Travelers History

two men standing in front of Travelers mobile claim van from the 50s

165+ Years of History

We have been around for more than 165 years and have earned a reputation as one of the best property casualty insurers in the industry because we take care of our customers.

The Founding of Travelers

In 1864, Hartford businessman James G. Batterson met a local banker, James E. Bolter, in the post office. Bolter had heard that Batterson and several fellow townsmen were organizing a company to introduce accident insurance to the United States. He asked Batterson how much he would charge to insure him for his four-block walk home. “Two cents,” Batterson said.

Today, that two-cent “premium” is a souvenir treasured by Travelers. Batterson served as president of Travelers from our founding on April 1, 1864, until his death in 1901.

The Founding of The St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company

After recognizing the need for a local insurance company to deal with the increasing threat of fire, Alexander Wilkin, secretary of the Minnesota Territory, and 16 other St. Paul businessmen established the St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company. The company paid its first claim in 1855 after a fire spread from a bakery to an adjacent row of offices.

In 1968, St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company formed The St. Paul Companies, Inc.

Our Joint History

The St. Paul and Travelers merged on April 1, 2004, to form one of the largest property casualty insurers and financial services firms: The St. Paul Travelers Companies, Inc.

In February 2007, we changed our name to The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Company Firsts and Other Milestones

We have a history of “firsts” – demonstrating our ability to adapt to changing times while maintaining a steadfast commitment to our customers. We are often one or two steps ahead of the industry, consistently offering innovative products and ideas.

  • 1864: *Introduced accident insurance.
  • 1889: Offered liability insurance to employers, known today as workers compensation.
  • 1897: *Issued an automobile insurance policy.
  • 1903: *Opened an insurance school.
  • 1904: *Organized a corps of safety engineers.
  • 1919: *Offered aircraft liability insurance, with a full aviation program.
  • 1919: The Travelers Tower was built in Hartford, Connecticut, and stood as the tallest building in New England at the time. The Tower celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019 – learn more here.
  • 1956: *Established a weather research center.
  • 1958: *Offered life insurance to women at lower rates than men.
  • 1961: *Introduced a new coverage option for electronic data processing.
  • 1968: *Pioneered the “CAT Van,” a specially modified RV used as a mobile claim office to assist policyholders after disasters.
  • 1969: *Issued accident policies for space flight and lunar exploration.
  • 1971: *Established the Office of Consumer Information, providing all consumers, not just Travelers customers, with a toll-free number, to call and comment on insurance issues or ask insurance-related questions.
  • 1980: *Installed an interactive company/insurance agency computer system.
  • 1997: *Launched an insurance policy to protect individuals who use personal computers for online banking.
  • 1999: *Offered Identity Fraud Expense Reimbursement.
  • 2006: *Offered a discount nationally to drivers of hybrid vehicles.
  • 2007: Became the title sponsor of the Travelers Championship.
  • 2009: Added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, making Travelers the only property casualty insurance company and one of only a few financial services companies in the Dow.
  • 2016: *Created the Early Severity Predictor, the first predictive model to help injured employees avoid chronic pain and opioid use.
  • 2017: *Introduced ZoneCheck®, a first-of-its-kind online tool to help customers identify areas surrounding a job site that could be affected by vibrations from heavy equipment.
  • 2018: Offered a new stand-alone cyber insurance product for organizations of all sizes in the United Kingdom and Ireland to provide liability and first-party cover for losses from cyberattacks.
  • 2018: Partnered with Cedars-Sinai, Samsung Electronics America, Bayer and AppliedVR to explore the effectiveness of a digital pain-reduction kit that uses therapeutic virtual reality and wearable technology as a non-pharmacological supplement.
  • 2018: Introduced MyTravelers® for Injured Employees, a web-based and mobile-friendly self-service tool for workers compensation claims.
  • 2018: *Partnered with Amazon to launch digital storefront.
  • 2019: *Offered enhanced cyber coverage to help customers avoid experiencing a repeat breach.
  • 2019: Announced The Travelers Paying It Forward Savings Program, helping employees save for retirement while tackling student debt.
  • 2019: Introduced Risk Toolworks, a mobile app for business customers, allowing them to access tools, guides and resources to manage risk.
  • 2019: Established a new comprehensive Life Sciences practice, offering insurance and risk management solutions across the fields of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and digital health.
  • 2019: Offered independent agents real-time customer alerts through the EZLynx Management System.
  • 2019: Offered customers the option to receive digital claim payments through PayPal®.
  • 2019: Implemented new 3-D technology from HOVER to assist in assessing property damage after a catastrophe.
  • 2019: Introduced the Catastrophe Map Viewer, providing agents and brokers with before-and-after photos of areas affected by disasters.
  • 2019: Partnered with Groundspeed Analytics, Inc. to use artificial intelligence to simplify the new business and policy renewal process.

 *A first for our industry

We foster a diverse and inclusive workplace.

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We’re the proud title sponsor of the Travelers Championship.

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Awards and Recognition

See how we have been recognized.