The company took its present form in 2016 when ACE Limited acquired the Chubb Corporation, creating the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. Now operating under the renowned Chubb name, both companies brought with them a rich history as leaders and innovators in the industry.
ACE Limited was established in 1985 in response to an availability crisis in the U.S. insurance marketplace for excess liability and directors and officers insurance coverage. Recognizing the need, a handful of forward-thinking pioneers helped form a consortium and pool the capital to create a new kind of insurance company. Those founding sponsors constituted an impressive list of 34 blue-chip companies from a broad range of industries, including health care, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, transportation, utilities, oil and gas, banking and the automotive industry.
From its inception through the 1990s, ACE grew rapidly through product diversification, strategic partnerships and acquisition. A true turning point for ACE was its 1999 acquisition of Cigna Corporation’s international and domestic property and casualty business, the Insurance Company of North America (INA). The acquisition gave ACE an instant global network and simultaneously transferred INA’s 200-year history to the company.
In the following decade and beyond, ACE progressed on its path of growth and international expansion organically and via strategic acquisition. During that time, ACE fostered its reputation as a superior underwriting company that delivered exceptional service through an unparalleled global network.
The origins of the Chubb Corporation date back to 1882 when Thomas Caldecot Chubb and his son Percy opened their marine underwriting business in the seaport district of New York City. Having collected $1,000 from each of 100 prominent merchants to start their venture, they focused initially on insuring ships and cargoes.
The Chubbs were adept at turning risk into success, often by helping their policyholders prevent disasters before they occurred. By the turn of the century, Chubb had established strong relationships with the insurance agents and brokers who placed their clients’ business with Chubb underwriters.
Chubb & Son did not value size in itself but regarded it as a measure of what had been achieved. Upon the Company's 75th anniversary in 1957, Hendon Chubb — who had joined his older brother Percy in the firm in 1895 — noted, "I think there is perhaps a tendency in American business to overemphasize mere size, whereas to me it should be a by-product of a job well done."