James G. Batterson

James G. Batterson

Mr. James Batterson introduced casualty insurance in the United States. In 1863, he founded The Travelers Insurance Company, Hartford, Connecticut, and in 1864 he wrote the first accident policy in the country. He shortly conceived that both accident and life insurance should be available through a single insurer and in 1865 had the charter of his company amended to permit the sale of both types of contracts. This resulted in the first multiple line insurer in the United States.

Under his leadership were devised the first retirement income contract in 1884; the first double indemnity provision in 1892; and the first automobile insurance contract in 1897. He insisted that his company eschew the practice of tontines and halfnote sales—devices that were controversial and led to a special investigation of the insurance industry by the Armstrong Commission in New York. He pioneered in the introduction of safety measures in industrial establishments.

A superb businessman, Batterson saw the importance of soundness in insurance operations and the importance of a single company providing all forms of insurance.