General Assurance Company was established by Thomas Bignold in November 1792 to insure against loss by fire. In 1797, Bignold left the company to establish a mutual fire insurer, the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society. In 1821, the board of directors was authorised to “negotiate with the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society to transfer the present existing risks to that office”.

The Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society Ltd was established in March 1797 as the Norwich Union Society for Insuring of Buildings, Goods, Merchandises & Effects from Loss by Fire. In 1997, the company changed its name to Norwich Union Insurance Ltd. In February 2000 its holding company, Norwich Union plc, announced that it was merging with CGU plc to form CGNU, which was rebranded as Aviva in July 2002.

Established in Norwich in 1808 as a mutual life insurer. The company was originally known as the Norwich Union Society (or Union Office) for Insurances on Lives and Survivorships. In February 2000 its holding company, Norwich Union plc, announced that it was merging with CGU plc to form CGNU, which was rebranded as Aviva in July 2002.

The Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation Ltd was established in London in 1876. The company initially offered guarantee insurance and was called the Ocean and General Guarantee Company Ltd. In 1890, after merging with its sister company (Ocean, Railway and General Accident Assurance), the company began to offer accident insurance as well. Ocean Accident became a subsidiary of Commercial Union in 1910.

The Ocean Marine Insurance Company Ltd was established in London in November 1859 to “supply a great and growing want of additional facilities for effecting Marine Insurance in the City [of London]”. In 1908, the company became a subsidiary of North British and Mercantile, which became a subsidiary of Commercial Union in 1959.

The Palatine Insurance Company Ltd was established in Manchester in 1886 as the Palatine Fire Insurance Company Ltd.  The company was established to reinsure the surpluses of the Mutual Fire Insurance Corporation, which specialised in offering insurance to the textile industry. In June 1900, the business was acquired by Commercial Union; the company was wound up and a new company, the Palatine Insurance Co of London, was established.

The Pilot Insurance Company was established in Toronto, Canada, in April 1927. The company provided motor and property insurance in Ontario and was acquired by General Accident in January 1986.

Established in 1852 as the Plate Glass Universal Insurance Company. It was the UK's first plate glass insurer. The company was acquired by Commercial Union in September 1910, at which point it went into voluntary liquidation.

The Provident Accident and Guarantee Company Ltd was established in London in July 1865. Originally called the Provident Clerks' and General Guarantee Association Ltd, the company changed its name several times. In August 1917 the business, by this time called the Provident Accident and Guarantee Company, was acquired by the Northern Assurance Company. Provident continued to operate as a subsidiary of Northern and, in 1925, merged with another subsidiary to form the Provident Accident and White Cross Insurance Company. In 1968 Northern became a subsidiary of Commercial Union.

The company was established in 1840 as the Provident Clerks' Mutual Benefit Association, to meet the needs of “that numerous and respectable body of men, the clerks of the metropolis”. In 1846, Provident Mutual set up the first UK group life assurance scheme and pioneered a system to take weekly or monthly premiums from wages to allow all employees of participating companies to afford life cover. A merger with General Accident was announced in September 1995.

The Railway Passengers Assurance Company Ltd was established in December 1848 as the Universal Railway Casualty Compensation Company. The company was formed following a discussion in 1848 between H F Holt and his clerk, E Hudson, about the possibility of securing insurance against the railway accidents which were then an almost daily occurrence. Although its business was limited initially to accidents on the railway, it was the first company specifically established to undertake accident insurance. In July 1910, Railway Passengers became a subsidiary of the North British and Mercantile Insurance Company, which was acquired by Commercial Union in 1959.

The Road Transport and General Insurance Company Ltd was established in December 1918 by Thomas Tilling Ltd, to provide transit insurance to that company and to its directors, friends, and shareholders. The company became a subsidiary of General Accident in 1923.

The Royal Scottish Insurance Company Ltd was established in Glasgow in January 1907. The company provided fire and general accident insurance, primarily in Scotland and Northern England. In 1914, Royal Scottish became a subsidiary of the Northern Assurance Company, which became part of Commercial Union in 1968.

The Scottish & York Insurance Ltd was established in Canada in March 1961. The speciality risk insurer was acquired by General Accident in Canada as part of the Canadian General Insurance Group in 1997.

The Scottish Automobile and General Insurance Company Ltd was incorporated in November 1919 and specialised in the insurance of motors vehicles. In May 1933, the company was acquired by General Accident and in 1939, it was renamed the Scottish General Insurance Company Ltd. It was felt that the previous name was too restrictive and gave potential customers the impression that it was mostly a motor insurer.

The Scottish Boiler and General Insurance Company Ltd was established in Glasgow in September 1881 as the Scottish Boiler Insurance and Engine Inspection Company Ltd. The company was acquired by Yorkshire Insurance in August 1913 and continued to run as the engineering arm of General Accident into the 1990s.

The Scottish Canadian Assurance Corporation was incorporated in Canada in 1920. The company was acquired by General Accident in 1923 and continued to run as a subsidiary until 1978 when its business was amalgamated with that of the General Accident Assurance Company of Canada and Canadian Pioneer Insurance Company.

The Scottish Insurance Corporation Ltd was established in Edinburgh in January 1877 as the Scottish Accident Insurance Company Ltd. Over the years the company’s name changed to reflect changes in the insurance it offered. In 1896, it became the Scottish Accident Life and Fidelity Insurance Company Ltd; and in 1906, the Scottish Accident Life and General Insurance Company Ltd. The company’s final name change took place in 1911. In 1963, the business was acquired by Yorkshire Insurance. Yorkshire Insurance became a wholly owned subsidiary of General Accident in 1968.

The Scottish Metropolitan Assurance Company Ltd was established in Edinburgh in May 1876. The company was initially called the Scottish Metropolitan Life Assurance Company, but extended its business to offer accident insurance from 1889. In August 1912, the company became a subsidiary of the London and Lancashire Life and General Assurance Association Ltd, which later changed its name to the London and Scottish Assurance Corporation. London and Scottish became a subsidiary of Northern Assurance in 1923, which was acquired by Commercial Union in 1968.

The Scottish Union and National Insurance Company was established in November 1824 as the Scottish Union Insurance Company. The company’s prospectus allowed it to offer both fire and life assurance and its first life policy was issued within a month of it starting business. In January 1877 Scottish Union merged with the Scottish National Insurance Company and changed its name to the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company. The business was acquired by Norwich Union Fire in 1959.

The Scottish-National Key Registry and Assurance Association Ltd was established in Edinburgh in 1885 to provide compensation for “total loss of keys”.  It was the first company to offer key insurance and described itself in advertising as “the original and premier of its kind”. The company later diversified into travelling, cycling and general accident insurance and was acquired in 1953 by Scottish Union and National.

Established in London in 1810 as a sister company to the Sun Fire Office. Originally called the Sun Life Assurance Society, it was registered as a limited company in 1963 and as a public limited company in 1981. Sun Life was acquired by the AXA Group in 1997; AXA's UK life business subsequently became part of the Friends Life Group in 2011, which was acquired by Aviva in 2015.

The Travellers' Insurance Association Ltd was established in June 1910 as the Travellers' Baggage Insurance Association Ltd. The company initially provided insurance against land and marine transport risks. They quickly saw the benefits of combining this with personal accident insurance, however, to create a total package protecting both the traveller and their possessions. In September 1928, the company became a subsidiary of Commercial Union.

The Ulster Marine Insurance Company was established in Belfast in November 1867. The company initially insured marine cargoes and freight and expanded to offer general transport insurance in 1891. In 1918 the business was acquired by the Yorkshire Insurance Company.  Following its acquisition by the Yorkshire, the company continued to offer marine, aviation and transport insurance until 1963. In 1968 Yorkshire Insurance became a wholly owned subsidiary of General Accident.

The Union Assurance Company was established in 1714 as the Union Fire Office. The company was initially limited to contents insurance. In 1805, its business was extended to offer cover for buildings as well, and in 1813 it began to provide life assurance. In 1907, having had to pay significant claims following the San Francisco earthquake, the company became a subsidiary of Commercial Union.

The United Kingdom Provident Institution was established in London in 1840. It’s founder wanted to provide life assurance specifically for teetotallers and the company was originally called the United Kingdom Total Abstinence Life Association. UK Provident, as it came to be known, merged with Friends' Provident in 1986.

The Welfare Insurance Company Ltd was established in London in November 1949. The company initially provided fire and accident insurance and was originally known as the Welfare and General Assurance Company Ltd. The business became a subsidiary of the London and Manchester Assurance Company in 1976 which was itself acquired by Friends’ Provident in 1998.

The West of England Fire and Life Insurance Company was established in Exeter in 1807. The company was founded in response to a fire at Chudleigh in May 1807 and was initially called the West of England Fire Insurance Company (including Devonshire, Somersetshire, Cornwall and Dorsetshire). The business was acquired by Commercial Union in 1894.

The West of Scotland Insurance Office Ltd was established in Glasgow in December 1886. The company was founded to fill the need for a local fire insurer in Glasgow and was initially known as the West of Scotland Fire Office Ltd. The company became a subsidiary of Commercial Union in March 1924.

The White Cross Insurance Association Ltd was established in 1906 as the Red Cross Indemnity Assurance Company. The company was the first to calculate motor premiums based on the horse power, age, and type of vehicle. In February 1912, the company was renamed the White Cross Insurance Association Ltd following the Hague Convention and legal limitations placed on the use of the red cross symbol and the words "red cross". In May 1914, the Association was acquired by the Northern Assurance Company Ltd, which became part of Commercial Union in 1968.

The World Auxiliary Insurance Corporation Ltd was established in September 1919. The company provided fire, marine and accident insurance and was acquired by Commercial Union in May 1971 when its parent company, Vehicle and General, went into liquidation.

The Yorkshire Insurance Company Ltd was established in 1824 as the Yorkshire Fire and Life Insurance Company.  The company’s objectives were "to effect insurance against loss by fire and on lives and survivorships and the sale and purchase of annuities and reversions and the endowment of children". In 1967, the majority of the company's share capital was acquired by General Accident, which acquired the remaining amount the following year.

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