A Brief History of Auto-Owners Insurance

A Brief History of Auto-Owners Insurance: Auto-Owners Insurance has been around since 1927, although that name didn’t come about until the 1980s. Originally known as Auto-Owners Insurance Company, it was founded in Lansing, Michigan by Arthur Capper and Jack Reichert. They started the company with just $10,000 and one employee – they wanted to provide auto insurance to customers who didn’t have it, or who were paying too much for insurance they didn’t need.

The Early Years

The story began in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1922. A local businessman wanted to ensure his auto parts business and went searching for an insurance provider. After being turned down by every other company, he decided to start his own insurance company—and named it Auto-Owners Insurance. The company grew steadily throughout its first few decades, but really took off in 1966 when it was acquired by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Under its new parent company’s umbrella, Auto-Owners (now Auto-Owners) experienced rapid growth and became a leading insurer across all lines of business by 1990. But it wasn’t until 1994 that things got interesting: auto-owners announced plans to spin off from Blue Cross Blue Shield and become a public stock company that anyone could invest in.

The Company Grows

Although founded in 1926 by Lucius P. Ordway, Auto-Owners Insurance didn’t become a significant player until it was acquired by Lansing Trade Group in 2005. The merger gave Auto-Owners access to a more robust insurance network, allowing them to provide clients with high-quality coverage at competitive rates. At its peak in 2010, Auto-Owners employed over 5,200 people and provided coverage for over 3 million cars and trucks. Today, Auto-Owners remains one of Michigan’s largest employers and helps protect more than 1 million vehicles across 21 states.

What’s Next?

It’s a long road ahead for Detroit, but with ever-increasing numbers of residents willing to take back their city, it’s clear that there is hope. However, while much has been done to improve infrastructure and security in some areas, a lot more work needs to be done in terms of addressing poverty issues and unemployment. The city has also made some headlines lately for crime issues—but these are complex problems that will not be solved overnight. Even so, there are signs that Detroit is on its way toward becoming a major player in public transit and green energy development—areas where it could really shine given its natural resources.

The Current State

We’re experiencing a transformation in every area—regarding our business, underwriting, agents, and customers. We are growing through innovation, technological advancement, and investing in what matters most to our customers—and it’s working. But we can’t rest on our laurels because we never forget why we exist. For more than 115 years, our mission has been simple: To help people get back on their feet when life happens. No matter where you are in your personal journey, we are committed to providing high-quality protection at an affordable price so you can live your best life possible — today and tomorrow.

Looking back at the success

To understand where an organization stands today, it’s often helpful to look back at its beginnings. That’s particularly true in the case of companies that have weathered a lot over time, such as 100-year-old auto insurer Auto-Owners Insurance. Its history—and specifically how it came to be known for certain policies and features—can help us see what it has done right and areas where improvements might be made to accommodate evolving consumer needs. For example, whereas other insurance companies once focused on low initial premiums as a way to attract customers and win market share, Auto-Owners tend not to do so anymore.

The Future

In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles are a part of our future, but it’s unclear how quickly that tomorrow will come to fruition and whether or not auto insurance companies will be affected. Companies like Google, Tesla, and Apple are pushing toward self-driving cars; for example, Google has driven more than 1.5 million miles with its fleet of autonomous Priuses (though there have been accidents). Most recently, Uber also announced plans to deploy driverless cars in Pittsburgh as soon as September 2016. These two announcements—and many others—have made some big waves across Silicon Valley and Detroit; all signs indicate that we may be closer than ever to seeing a world without human drivers.

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