Strong businesses play a crucial role in our communities. But their owners face more risks than ever. A lawsuit or a stroke of bad luck could set them back—or wipe them out completely—if they don’t have the right coverage. They count on knowledgeable insurance agents to help them manage the risks inherent in their industry, as well as their unique business circumstances.
Great American Insurance can help you provide innovative and affordable insurance solutions for your customers’ insurance needs. We’ve been insuring businesses—and strengthening great communities—for generations.
Great American focuses on two primary markets. Our Property and Casualty Group is made up of more than 25 companies and divisions that offer targeted commercial coverage for specialized industries. Our Annuity Group, operating as Great American Financial Resources, Inc. (GAFRI), markets traditional fixed, indexed and variable annuities and various forms of supplemental insurance.
You’ll find that Great American is structured like a network of small businesses. We have more than 100 locations throughout North America, each with local authority for underwriting, claims and policy service. All of our companies and divisions design products and build relationships in the markets and communities they serve. That means less red tape for you, and faster answers for your customers. You’ll always work directly with the experts in each specialty line, and get the personal attention you deserve.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Great American Insurance Company, our flagship insurer, has maintained an “A” (Excellent) rating or higher from A.M. Best Company for over 100 years. And it’s one of only four property and casualty insurers to do so.*
Great American Property & Casualty Insurance Group was recognized as one of the 2012 “Ward’s 50” top performing insurance companies.**
The subsidiaries of Great American Financial Resources, Inc. have consistently been rated “A” or higher by A.M. Best Company for more than 30 years.
Comprised of over 25 companies and divisions.
Over 100 locations throughout North America and Western Europe.
A subsidiary of American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG), also based in Cincinnati, OH.
AFG's common stock is listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol AFG.
*A.M. Best Company rating last affirmed on February 22, 2013.**2012 Ward’s 50 by the Ward’s Group
Specialty Property & Casualty Group | Annuity Group
Great American Insurance: How We Got Here
Since its founding, Great American Insurance has been rooted in strength and integrity, and driven by a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Over the decades, one thing has remained constant—a determination to provide the highest quality products and service to our customers.
A Solid Start and Rapid Growth
1872 William F. Heins launches the German American Insurance Company in New York City with an impressive $1 million in capital.
1877 German American Insurance now has more than 1,000 agents across the country. It enters the 20th century as one of the most respected and financially stable companies in America.
1918 Yielding to anti-German sentiment surrounding World War I, the company changes its name to Great American Insurance Company.
The Post-War Boom
1940s Following World War II, America’s economy expands, driving massive growth in construction and automobile production. By the end of the 1940s, Great American is writing over $90 million in premiums.
1950s Congress passes insurance legislation that clears the way for multiple-line operations, and Great American begins to write both property and casualty policies.
1959 Great American sponsors the formation of Great American Life Insurance Company, and by the early 1960s, the two companies have combined assets exceeding $450 million.
1968 Great American is acquired by National General Corporation, which owns a broad mix of properties including motion pictures, publishing, computer technology and fast food. After 94 years in New York, Great American moves its headquarters to Los Angeles.
A New Leader’s Vision
Late 1960s Cincinnati businessman Carl H. Lindner is asked by the Ohio Insurance Department to come to the aid of a floundering local carrier, introducing him to the property and casualty business. Over the next five years, Lindner becomes increasingly interested in the property and casualty insurance industry.
1973 Carl Lindner acquires majority stock ownership in National General Corporation. He then merges National General with his own American Financial Corporation and begins disposing of many of the non-insurance assets of the company.
Late 1970s Great American continues to focus its market presence as a specialty insurer and becomes the flagship company of American Financial. In the coming years, American Financial divests certain business interests and acquires new ones, including American Premier Underwriters. Meanwhile, Great American Life becomes a leader in retirement annuities for the education market.
1974 Great American Insurance Company establishes its headquarters at 580 Walnut Street in downtown Cincinnati.
Setting the Stage for Our Current Profile
1983 Carl Lindner is named Chairman of the Board of American Premier.
1987 Lindner is made Chief Executive Officer of American Premier.
1989 American Premier acquires Republic Indemnity of America, a California workers' compensation insurer. In the early 1990s, it purchases a group of companies specializing in nonstandard auto insurance.
1992 Great American Financial Resources, Inc (GAFRI) is formed as a holding company for AFG’s life and annuity operations, acquiring Great American Life Insurance Company in 1993.
1995 American Premier and American Financial merge to form American Financial Group (AFG), creating a larger, more diverse and financially stronger insurance organization. Today, AFG is the parent company of Great American Insurance Group.
1998 Great American sells its “main street” commercial lines business to focus on its core strength as a niche insurer in both specialty commercial and personal auto insurance.
Solidifying Our Focus On Specialty Commercial Lines
2003 American Financial Group sells its personal lines business through a public stock offering, further tightening its focus on specialty commercial insurance for businesses. This sets the stage for Great American to expand its presence in the niche market for specialty commercial lines.
2007 GAFRI becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of AFG, providing a broad range of annuity, supplemental and long-term care insurance products.
2008 Great American announces its acquisition of Marketform® Group, which includes a Lloyd’s of London insurer. This is an excellent platform to expand several of its specialty property and casualty businesses in the international marketplace.
2011 Great American moves into new headquarters in the Great American Tower at Queen City Square. Topped by its signature tiara at 41 stories (33 office floors), the building is the tallest in Cincinnati. It is also the city’s “greenest” downtown office tower, achieving Gold pre-certification by the U.S. Green Building Council under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.
Our purpose is to enable individuals and businesses to manage financial risk. We provide insurance products and services tailored to meet the specific and ever-changing financial risk exposures facing our customers. We build value for our investors through the strength of our customers' satisfaction and by consistently producing superior operating results.
Our vision is to deliver financial solutions that fulfill today's needs and tomorrow's dreams to be a trusted partner delivering long-term value to our customers, employees and investors.
People. Our people are talented, energetic and motivated to continually expand their knowledge and improve their performance. All employees are expected to conduct themselves with integrity and in a legal, ethical and moral manner. We offer a rewarding work environment which recognizes the importance of family and community. We support healthy and balanced lifestyles. We treat our customers and each other with courtesy and respect.
Specialists. We focus on insurance products and services for which we have significant expertise and knowledge and where we can be leaders based on our strengths. We build franchise value by targeting markets which offer the greatest prospects for long term profitable growth.
Operating Results. The financial strength valued by our customers, employees and investors comes from our passionate commitment to produce consistently superior underwriting and operating results. These results flow from pricing discipline, prudent risk taking, optimal management of capital and investment skills which balance strong total returns with prudent asset preservation.
Service. We aim to deliver service that is both extraordinary and valued by our customers. We strive for high quality service at a competitive cost and constantly seek ways to best leverage our organizational and technology resources. Our goal is to serve our customers however and whenever they prefer.
Entrepreneurs. We combine a "small company" entrepreneurial atmosphere with "big company" expertise and economies of scale.
Our roots go back to the founding of Great American Insurance Company in 1872. Our history, our Vision, Purpose, Operating Philosophy and Values reflect both staying power and our optimism for the future.