CIG History

Protecting Our Neighbors in the West
Since 1898

It all started in picturesque Ventura, California. Near the turn of the century, farming and ranching had a rich and deeply rooted history in the area and was the most important economic activity in the region. In 1898, Ventura County Mutual Fire Insurance Company was formed by a group of prosperous California farmers. They needed a way to provide coverage that would protect them from disastrous claims – especially fire.

From these humble beginnings, the company grew, merged, and evolved through the years into Capital Insurance Group® (CIG), the leading regional property and casualty insurer serving the Western United States.

 

Timeline

1898 Ventura County Mutual Fire Insurance Company  incorporates as a county mutual company. That same year, A.M. Best is also founded. A.M. Best is the worldwide insurance-rating and information agency and the largest and longest-established company devoted to issuing in-depth reports and financial strength ratings about insurance organizations.

The previous 50 years have been busy ones in California, with the Gold Rush, the establishment of Yosemite National Park, the arrival of the Transcontinental Rail Road and Pony Express, and designation as an official state.

1959  First non-assessable policy is issued. In the 61 years since incorporation, a lot had happened: the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, two World Wars, a depression, coast-to-coast long distance service, Lindbergh’s first solo, non-stop transatlantic flight, and the launch of America’s first satellite, to name a few.

1966  The company becomes a general mutual company and adopts a new name, California Mutual Insurance Company. Alaska and Hawaii have become states, John F. Kennedy has been elected President and assassinated, and John Glenn has orbited the earth.

1967  Humboldt County Fire Insurance Association of Ferndale and Santa Clara County Mutual Fire Insurance Company of San Jose become part of the company. Gas is 33¢ a gallon and the average cost of a new car is $2,750.

1969   Valley Mutual Fire Insurance Company and Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Mendocino County merge with the company. Neil Armstrong walks on the moon, Sesame Street premiers, and nearly half a million music lovers gather at Woodstock.

1975  Headquarters move from Ventura to Monterey, California. By now, the Vietnam War has ended, bellbottoms are in, and everyone is buying VCRs.

1978 The company purchases 66% of American Eagle Insurance Company. The first cell phone is introduced, Sony unveils the Walkman, and Space Invaders sweeps the nation.

1981  The company obtains 100% ownership of American Eagle, moves to its current home office building on Garden Road in Monterey, and adopts the name California Insurance Group. The first Space Shuttle launches, gas costs $1.25 a gallon, and the Internet is mentioned for the first time.

1985 The company becomes Calmutual Insurance Company when it changes its operations plan to that of a stock company. Kelly-Moore Paint Company, Inc. agrees to purchase all outstanding shares. A new car costs around $9,000, movie tickets are $2.75, and the first CDs appear.

1986 Kelly-Moore completes stock purchases and becomes the sole owner of the company. A first-class stamp costs 22¢, 7 million join hands in Hands Across America, and IBM unveils the first laptop computer.

1987  Calmutual Insurance Company is renamed California Capital Insurance and American Eagle Insurance Company is renamed Eagle West Insurance Company. The U.S. population swells to an estimated 244.6 million, world population soars to 4 billion, and The Simpsons makes its debut.

1988  Monterey Insurance Company begins business and is added to California Insurance Group. Wildfires spread across Yellowstone, the Hubble Space Telescope goes into operation, and the average price of a new car is just over $14,000.

2001  California Insurance Group is named to the prestigious Ward’s 50 list for the first time. Every year since 1991, the Ward Group has conducted an analysis and evaluated more than 3,000 property-casualty insurance companies to identify the 50 top performers. Each Ward’s 50 company has passed all safety and consistency screens and achieved superior performance over the five years analyzed. Nevada Capital Insurance Company incorporates on June 13, 2001, in the state of Nevada to write property/casualty business, commencing January 1, 2002.

2002  California Insurance Group makes the Ward’s 50 list again and breaks in at #181 on the A.M. Best Top 200 Property/Casualty Writers’ List as a leading U.S. property/casualty writer. The company expands into Oregon with Commercial products and starts writing Commercial CMP in Arizona. Gas is $1.61 per gallon and the average cost of a new home skyrockets to more than $228,000.

2003 With the company’s expansion to other states, California Insurance Group is renamed Capital Insurance Group (CIG). The company is honored by Ward’s 50 again and advances to #168 on the A.M. Best list. U.S. interest rates are at a 45-year record low of 1 percent and Apple launches iTunes.

2004 Capital Insurance Group makes the Ward’s 50 list for the fourth year in a row and moves up another notch on the A.M. Best list to #167. The average sticker price on a new car is more than $30,000, a movie ticket sets you back $8, and popcorn to eat while you watch costs an extra $3.

2005  Capital Insurance Group moves to #171 on the A.M. Best list. The company continues expansion in Oregon to include Commercial Farm coverage. A 10th planet is discovered in the solar system, Microsoft releases the Xbox 360, and Steve Fossett breaks a world record by completing the first non-stop, non-refueled, solo flight around the world in the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer.

2006  A.M. Best ranks Capital Insurance Group #168 on its annual list of Top 200 Property/Casualty Writers. The company continues expansion in Oregon with Personal Lines for Homeowners and Commercial CMP, BMP, and Commercial Auto in Arizona. Arizona, Washington, and Oregon approve Nevada Capital Insurance Company as a non-admitted Surplus Lines carrier. A Superbowl ad costs $2.5 million, American Idol is captivating TV viewers, and Google purchases YouTube for $1.5 billion.

2007   Capital Insurance Group jumps up an impressive nine spots to rank #157 on the A.M. Best annual list. The company continues expansion in Oregon with Personal Auto and Umbrella. It also receives a Certificate of Authority for Eagle West Insurance Company for the states of Washington, Idaho, and Utah and for Monterey Insurance Company for the states of Washington and Idaho. The average price of a new house is $313,600, gas costs $3.38 a gallon, and Apple introduces the iPhone.

2008   Capital Insurance Group is honored for the seventh year in a row by A.M. Best and holds steady with its rank of #157 on the list. The company expands into Washington with CMP and BOP products and non-admitted products through Nevada Capital Insurance. Nevada Capital Insurance Company is approved as an Accredited Reinsurer in California. Meanwhile, “Batmania” sweeps the country as moviegoers flock to theaters to see The Dark Knight.

2009  Capital Insurance Group is chosen for the fifth time in nine years as one of the Ward’s 50 top performing property-casualty insurance companies in the country and ranks #155 on A.M. Best’s Top 200 Property/Casualty Writers list. The company continues expansion in Oregon with Dwelling Fire coverage. The company withdraws its Certificate of Authority for Monterey Insurance Company in Nevada and receives approval from Nevada for Monterey Insurance Company to accept Surplus Lines business in Nevada. Technological advances in the world include the smart thermostat, handheld ultrasound, and the Mercury Probe.

2010  Capital Insurance Group is named to the Ward’s 50 list again and jumps another 10 spaces to land at #145 on the A.M. Best list. The company expands with Personal Lines in Washington and Agricultural coverage in Arizona. It also receives a Certificate of Authority for Monterey Insurance Company and Eagle West Insurance Company for New Mexico. Non-admitted products in Oregon, Washington, and Arizona are written through Nevada Capital Insurance Company. Non-admitted products in Nevada are written through Monterey Insurance Company. Apple announces the iPad, Avatar becomes the highest grossing film of all time, and As The World Turns airs its final episode after 54 years.

 

2011  Capital Insurance Group makes it onto A.M. Best’s Top 200 list for the 11th straight year, now ranking #143, and is honored again with a place on the Ward’s 50 list. The company expands in Washington with Personal Lines and into New Mexico with CMP and Commercial Auto. It also expands non-admitted products to California through Nevada Capital Insurance Company. Non-admitted products are also written in Oregon, Washington, and Arizona through Nevada Capital Insurance Company. Non-admitted products are written in Nevada through Monterey Insurance Company.  The average cost of gas on the West Coast is $3.74 per gallon, The Oprah Winfrey Show ends after a 25-year run, and the world population hits 7 billion.

2012   Capital Insurance Group is selected for the Ward’s 50 list for the eighth time. The company expands in New Mexico with CMP and Commercial Auto coverage and in Idaho with non-admitted products. Researchers successfully perform the first implantation of a bionic eye, Encyclopedia Britannica stops the presses after 244 years, and over 100 million iPhones have been sold worldwide since 2007

2013   Capital Insurance Group celebrates the company’s 115th anniversary on April 3, marking a tradition of commitment to clients and agents since 1898. CIG again receives an “A” rating (Excellent) and moves up in ranking to 137th in the prestigious A.M. Best Top 200 Property/Casualty Writers. The free Community Safety Saturday™ events expand to include four California and Nevada cities, providing families with safety awareness and prevention demonstrations, activities and resources. The company launches the CIG Mobile App, enabling personal auto policy clients to access the benefits of their CIG coverage from Virtually Everywhere. The Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) website debuts, providing loss prevention resources and an advice line for CIG Commercial policy clients with EPLI coverage. The average selling price of a new car is $30,748 and Google unveils Google Glass, their high-tech specs that take mobile to a whole new level.