West Coast Life Insurance

In 1997, West Coast Life Insurance Company became a member of the Protective Life Insurance Family. West Coast Life added its excellent reputation in the insurance industry amongst the brokerage community and, of course policyholders, to the growing list of the Protective Life family of policyholders.

West Coast Life was founded in 1906 and Protective Life in 1907. The two companies have forged the experience of over 200 years in the life insurance business in America. West Coast Life’s history includes more company “firsts” than most other companies can even imagine.

Our excellent reputation is based in part on these pre-eminent values: quickness to respond, quality, serving our people and growth.

In our quickness to respond, serving our policyholders and the brokerage community, we have adopted Protective Life’s Five Cardinal Principles which have given us the communication tools and framework to make quality an integral part of our company.

A Spirited History
West Coast Life represents a spirited history that includes an impressive list of “firsts” that few companies can match.

Instinctive Determination and a Resilient Youth
In March of 1906, a small group of prominent businessmen met in San Francisco to organize a company dedicated to serving the insurance needs of the west. Born or bred into prosperity, they represented a cross section of Americans that composed the social and economic backbone of the new West.

Recognizing an opportunity for a west coast-based insurance company, these men turned a hunch into history. In just a few weeks they elected a board of directors and voted insurance veteran Dr. George A. Moore as president. Fueled by the determination and vision that would become its lifeblood, West Coast Life Insurance Company was established in San Francisco’s Merchants Exchange Building and opened for business on April 2, 1906.

An Enterprising Spirit
Just 16 days after West Coast Life’s forefathers began building their new enterprise, they awakened to the devastating rumblings of San Francisco’s great earthquake and fire. Facing their first adversity with an enterprising spirit, the founders forged ahead and immediately established temporary offices. Within two weeks, business had resumed – which included an offer to the city of San Francisco for the first reconstruction loan to rebuild. At the close of 1906, not even a year old, the company reported over $1,000,000 of life insurance in force and over $225,000 in assets, matched by as much capital and surplus funds and no liabilities.

Foresight, Enterprise, Success
Over the next decade, West Coast Life strengthened and grew, opening insurance offices in all of the principal cities in the west. The first general agency was established in Honolulu in 1912, marking West Coast Life as the first American life insurance company in Hawaii.

Expansion continued but not at the expense of efficiency. In 1915, to reduce costs and business duplication, West Coast Life merged with the San Francisco Life Insurance Company. During this period, the new firm entered and appointed agents in Texas and Montana and became the first American life insurance company to operate in the Philippine Islands. For the next decade the company aggressively expanded sales and entered the Colorado, Wyoming, Alaska, Oklahoma and New Mexico markets and became the first American life insurance company to open in China and the Crown Colony of Hong Kong. At the close of 1930, a robust West Coast Life reported over $20,000,000 in assets, nearly $2,000,000 in capital and surplus funds, nearly $18,000,000 in liabilities, and total life insurance in force amounting to $133,000,000.

Overseas Expansion and World War II
Prosperity and growth continued for West Coast Life with successful expansion in the Far East. Despite being cut off from overseas operations at the outset of World War II, the company continued to fulfill its policy obligations there in a manner that strengthened its reputation for quality and performance. Marketing efforts have since been concentrated in the United States.

Post War Growth and Acquisitions
Growth at home was significantly helped by acquisitions giving West Coast Life new found presence. In 1964, Nationwide Corporation (Ohio), acquired the company. West Coast Life then merged with Gulf Atlantic Life (Texas) in 1978. The company later assumed the individual life operations of Michigan Life in 1985, Durham Life (North Carolina) in 1989, Employers Life of Wausau (Wisconsin) in 1994 and Farmland Life (Iowa) in 1995. In 1997, the company was acquired by Protective Life Insurance Company (Tennessee).

A Spirited Past Positioned for the Future
West Coast Life is the oldest life insurance company home based in San Francisco and is one of the few companies that boasts a heritage extending more than 90 years. The company’s slogan, “The Spirit of the West®” continues to reflect the vision of its forefathers as well as being the inspiration behind West Coast Life’s many outstanding industry “firsts.”

Why do I need life insurance? The main purpose of life insurance is to provide cash to your family after you die. The money your dependents will receive (the “death benefit”) is an important financial resource: It can help pay the mortgage, run the household, and ensure that your dependents aren’t burdened with debt. The proceeds from a life insurance policy could mean that they won’t have to sell assets to pay outstanding bills or taxes. What’s more, there is usually no federal income tax on life insurance benefits.

Where do I Begin? Start by evaluating your family’s needs. Gather all your personal financial information and estimate what your family will need after you’re gone. Include ongoing expenses (such as day care, tuition or retirement) and immediate expenses at the time of death (like medical bills, burial costs, and estate taxes). Your family also may need funds to help them readjust… perhaps to finance a move, or pay expenses while job hunting. Remember, life insurance provides financial protection. If protection is not your primary goal, you should consider other financial products.

How much life insurance will I need to purchase? While there’s no substitute for evaluating needs, one rule of thumb is to buy life insurance equal to five to seven times your annual gross income. Click on Needs Analysis to find out how much life insurance you may need. To find out how much life insurance may cost for you, click on Quotes.

What are the different types of life insurance? There are many kinds of insurance including term insurance, universal life, whole life insurance, and more. Click on Products for more information.

How do I choose an agent? If you do not currently have a West Coast Life Agent, click on Contact Me to find an agent near to you.

What can I expect during the agent’s visit? The agent will meet with you to discuss your life insurance needs. He or she will ask questions about family income and your net worth. With the information you have already assembled about your personal goals and financial situation, you’ll be able to discuss your insurance options.

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