Insurance companies often speak of their humble begins, but MetLife’s begins really were humble. Opening for business in March of 1868 in a two-room home office, the first six employees at MetLife Insurance did not have access to a telephone (as it was not yet invented) and electricity was still quite uncommon. Despite the modest settings, then President Joseph F. Knapp looked to revolutionize the way they sold insurance, especially in light of the business depression that was occurring in the 1870s. Knapp took his model from the English and had English agents teach MetLife agents the best way to sell insurance door-to-door. With his agents out on the streets talking to individuals, MetLife Insurance began writing up to 700 new policies per day. MetLife Insurance agents took a very personal approach to selling insurance, they regularly checked-in with customers and became more than just insurance agents. Due to this tactic, by 1909 MetLife Insurance was the largest life insurer (by insurance force) in North America.
Today, MetLife Insurance writes Auto, Home, Life and Disability Income insurance policies in Bellevue, WA, but back in 1909, MetLife Insurance agents were also focused on keeping their clients safe and healthy. MetLife Vice President Haley Fiske said in 1909 “Insurance, not merely as a business proposition, but as a social program.” The company later adopted that sayings as its company policy. Fiske helped found the MetLife Welfare Division along with social worker Lee Frankel. Together they released a series of health publications to MetLife’s clients, starting with “A War upon Consumption,” a pamphlet warning about the dangers for those at risk of catching Tuberculosis. Frankel created more public awareness programs including the Visiting Nurse Service, which encouraged Henry Street nurses to visit sick workers in the area. Door-to-door insurance agents helped spread the word by leaving contact information of nearby visiting nurses. This public health campaign seemed to help improve the lives of MetLife’s clients, the company reports that as many as 35 out of every 1,000 policyholders were treated for various illnesses from visiting nurses.
MetLife Insurance still holds strong to its idea of helping its customers through tough times, still encouraging agents to get to know their clients on a personal level, just not a file. While MetLife’s focus has shifted away from public health, MetLife Insurance continues to help clients protect themselves and their futures with multiple life insurance options as well as disability income insurance options should an accident occur.
Talk with your ISU Insurance Solutions Group agent today about the many insurance options MetLife Insurance offers in Woodinville, WA!