1968: A New Affiliation
EMC opened its Providence Branch in 1968 through an affiliation with Union Mutual Insurance Company of Providence. Union Mutual, which was organized in 1863, had become the second largest writer of homeowners policies by 1963, operating in 30 states and Puerto Rico. However, the company’s business was put in jeopardy four years later when Firemen’s Mutual Insurance Company, of which Union Mutual was an affiliate, eliminated personal lines.
At that same time, EMC was looking for a way to enter New England territory and offered Union Mutual the chance to continue in personal lines and expand its business by affiliating with EMC. An agreement was reached, and EMC acquired Union Mutual as an affiliate on April 3, 1968. The separation from Firemen’s Mutual was complete by October that year, and Union Mutual officially became the Providence Branch in December. Franklin N. Folsom, former senior vice president of Union Mutual, assumed leadership as the branch manager.
1970s and ’80s: Opportunities for Growth
The new affiliation provided the Providence Branch with new benefits and business opportunities. EMC reinsured the branch and made expanded lines and amounts of coverage available to agents throughout New England. EMC’s business in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, which had been under jurisdiction of EMC’s Philadelphia Branch, was transferred to Providence.
In 1970, the branch moved into a newly constructed building in the Providence suburb of Warwick. Ernest G. Ashton took over as branch manager in 1976, and between 1970 and 1989, written premium increased from just over $5 million to more than $16.5 million.
In 1994, Union Mutual converted to stock ownership and changed its name to Union Insurance Company of Providence. EMC purchased 97 percent of the stock, making the company a subsidiary.
2011: Strength, Stability, Service
Today, the Providence Branch has approximately 44 employees working under Branch Manager Ray Geary, Jr. The branch serves 108 agencies, and the book of business is 69 percent commercial lines and 31 percent personal lines. The branch’s written premium for 2010 was approximately $33.5 million.