Our legacy begins in 1850 with the formation of The Manhattan Life Insurance Company, one of the early pioneers in the life insurance industry. Manhattan Life was the first company to introduce incontestable clauses in life insurance contracts. It also issued the first group life contract as well as the first life policy to a woman. After the Civil War, Manhattan Life became known as "Old Reliable" because it continued to pay death benefits to the widows of Southern soldiers. In 1894, the original Manhattan Life office building in New York City was the tallest building in the world.
Maintaining the Manhattan Life tradition of innovation, a reinsurance program was created in the early 1980s. It became clear, that as companies responded to changes in the insurance marketplace, a need arose to develop and service new kinds of life and health insurance. With fewer resources available to efficiently maintain older policy forms, nationally known entities reached out to our companies and their predecessors for a solution to the problem. In response, we developed a reinsurance and servicing format that would better maintain these older blocks of business, freeing up capital and management resources to focus on the newer forms of insurance the market demanded.
Our companies grew and became the standard bearer in acquisition reinsurance and policy management with more than 60 such transactions completed since 1983. Over 10,000 different policy forms are now under management, representing more than 700,000 policyholders. Over the years, we have completed these transactions with such well-known companies as American General, SunAmerica, UNUM, SAFECO, CIGNA, Sun Life of Canada, Nationwide and many others. From 1993 until 1998, we were the exclusive U.S. agent for Sun Life of Canada for reinsurance agreements of this type.
Manhattan Life, along with affiliated companies Central United Life, Family Life Insurance Company and Western United Life Assurance Company continue the tradition of growth and innovation today.
Since setting the standards in the early 1980's, our basic format to reinsure and administer all types of life and health insurance has been used by dozens of other companies.
More than a decade ago, we entered into the Worksite arena and now produce over 30,000 new policies each year to employees all across the country. Our Worksite strategy is to offer exemplary products that meet the sophisticated needs of today's modern policyholders. Its portfolio of voluntary and involuntary products offers high quality benefits at affordable rates to employees, while helping employers to augment and enhance their benefit programs.
Our companies put technology at the forefront, developing online tools that allow clients to select from a wide range of communication and enrollment services to create a customized benefit plan for their employees.
In addition, a unique Employee Enrollment/Human Resources Management System empowers employees to make well-informed benefit selections while automating daily human resource functions. The results are significant and right in line with maintaining and advancing the Manhattan Life legacy.