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UFG Through the Years
Scott McIntyre Sr., a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, businessman, agrees to financially assist Ace Mutual Insurance Association, a small fire and auto insurance company, as long as the company moves its headquarters to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Ace Mutual Insurance Association moves to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
North Central Mutual Insurance Association of Boone, Iowa, receives financial assistance from Mr. McIntyre and, with its move to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, merges with Ace Mutual Insurance Association to become United Mutual Insurance Association.
Mr. McIntyre uses United Mutual Insurance Association as the foundation on which to build a capital stock insurance firm. United Casualty Company was the successful result. In the beginning, United Casualty Company could only write auto and casualty lines in Iowa.
Insurance laws change to permit multiple-lines underwriting. United Casualty Company’s charter is quickly amended to include fire insurance. The word "fire" is added to the corporate name and United Mutual Insurance Association ceases operations.
United Fire & Casualty Company’s Fidelity and Surety department is started with one underwriter and one clerk-typist. $10,282.00 in written premium is produced during its first year.
The Surety Department’s underwriting philosophy is established by following the three Cs: character, capital, capacity. This still holds true today.
United Life Insurance Company is established.
United Fire & Casualty Company purchases vacant store property at 118 Second Avenue S. E. in downtown Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as well as the Security Building located on the opposite side of the street. These properties remain United Fire Group’s current headquarters.
United Fire & Casualty Company begins its reinsurance operations.
United Fire & Casualty Company holds a public stock offering and raises $1.8 million.
Lafayette Insurance Company and Insurance Brokers & Managers, Inc. (IB&M) of New Orleans, Louisiana, are purchased.
United Fire & Casualty Company acquires the business of Protective Fire and Casualty Company of Lincoln, Nebraska. With the assumption of the name, United Fire & Casualty Company, it later becomes the Central Plains regional office.
As one of the first companies to offer the "revolutionary" Universal Life product, United Life Insurance Company experiences substantial growth.
Established in the 1960s, the Denver office is converted to a full branch office becoming the Denver regional Office.
Addison Farmers Insurance Company (Now known as Addison Insurance Company.) of Lombard, Illinois, is acquired by United Fire & Casualty Company.
United Fire Group’s assets exceed $1 billion.
Addison Insurance Company’s Lombard, Illinois, office is closed and moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, creating two new offices: Midwest regional office and Great Lakes regional office.
United Fire & Casualty Company completes the acquisition of American Indemnity Financial Corporation in Galveston, Texas. The Lone Star regional office is established.
The bonds department breaks the $20 million written premium barrier. Our written premium nearly doubles in the first 10 years.
United Life Insurance Company reaches $1 billion in assets during the third quarter 2001.
United Fire assets exceed $2 billion.
United Fire & Casualty Company holds a preferred stock offering and raises over $65 million.
Effective August 1, 2003, Hull & Company, an insurance wholesaler based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, purchases the business of Insurance Brokers & Managers, Inc. from Lafayette Insurance Company.
Effective June 30, 2004, United Fire & Casualty Company closes the New Orleans, Louisiana office, and consolidates its business with that of the Lone Star regional office in Galveston, Texas. The Lone Star regional office is renamed the Gulf Coast regional office. A claims office is established in New Orleans.
Forbes magazine ranks United Fire number 92 among the "200 Best Small Companies," the highest ranking of the three Iowa companies included on the list that year.
August 28, 2005, Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in New Orleans, Louisiana. Much of the north-central Gulf Coast is devastated. More than 1,800 people are killed before Katrina dissipates on August 31. Hurricane Katrina is the costliest catastrophe in United Fire Group history to date.
United Fire Group recalls all outstanding preferred stock.
$107.5 million is raised in May 2006 by United Fire’s issue of 4,025,000 shares of common stock.
On July 17, 2006, President and CEO John Rife rings the opening bell for the NASDAQ Stock Market in New York City. The bell ringing commemorates the company’s twentieth anniversary of being listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market’s Global Select Market.
John A. Rife retires as president and chief executive officer at United Fire after leading the company for a decade. The company names Randy A. Ramlo to the post of president and chief executive officer, the fifth leader in the company’s history.
To accommodate its growing home office workforce, United Fire purchases an adjoining two-story building at 109 Second Street S.E. in Downtown Cedar Rapids.
In June 2008, flooding occurs along Iowa’s Cedar River. On June 13, it crests at 31.12 feet, nearly 20 feet over flood stage. Even though flooding of the home office forces United Fire to temporarily relocate, service to its agents and customers continues without interruption. The home office reopens in downtown Cedar Rapids on September 2.
Less than two weeks later on September 13, Hurricane Ike strikes Galveston, Texas, causing significant damage to the leased office buildings that make up the Gulf Coast regional office. Gulf Coast employees are forced to temporarily relocate to an office near Houston and business continues as usual.
October 6, 2009, J. Scotty McIntyre Jr. chairman of United Fire Group for 34 years, and son of the company’s founder, passes away following a brief illness at the age of 76.
Scotty served as president of United Fire from 1966 to 1997 and as chief executive officer from 1991 to 2000. He served as chairman of the board of directors of United Fire until his death.
Jack B. Evans is elected chairman of the board of directors, as a result of Scotty’s passing.
In March, United Fire finalizes its acquisition of Mercer Insurance Group Inc., which offers commercial and personal lines of insurance to businesses and individuals through a network of independent agencies. Mercer Insurance markets its products principally in six Western and Mid-Atlantic states in which United Fire has no appointed property/casualty agencies. The combined entity markets through more than 1,300 independent agencies in 43 states, plus the District of Columbia, diversifying exposure to weather and other catastrophic risks across its geographic markets.
United Life Insurance Company celebrates its 50th anniversary and its expansion into new states: California, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
A new holding company is formed, United Fire Group, Inc.