Great American Insurance Group Recognizes 150 Years of Business During its Anniversary Week Celebrations

CINCINNATI – March 7, 2022 – Great American Insurance Group announced today that it is kicking off its 150th Anniversary Week celebrations in recognition of the March 7, 1872 founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Company.

The company, founded by William Heins as German American Insurance Company, was built on a platform of financial strength. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, insurance companies were not financially prepared to deal with the loss from the fire. The event drove more than 50 insurance companies into bankruptcy.

Mr. Heins recognized that the capacity of American insurers was too limited for the expanding era and saw a need for a strong new company. He used the financial connections he built as an insurance broker to raise $1 million in capital to start the company.

That financial strength was critical at the turn of the 20th century when mass fires were frequent in American cities. When an earthquake struck San Francisco in 1906, German American Insurance Company paid more than $2 million in claims to victims and helped the city recover. This led the San Francisco Chronicle to name it one of the most trustworthy companies.

Renamed Great American Insurance Company in 1918, the company has remained steadfast to its commitment to being financially strong. Since 1908, AM Best has recognized its financial strength with an “A” (Excellent) or higher rating. The company is currently rated “A+” (Superior) and is one of only four companies to maintain an “A” or higher rating for more than 110 years.

Great American Insurance Group recognizes the thousands of employees who helped build the company for the past 150 years and shares its appreciation with all the policyholders and agents who put their trust in it.

To follow the anniversary celebrations, please visit the company’s website at

About Great American Insurance Group

Great American Insurance Group’s roots go back to 1872 with the founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Company. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, the operations of Great American Insurance Group are engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance, focusing on specialty commercial products for businesses. Great American Insurance Company has received an “A” (Excellent) or higher rating from the AM Best Company for more than 110 years (most recent rating evaluation of “A+” (Superior) affirmed December 3, 2021). The members of Great American Insurance Group are subsidiaries of American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG), also based in Cincinnati, Ohio. AFG’s common stock is listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFG.


Diane P. Weidner
Vice President, Investor and Media Relations
American Financial Group