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Great American Insurance Company

1000+ employees  |  

Great American's roots go back to the 1800's with the founding of Great American Insurance Company in 1872, based in New York City. The company symbol was an eagle. The company's first policy was written on March 19, 1872. Through the remainder of the 1800's, Great American continued to grow and attract more agents. Great American entered the twentieth century as one of the most respected and financially stable companies in America with an excellent reputation for paying claims.

Great American's extraordinary strength enabled it, like the rest of the country, to weather the hard years of the Great Depression. New legislation cleared the way for multiple-line operations and Great American began to write both property and casualty policies. Great American grew steadily in the 1950s and by the early 60s, had assets exceeding $450 million with 11 major offices in the United States and Canada. In 1968, Great American was acquired by National General Corporation and became a subsidiary of a conglomerate holding an eclectic mix of properties that included motion pictures, publishing, computer technology and fast food. It left its home of 94 years and moved to Los Angeles.

Halfway in between New York and LA, a skilled businessman in Cincinnati was becoming interested in the property and casualty industry that Great American had always served. Asked by the Ohio Insurance Department to come to the financial aid of a floundering local carrier, Carl H. Lindner was introduced to a line of business that intrigued him. Five years later, in 1973, Lindner merged his own American Financial Corporation with National General to acquire majority ownership of Great American. In the transitional year that followed, he pared National General's holdings down to only the insurance operations and moved their headquarters into his own town, Cincinnati, Ohio. Under the Lindner family's leadership, Great American focused its market presence as a specialty insurer and became the flagship company of American Financial.

In the late 1950s Great American established a life insurance operation, Great American Life Insurance Company. Great American Life began marketing insurance products in 1959 and, over the years, became a leader in providing retirement annuities to the education market. Great American Financial Resources, Inc., formerly American Annuity Group, was formed in 1992 as the holding company for the annuity and life insurance operations of American Financial. Great American Financial Resources has diversified itself over the years and today is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Financial. Its subsidiaries offer a broad range of products, including annuities, life, supplemental health and long-term care insurance products.

Over the years, American Financial divested certain business interests and acquired significant interests in numerous businesses, including American Premier Underwriters, Inc. (formerly The Penn Central Corporation), a former New York Stock Exchange listed public company . American Financial was a major shareholder of American Premier and Carl Lindner was named to its Board of Directors in 1982. In 1983, he became Chairman of the Board and was made Chief Executive Officer in 1987, the same year that American Premier's headquarters moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Under the Lindner family leadership, American Premier made a number of strategic acquisitions and divestitures in order to focus on property and casualty insurance businesses. In 1989, American Premier acquired Republic Indemnity of America, which writes workers' compensation insurance principally in California, and in the early 1990s, it purchased a group of auto insurance companies (Atlanta Casualty Companies, Windsor Group, Infinity Group and Leader Group).

Mission Statement


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.

Operating Philosophy

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.

Great American Insurance Group
301 E Fourth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202-4201
phone: 513-369-5000