History
       
Phoenix's distinguished record of innovation and industry firsts
1851 Phoenix is founded by a group of prominent Hartford, Conn., business, religious and civic leaders as the American Temperance Life Insurance Company, a company that insures only those who abstain from alcohol.
1860 Home Life Insurance Company is formed in Brooklyn, N.Y. It is the first life insurer authorized by the newly founded New York Insurance Department to do business in the state.
1861 American Temperance Life Insurance Company changes its name to Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company and welcomes non-teetotalers.
1865 Phoenix insures President Abraham Lincoln.
1871 After the devastating Chicago fire, Phoenix contributes $5,000 to a fund for survivors. This is its first recorded major act of corporate giving.
    1874 Inflation is rampant and more than 100 life insurance companies close their doors, but Phoenix and Home Life hold fast. When Home Life becomes a target for an unwanted takeover, its Board of Directors takes a creative approach to persuade stockholders not to sell: It pays them their interest in gold.
1901 Phoenix publishes The Field, believed to be the first agent newsletter and one of America's first employee communications efforts.
1906 Phoenix introduces "A Prospectus and Ten Lessons Upon Life Insurance," which is the first agent training course used by a life insurance company.
1912 Phoenix becomes the first life insurer to use direct mail advertising to obtain sales leads.
1923 Phoenix creates the first advertisement to promote the value of life insurance. It runs in Literary Digest. Three years later, Phoenix runs ads for its retirement income plan in national magazines, stating, “You don't have to be rich to retire at 55 on $200 a month.”
    1933 Home Life introduces “Planned Estates,” a marketing program that emphasizes “problems to solve, not prospects to sell.” Decades ahead of its time, it turns agents into financial advisors. Home Life's business grows 60 percent from 1933 to 1939.
    1955 Recognizing that women generally live longer than men, Phoenix is the first company to offer reduced life insurance premium rates for women.
    1957 Pioneering a new concept in the insurance industry, Phoenix begins selling group life and health insurance plans by allowing small businesses to band together by industry to offer employees benefits usually available only through larger corporations.
1963 Phoenix moves into new corporate headquarters - the world's first two-sided office building -- in Hartford, Conn.

1967 Phoenix is the first to offer discounted premiums on all policies to nonsmokers.
    1982 Survivorship or “second-to-die” policies are introduced, paying a benefit upon the death of the surviving policyholder, which becomes a premier product.
    1992 Phoenix and Home Life merge. The new company is called Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Company.
2001 Phoenix converts from a mutual to a stock company. The new public company is called The Phoenix Companies, Inc., trading under the symbol PNX.
2005 Phoenix's Hartford headquarters, the two-sided “boat building,” is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The company makes another major contribution to the Hartford skyline, donating a 2.2-acre site for the home of the new Connecticut Science Center.
    2009 Phoenix forms a distribution company, Saybrus Partners, Inc., to provide dedicated life insurance consultation services to partner companies and support for Phoenix's product line within its own distribution channels.
    2013 Phoenix renovates the plaza around its Hartford headquarters, replacing brick pavers with environmentally friendly planted areas, and becomes the first private property piece of the city's iQuilt Plan to be completed.
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