Unitrin Insurance Company
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Unitrin Insurance was born in 1990 as a subsidiary company of Teledyne Inc., which was responsible for some of the most memorable products of the 1980s and 1990s. Led by entrepreneur Henry Singleton, the Teledyne Corporation had made a habit out of acquiring small and undervalued companies and spinning them up into profitable and viable corporations. In 1990, Singleton created Unitrin in the hope that he could garner the same success as he had with Argonaut, a workers compensation insurance provider, which had recently provided a five-to-one stock split for shareholders. In April of 1990, Unitrin got its start in three distinct insurance categories – life and health, property and casualty, and consumer finance, which included the Unitrin auto insurance division.
Located in Chicago, Illinois, the Unitrin Insurance Company relied on a time-tested and almost forgotten method to build its initial customer base – door to door sales. Well-informed and well-dressed agents went door to door selling excellent auto insurance policies at reasonable prices. Whatsmore, these same agents were willing to come back each month to collect premiums in person, eliminating the need for postage or the potential for a payment to be lost in the mail. In a world lacking the ability to pay bills online, this service was extremely well-received and generated substantial customer leads for the company as well as garnering it critical acclaim. As its profile began to rise, however, so did its value as a target for hostile takeovers. In 1994, another company attempted to acquire Unitrin insurance, but in a bold move to defend its own assets, the company purchased enough of its own stock to retain control of its own operation and also managed to increase its profitability at the same time.
Since that time, the company has only gained strength and now boasts over 6 million policyholders nationwide – with assets approaching 9 billion dollars. Unitrin insurance also employs over 7,000 agents to distribute their line of Unitrin auto insurance and home insurance policies. The company currently sells its products both via independent agents and through employer-sponsored voluntary benefit programs.
By separating the three distinct areas of business that make up the Unitrin brand, the company has seen continued financial success even in the face of general economic slowdown. With a commitment to ethical insurance practices as well as establishing the widest economic base possible, Unitrin Insurance is dedicated to making sure that both its own interests and those of its customers are well looked after no matter what sort of storms the economic climate may bring.