September 1995: Direct Response Corporation, the holding company to the Response Insurance Group of companies, is incorporated. The Company’s driving forces are James M. Stone, a former Massachusetts Insurance Commissioner and founder of Plymouth Rock Assurance, and British insurance pioneer Peter J. Wood. The Company begins using an animated red telephone on wheels icon to represent the friendly accessibility of a direct-to-the-consumer auto insurance company. The Response Insurance Group includes several car insurance companies it has acquired whose histories can be traced back more than 30 years. Their tradition of excellence carries on under the Response name.
April 1996: A group of investors, led by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, makes the first of several contributions that total $315 million to fund the Company. The intention is to do what has not been done before — create a national direct-to-the-consumer auto insurance company from the ground up. The Company’s focus is offering lower cost insurance to safe, responsible people.
October 1997: Response Insurance sells its first auto insurance policy to a driver from New York State who turns out to be an employee of X…. auto insurance company.
November 1997: Response Insurance launches its first television ad campaign.
November 1999: The first Response Insurance National Driving Habits Survey is released, marking the first serious investigation into the issue of driving distractions and the use of cell phones while driving. It is featured in USA Today, The Washington Post, Time magazine, and virtually every major newspaper and media outlet in the nation.
January 2000: Real Time Quoting is launched on the Response.com website, providing a fast and easy way for insurance shoppers to obtain an instant quote.
April 2000: Teachers Insurance Plan a New York based insurance program for educators, joins the Response Insurance Group. The acquisition builds on the Company’s model of insuring safe, responsible people and is subsequently expanded nationally. The program was acquired from Lancer Insurance Company.
July 2000: Response is one of the first carriers to support real-time transactions over the Internet. A technology process patent is pending.
December 2000: The Company sells its first policy via the Internet at Response.com.
January 2001: The New York State Insurance Department releases its list of companies with fewest consumer complaints and places Response on its Top 20 List for best service. In doing so, Response beat Allstate, State Farm, Progressive and X….
February 2001: Account On-Line is launched, offering our customers additional flexibility for paying their insurance premium, providing billing information, account balance, payment plans and electronic fund transfers through Response.com.
March 2001: The Company opens a claims office in Melville NY.
June 2001: Connecticut Life & Casualty Insurance Company, a respected auto insurer in Connecticut, joins the Response Insurance Group.
June 2001: The Teachers’ Insurance Plan National Education Survey is publicly released. The survey deals with several issues related to standardized testing and school vouchers, and is cited by the Harvard Family Research Project, USA Today, Inside AFT, Curriculum Administrator, Church & State, and CNNfn, among others.
October 2001: Warner Insurance Company, which had been doing business as Fireman’s Fund Direct, joins the Response Insurance Group. Response acquired the company from Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. The new acquisition has policyholders in 30 states.
November 2001: The Connecticut Insurance Department releases its list of top rated auto insurers and ranks Connecticut Life & Casualty as number one, noting that the Company had no justified consumer complaints.
June 2002: The Company moves its national headquarters from White Plains NY to Meriden CT.
September 2002: Response is the first company to be approved for inclusion in the new Meriden IT Zone
April 2003: Worldwide Insurance Company and Worldwide Direct Auto Insurance Company join the Response Insurance Group. The acquisition doubles the size of the Company and immediately ranks it among the 15 largest direct auto insurance companies in the nation. Included in the acquisition is a new office in St. Louis MO office, which now serves as a call center. The companies were purchased from Great American Insurance Company. Our IT department successfully integrates the new company’s systems into our environment.
May 2003: AM Best, the nation’s leading insurance rating organization, assigns an initial financial strength rating of B++ (Very Good) to the Response Insurance Group. It notes the Company’s favorable capitalization, no long term debt, and operating performance trends.
May 2003: Continuing our long term commitment to the community and consumer safety, Mory Katz, Chairman & CEO of the Response Insurance Group, accepts an appointment to the Board of Directors of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The influential safety organization is best known to the public for conducting crash tests to rate vehicles, researching traffic safety and driver behavior, and for their famous Crash Test Dummies.
December 2003: National Merit Insurance Company, a respected auto insurer in Washington State joins the Response Insurance Group. The acquisition includes the Company’s Bellevue WA office, which now serves as a claims office. National Merit was acquired from Unigard Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Winterthur Swiss Insurance Company.
June 2004: Teachers’ Insurance Plan sponsors the Teacher of the Year awards in Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania. The program was later expanded to California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, and Washington.
December 2004: The Response Insurance National Driving Habits Survey is released regarding the least and most stressful ways of identifying parking spots when doing holiday shopping. The results are covered by Fox News, National Public Radio, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, the Associated Press, and virtually every major newspaper in North America.
January 2005: Response begins a series of rate cuts for its customers. In a related initiative, the Company began introducing new rate levels that include a fairly narrow range of drivers, thus helping to ensure that drivers with the most similar driving records and other risk factors are grouped together for a particular rate. The program, which we call Advantage, evokes the advantage good drivers deserve when selecting car insurance.