The company commenced business on February 1 1825 and, according to its first prospectus, offered: "insurances on property against loss by fire, with power to embrace insurance in lives and survivorship if it shall be so determined."
The company exercised that power with little delay, issuing its first life policy within a month of starting business.
On January 31 1877, the company merged with the Scottish National Insurance Company and changed its name to the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company. The merger had been opposed by the North British and Mercantile Insurance Company and the Edinburgh Life Assurance Company but an act of parliament approving the amalgamation received royal assent in May 1878 and the merger went ahead.
In the following years, the company moved to extend its business both at home and overseas. It established a burglary department in 1905 and, with the acquisition of Lancashire and Yorkshire Accident Insurance Company Ltd, started to transact accident business the following year.
By 1909, the company was offering insurance against all forms of risk, life and endowments, annuities and pensions, leasehold and capital redemptions. By 1927, it had added wireless installations, householders' consolidated, boiler explosion, machinery risks and lift accidents insurance.
The company underwent a number of changes in the following decades. On November 6 1948, it was incorporated as the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company and, in 1959, was acquired by the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society Ltd. By 1991, the company's principal activity was the transaction of short-term insurance business.
On November 27 2002, the company changed its name to Aviva Insurance Ltd and again, two days later, to Aviva Insurance. On August 15 2006, the company was renamed the Union Insurance Company and on September 23 2008 it was put into liquidation.
-submitted by Paul Green
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