105 Years of Merchants
In 2023, Merchants Insurance Group proudly celebrates 105 years of earning your business every day! Let’s take a look back on the road to this milestone, from our company’s start in 1918 to the resilience shown over the last year.
Read on to learn more about our history, who we are today, and how we celebrated Merchants’ 105th anniversary!
This video, which was shown at our 105th anniversary celebration, reflects upon the year leading up to our 105th anniversary and both the successes and challenges we faced.
A Look Back on Merchants’ History
On March 5, 1918, Merchants Mutual Liability opened for business in Buffalo, New York. Founder Urban F. Jehle, owner and operator of a grocery store on Buffalo’s West Side, hoped to band local merchants together for the mutual protection of their delivery vehicles.
Jehle, joined by J.R. Young, Owen B. Augspurger, and C.W. Brown, envisioned a company that would write automobile insurance through local independent agents. Jehle served as company president until 1923.
In the 1920s, the company expanded and began writing in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, and New Hampshire, in addition to New York. Fifty years later, Merchants Mutual Insurance Company began writing in Ohio in 1970 and Michigan in 1973.
Celebrating 105 Years! A Look at Our History:
Merchants Insurance Group Today
Today, Merchants Insurance Group provides property and casualty insurance protection to policyholders through more than 1,000 independent insurance agents across business territories in eight states. Headquartered in downtown Buffalo, New York, the company has regional offices in Hauppauge, New York; Bedford, New Hampshire; and Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, employing nearly 200 colleagues.
Merchants places immense value in the relationships our company has with independent agent partners, policyholders, and our colleagues. We take great pride in the work we do and in the prestigious awards & distinctions we have received. Some recent, noteworthy accomplishments include:
- Ward’s 50® designation as a top-performing property-casualty insurance company in both 2021 and 2022.
- A- (Excellent) Rating from A.M. Best
In the past year, Merchants has also been named:
- A Super Regional Property/Casualty Insurer™ by Insurance Journal for the second consecutive year.
- Among the “Best Places to Work in Western New York,” according to Business First.
- One of “Western New York’s Top Private Companies,” for four consecutive years.
- A “Fast Track” company, recognizing the fastest growing companies in the Western New York region, for four consecutive years.
We’re proud of our company’s accomplishments and our rich history since 1918. Looking ahead, we strive to continue to be a preferred provider of property and casualty insurance, the carrier of choice among independent agents, and an employer of choice.
We look forward to another 105 years of earning your business every day!
Merchants’ 105th Anniversary Celebration
While the official anniversary fell on Sunday, March 5, corporate colleagues gathered to celebrate with cake and ice cream at the company headquarters in Buffalo, New York, on Thursday, March 2, 2023.
Colleagues wore matching Merchants’ 105th Anniversary shirts (or, as we call company merchandise, MerchantsDise!) to commemorate the occasion!