UnumProvident Corporation History

One Fountain Square
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402-1307

Telephone: (423) 755-1011
Fax: (423) 755-3962

Public Company
Incorporated: 1887 as Mutual Medical Aid and Accident Insurance Company
Employees: 13,100
Total Assets: $42.44 billion (2001)
Stock Exchanges: New York
Ticker Symbol: UNM
NAIC: 524113 Direct Life Insurance Carriers; 524114 Direct Health and Medical Insurance Carriers; 551112 Offices of Other Holding Companies

Company Perspectives:

UnumProvident combines the resources of the three income protection leaders--Provident, Unum and Paul Revere--each with over a century of industry leadership and experience. The resulting scale of our operation benefits customers through our strong focus, depth of resources and constantly growing expertise in a specialty business. We offer insurance products and services that help people protect their incomes if they become injured or ill and unable to work, and we provide extensive resources to help them get back to work. We study the many facets of workplace health and productivity and develop products and services designed to help employers maintain a safe, productive workplace. Our efforts on behalf of customers include: integrated product offerings that meet customer needs; benefits emphasizing return to work; highly responsive service. The results? Employees and individuals who are more productive and secure. Employers who are better able to recruit and retain a talented workforce. Partnerships based on commitment.

Key Dates:

Elisha B. Pratt founds the Maine-chartered but Boston-headquartered Union Mutual Life Insurance Company.
As president, John E. DeWitt engineers the shifting of Union Mutual's headquarters to Portland, Maine.
Mutual Medical Aid and Accident Insurance Company is founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee; medical aid policies are dropped and the company changes its name to Provident Accident Insurance Company.
Provident is reorganized--changed from a mutual to a stock company.
Provident begins offering life insurance and eventually changes its name to Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company of America.
Union Mutual expands into accident and health insurance.

1960s:Union Mutual develops a group long-term disability business.

1970s:Provident develops an increasingly diverse product line, with particular growth in group health insurance.
Union Mutual converts from a mutual firm to a public company and adopts the new name UNUM Corporation; in the aftermath, UNUM begins focusing on disability insurance, primarily the group variety.
UNUM acquires National Employers Life Assurance Co. Ltd., the largest disability provider in the United Kingdom.
UNUM acquires Duncanson & Holt, Inc., a leading accident and health reinsurance underwriting company.
UNUM acquires Colonial Companies Inc., parent of Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company, which offers payroll-deducted nonmedical insurance.
Unum Japan Accident Insurance Company Limited is established.
Provident divests its group health insurance business.
A new holding company called Provident Companies Inc. is formed.
Provident acquires Paul Revere Corporation, one of the leading individual disability insurers in the United States, and GENEX Services, Inc.
Provident and UNUM merge to form UnumProvident Corporation, based in Chattanooga.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Cox, Brian, "Provident Sells Group Medical Business," National Underwriter Life and Health/Financial Services, January 2, 1995, p. 42.
  • ------, "UNUM to Leave Individual Non-Cancelable DI Market," National Underwriter Life and Health/Financial Services, November 14, 1994, p. 3.
  • Drury, Allan, "Underachieving, But Confident of Strategy," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, May 21, 2002, p. 1C.
  • Frandzel, Steve, "Provident Reverses Earnings Free Fall," Business Atlanta, June 1990, pp. 126+.
  • French, Dorry, "Unum's Long Term Orr-Ganizer," Business Digest of Southern Maine, October 1990, p. 2.
  • Horgan, Sean, "Here for the Long Term: Life Is Good at UNUM, Firmly Ensconced in Portland and Ever a Darling of Insurance Analysts," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, September 16, 1997, p. 1C.
  • Jereski, Laura, "We Understand Risk," Forbes, March 20, 1989, pp. 127-28.
  • Jorden, James F., Michael T. Greif, and Perry Ian Cone, "The Day Union Mutual Went Public," Best's Review--Life-Health Insurance Edition, April 1987, pp. 19+.
  • Kerr, Peter, "Less Is Key to an Insurer's Success," New York Times, February 10, 1993, p. D1.
  • Knowles, Robert G., "Savoring the Turnaround at Provident L&A," National Underwriter Life and Health/Financial Services, March 18, 1991, pp. 3, 8.
  • Lipin, Steven, and Leslie Scism, "Provident Reaches Accord with Textron to Buy Paul Revere Unit for $1.2 Billion," Wall Street Journal, April 29, 1996, p. A3.
  • Lohse, Deborah, "Provident Cos. and UNUM Agree to Merge," Wall Street Journal, November 24, 1998, p. A3.
  • Longwith, John, Provident: A Centennial History, Chattanooga, Tenn.: Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company, 1986.
  • Lunt, Dean, "Out of the Shadows: UNUM Has Never Focused Its Efforts on Its Individual Insurance Lines, But That's About to Change," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, December 23, 1997, p. 1C.
  • ------, "UNUM Merger Gets Shareholders' OK," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, July 1, 1999, p. 1A.
  • ------, "UnumProvident: A Merger Made in Heaven?," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, December 6, 1998, p. 1F.
  • ------, "UnumProvident 'Moving Again,'" Portland (Maine) Press Herald, May 20, 2000, p. 6D.
  • ------, "UnumProvident: Time to Deliver," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, December 12, 1999, p. 1F.
  • ------, "UNUM, Provident Will Merge," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, November 24, 1998, p. 1A.
  • ------, "Winds of Change Coming to UNUM in Person of New Boss," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, April 18, 1999, p. 1A.
  • Lunt, Dean, and Edward D. Murphy, "UnumProvident CEO Orr Exits Early," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, November 2, 1999, p. 1A.
  • McGough, Robert, "Yankee Clipper: UNUM Sails the Fast Track from Its Home Port in Maine," Financial World, June 11, 1991, p. 38.
  • Murphy, Edward D., "Doctor: UNUM Denies Claims," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, September 25, 2002, p. 1A.
  • ------, "Insurer Tells Employees Suits Won't Affect Them," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, September 27, 2002, p. 1A.
  • Niedzielski, Joe, "Merger of Provident, Revere Creates Indiv. DI Behemoth," National Underwriter Life and Health/Financial Services, May 6, 1996, pp. 1+.
  • Panko, Ron, "Sharpening the Focus," Best's Review, August 2002, pp. 74-76, 80-82.
  • "Reducing Risk: Provident Life's Managed Benefits Are Surging," Barron's, October 27, 1980.
  • Scism, Leslie, and Steven Lipin, "Provident's Purchase of Paul Revere Signals Recovery," Wall Street Journal, April 30, 1996, p. B4.
  • Strosnider, Kim, "Fraud with Peril: UNUM Is Stepping Up Efforts to Insure That, When It Comes to Making Fraudulent Claims, It Doesn't Pay," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, April 28, 1996, p. 1F.
  • ------, "UNUM Selling Annuities Business," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, January 25, 1996, p. 8B.
  • ------, "UNUM Takes to the Air," Portland (Maine) Press Herald, August 27, 1996, p. 1C.
  • Treaster, Joseph B., "Two Leading U.S. Disability Insurers Plan Merger," New York Times, November 24, 1998, p. C25.
  • West, Diane, "Provident Exits Commercial Mortgage Loan Market," National Underwriter Life and Health/Financial Services, November 6, 1995, p. 55.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 52. St. James Press, 2003.