Long known as the company with the reindeer stag for a logo, Hartford Life Insurance today operates as a Fortune 500 business with 1.5 million people covered on its plans and almost $22 billion in annual revenue. The Hartford represents and ranks among, not surprisingly, the U.S. largest insurance companies operating in the global market.
Products offered by the Hartford include employee benefit plans, group plans, life insurance, auto coverage, homeowners policies, and business or commercial insurance. On the financial side the Hartford also provides financial investment tools, professional market and investment advising, annuity products, mutual fund investing and tax-shelter college saving plans.
The Hartford is not a new company, having been established as far back as 1810 in the town of its name, Hartford, Connecticut. Like other insurance companies that have their roots in the 19th century, the Hartford originally represented a consortium of local businesses who banded together to provide each other fire insurance. Since that time until 1959 the company primarily played in the property and casualty field.
At the end of the 1950s, however, the Hartford went into selling life insurance as well after purchasing the Columbian National Life Insurance Company. Doing so allowed the company to establish its life insurance infrastructure as well as enter that side of the market with an already-established portfolio of life insurance policy accounts. Ten years later, the Hartford itself was also purchased and acquired, to then be controlled by ITT Corporation. However, by 1995, the Hartford was spun off again as ITT downsized.
In 2000 the Hartford tried to spin off the life insurance branch of the company as a separate business named Hartford Life. However, the idea and business strategy ultimately didn't work well, and the spin-off was again reacquired six years later. Today the company operates as the Hartford Financial Services Group, Incorporated.