SBLI Life Insurance Company
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I like to present information on each of my carriers. Here is SBLI LIfe Insurance Company History and Information.
With the failure of F. Augustus Heinze’s United Copper Company and his bank, Knickerbocker Trust, the United States endured one of the worst stock market crashes in its history in 1907. Known as “The Panic of 1907”, additional banks subsequently failed and the insurance industry was exposed as corrupt and inordinately expensive.
Despite the financial crisis, there were positive developments in 1907. Oklahoma became the nation’s forty-sixth state, Mother’s Day was celebrated for the first time, the Lusitania set a speed record on her maiden voyage from Ireland to New York, and the Ziegfield Follies enjoyed a successful opening on Broadway.
Meanwhile, respected Boston lawyer and eventual Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis became a strong advocate for affordable, trustworthy life insurance for the working family. Despite some insurance experts’ insistence that his dream had virtually no chance of coming true, Brandeis was instrumental in the passage of Chapter 561 of the Acts of 1907, an Act Permitting Savings Banks Incorporated Under the Laws of Massachusetts to Establish Departments for the Issue of Life Insurance and Annuities. Following the signing of the enabling legislation by Governor Curtis Guild, Jr., Brandeis convinced the Whitman Savings Bank to establish the first SBLI Department, thus launching Savings Bank Life Insurance. The first policy was issued to Charles H. Jones in 1908, and a bold new era in life insurance had begun.
Since its founding, SBLI has thrived. By 1930, SBLI had over $100 million of life insurance in force. In 1953, the Company had assets of $100 million. In 1964, while the Beatles were reaching their popularity, SBLI held a “Billion Dollar Dinner” at the then-Boston Sheraton Hotel, where over 800 people rejoiced in the announcement that SBLI had reached a record $1 billion of life insurance in force.
In 1992, legislation allowed SBLI to reorganize into a closely held Massachusetts life insurance company. This legislation also gave SBLI the same powers as other Massachusetts insurers, which meant the company could expand its footprint beyond its home state.
By 1998, SBLI had $23 billion of insurance in force. In the Millennium year of 2000, as the country witnessed the end of the most disputed presidential election in U.S. history and watched a young golfer named Tiger Woods win the U.S., British Open, and PGA titles, SBLI achieved another milestone: $1.3 billion in assets. Three years later, the company surpassed $50 billion of insurance in force.
- 1907 — SBLI was established
- 1930 — $100 million of life insurance in force
- 1953 — Assets reached $100 million
- 1964 — $1 billion of life insurance in force
- 1998 — Over $20 billion in force
- 2000 — Assets passed $1.3 billion
- 2003 — Over $50 billion in force
- 2004 — Annuity consideration grew to $55M
- 2005 — Record sales results achieved; $9.7 billion in New Ordinary Life Issued
- 2006 — Company record set for first year premium
- 2007 — Exceeded $2 billion in total assets for the first time
- 2008 — Expanded coverage into 24 states and the District of Columbia
- 2009 — Expansion continued with 11 additional states
- 2010 — SBLI is successful in its quest to offer gender-specific rates
As the company began its second century, it embarked on a strategic national expansion plan and enrolled national distribution partners who share our vision. In 2009, SBLI achieved its best year for first-year premium and policies issued.
Throughout its history, SBLI has forged a lasting bond within the community, proudly supporting hundreds of charitable endeavors across the country.
Justice Brandeis once said, “Most of the things worth doing in the world have been declared impossible before they were done.” During those bleak days in 1907, a fifty-one-year-old Boston lawyer had an idea that he refused to accept as impossible. SBLI’s unremitting growth is a testament to his resolve, and more than a century later, the company remains committed to providing affordable, dependable life insurance to all families who need it.