Skip to Main Content

Life Insurance Agents and Brokers


The first life insurance company in the United States was founded in Philadelphia in 1759 and was known as "A Corporation for the Relief of Poor and Distressed Presbyterian Ministers and of Poor and Distressed Widows and Children of Presbyterian Ministers." The company did business into the 1990s (under the shortened name of Presbyterian Ministers Fund), until it was acquired by Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company (which is now known as the Unum Group). In the middle of the 19th century, companies similar to today's life insurance firms began to develop. Two types of organizations grew: mutual companies, which are owned by the policyholders, and stock companies, which are owned by stockholders. The emergence of the profession of full-time insurance agent, who is paid a commission on the basis of what is sold, contributed greatly to the growth of life insurance.

Related Professions