History

A Legacy of Historic Strength and Success

The Lafayette Life Insurance Company began as the vision of a handful of turn-of-the-20th century businessmen, to provide the best possible insurance protection to people at the lowest reasonable cost. Their vision became reality on December 26, 1905, when the Articles of Incorporation established Lafayette Life as a mutual company, with headquarters in Lafayette, Indiana.

From its humble beginnings in the nation’s heartland, Lafayette Life has emerged as a leading provider of insurance products and services. This has been achieved by taking advantage of strategic opportunities, by answering critical challenges, and by embracing changes that have positioned the company to grow and to prosper.

The company is licensed in the District of Columbia and all states except Alaska and New York. Guided by its three founding principles—solid and unquestioned financial strength, attention and service to policy owners, and close relationships with field associates—Lafayette Life has remained focused, yet flexible… allowing it to not only survive, but to thrive in an ever-changing marketplace and industry.

Lafayette Life has remained strong despite the impact of two world wars, the Great Depression, the stock market crash and the challenges of a changing marketplace, industry and society. Nothing has deterred Lafayette Life from meeting its primary obligation to policy owners. Additionally, although dividends are not guaranteed, Lafayette Life has never failed to pay a policy dividend to a dividend paying policy.

That bedrock of financial security and a sense of rightness allowed Lafayette Life to pay the war claims of World War I casualties, even though the company was not obligated to do so. During the Great Depression, when banks and other mortgage holders were foreclosing on delinquent accounts, Lafayette Life did everything possible to help real estate owners—especially farmers—keep their land.

In some cases, delinquent mortgage holders deeded their farms to Lafayette Life, which then leased it back to the owners. This allowed the farmers to keep their insurance, their farms, and their dignity. For more than a century of service, Lafayette Life’s employees have contributed their time, talent, and financial resources to support civic, educational, cultural and religious activities.

Responding to challenges and strategic opportunities, Lafayette Life has continued to grow and evolve as a leading insurance company. In 2000, Lafayette Life reorganized into a Mutual Insurance Holding Company structure. This change added structural flexibility while allowing the company to retain its mutual culture. The reorganization enhanced Lafayette Life’s ability to engage in mergers and acquisitions and to access the capital markets, if necessary, to remain competitive and to grow.

In June 2005, Lafayette Life aligned with Western & Southern Financial Group, a Cincinnati-based diversified family of financial services companies. This strategic alliance has made the company even stronger and more competitive, and it has provided Lafayette Life improved financial ratings and greater resources.

With the strength of our organization and our ongoing commitment to serving you and your family, Lafayette Life Insurance is a company you can depend on.

Le Marquis de Lafayette

In 1717 the French government established Fort Ouiatenon across the Wabash River in what is now known as Tippecanoe County, Indiana. The fort became the center of trade for fur trappers, merchants and Indians. The town of Lafayette was platted in May 1825 just three miles north of the fort. Like many frontier towns, Lafayette was named for a French General named Lafayette.

General Lafayette was a French aristocrat and military officer born in Chavaniac, France. In the American Revolution, Lafayette served as a major-general in the Continental Army under George Washington. Wounded during the Battle of Brandywine, he still managed to organize a successful retreat. He served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war he returned to France to negotiate an increase in French support. On his return, he blocked troops led by Cornwallis at Yorktown while the armies of Washington and those sent by King Louis XVI prepared for battle against the British.

Lafayette is buried in Picpus Cemetery in Paris, under soil from Washington's grave at Mount Vernon. He became a United States citizen during his lifetime, and received honorary United States citizenship in 2002.