Safeco Insurance History

Safeco Insurance® Company of America began in 1923 in Seattle, Washington. Even though that wasn't a typical location for an insurance provider, the company's reputation grew quickly, and it soon expanded its reach from the West Coast to the East Coast. Founder H.K. Dent's vision started with the sales of property and casualty insurance under the name General Insurance Company of America.

Thirty years later, the history of Safeco Insurance took a turn when the company then known as "The General" started a subsidiary named Selective Auto and Fire Insurance Company of America—SAFECO. By the 1960s, the subsidiary offered life insurance, mutual funds and commercial lines of credit. It dropped The General moniker to operate exclusively as Safeco.

For decades, the company's innovation with computer automation tools has helped it thrive. Put it all together, and for nearly 100 years, Safeco Insurance has been providing competitive prices and superb service while meeting the needs of customers looking for the right insurance.

The History of Safeco Insurance—Sales and Acquisitions

Safeco Insurance history includes purchasing and merging with several other businesses, beginning in the 1990s, helping accelerate growth:

  • 1997 - Safeco Insurance acquired American States Financial Corporation, which helped it expand east. Previously, American States Financial Corporation sold life and property and casualty insurance. This purchase doubled the number of agents working with the company and helped it become a leading writer of insurance policies for small and midsized businesses.
  • 2001 - 2004 - Sold commercial credit operations, as well as life insurance and investment business. This move allowed the company to focus on its property and casualty business.
  • 2008 - Liberty Mutual Insurance, the country's third-largest property and casualty insurer, bought the company in an agreement that allowed it to continue to focus on selling personal insurance policies through independent agents. These policies include coverage for home, autos, motorcycles, watercraft and more.

Throughout Safeco's history, the company has experienced changes that have transformed it into the business it is today. Despite its growth, Safeco continues to respect founder H.K. Dent's vision of competitive pricing and disciplined underwriting. In this way, the past will continue to guide the company's future.

If you'd like to be part of that future, call today to speak with a licensed agent.