In September 1950 the Insurance Company of North America (INA), the largest and oldest company of its kind in the United States, introduced a profoundly innovative idea that transformed the insurance industry. Incorporated in 1794, INA merged with Connecticut General Corporation in 1982 to form CIGNA Corporation.
INA's new multiline or package homeowner's policy offered coverage for almost anything that could happen to a house and cost 20% less than the combined premiums on separate policies homeowners had to buy for similar coverage.1 Newspaper ads that promoted the new policy in early 1950s read:
The estimated cost for a five-year policy under the new "package" in 1950 ranged between $88 and $100 while separate policies would cost $125.4 The new package policies were an immediate success with homeowners for the cost savings and simplicity. They were also welcomed by insurance agents as they were easier to explain and sell to consumers.
The event had a tremendous impact not only for the insurance industry, but for banking, savings and loan, and the home building industries as well. This protection for homes and businesses, offered by the new comprehensive policies, provided more security to lenders' financial stakes in real estate market. The less expensive coverage made home ownership affordable to many Americans which in turn boosted the building industry and ultimately, the U.S. economy.
It was not long before other insurance companies followed INA's leadership into the new era of modernized and streamlined insurance.5 Today homeowners insurance is essential to protect the homeowner's assets from fire, theft, and increasing threats of climate-related damages. Besides, most mortgage lenders require homebuyers to have insurance for the duration of the mortgage.
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These titles provide more information on the history of INA and homeowners insurance as well as current consumer information. The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.
These are articles on the homeowner's insurance and the history of INA.
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These links provide current information on homeowners insurance from the insurance industry, federal government and consumer information sources. Search the internet for state specific information using the state name and "homeowners insurance."
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