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The Hartford, is a Fortune 500 company and one of America’s largest insurance companies. With 2011 revenues of $21.9 billion and more than 1.5 million plan participants, The Hartford is a leading provider of group life insurance, group and employee benefits, automobile and homeowners insurance and business insurance. The company’s earnings are divided between property-and-casualty operations and life operations.


Company History

The Hartford was originally founded in 1810 in Hartford, Connecticut. A group of local merchants gathered in a Hartford inn and, with working capital of $15,000, founded the Hartford Fire Insurance Company. The company survived some of the greatest peacetime tragedies in America’s history. After a huge fire destroyed New York’s financial district in 1835, The Hartford’s president, Eliphalet Terry, used his personal wealth to cover all of the company’s damage claims. Other catastrophic events included the Chicago fire of 1871 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.


Over the years, the company has expanded its business. In 1913, the company formed The Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company to provide a wide variety of insurance coverage, including accident, automobile-liability, personal-damage, business-interruption and more.


In 1959, the company expanded into the life-insurance business by acquiring The Columbian National Life Insurance Company in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1970, The Hartford was acquired by ITT Corporation for $1.4 billion at the time the largest corporate takeover in American history. The combined company was renamed ITT-Hartford Group, Inc. In 1995, ITT decided to streamline its operations and release some of its subsidiaries, and The Hartford became an independent entity once again, trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "HIG."


Two years later, the company changed its name from ITT-Hartford Group, Inc. to The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., and also issued an IPO for its Hartford Life business under the ticker symbol “HLI.” In 2000, The Hartford reacquired all the shares of Hartford Life, and HLI was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in 2006.


In 2004, The Hartford purchased the Group Benefits Division of CNA Financial. The division was based in Chicago, Illinois.[citation needed] The Hartford used the occasion of their 200th anniversary to update their celebrated Stag logo, presenting a more contemporary and forward-looking interpretation of this classic symbol.