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A brief history of Reliance Mutual having completed our centenary

The Beginning

Reliance Mutual started its life in March 1911 as the Farringdon Reliance Friendly Collecting Society at an address in Farringdon Street, London. It was the offshoot of another company, the Reliance Fire and Accident Insurance Corporation, which in June 1906 had started to write general insurance business, with policy holders paying weekly premiums.

In the 1930s the Elephant and Castle in South London and offices close to Waterloo Bridge were the next bases for the company. At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 it was decided to evacuate from London, and the Head Office moved to a large country house called Great Bounds in what was then the quiet village of Southborough, midway between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, in Kent.

In 1951 the Mutual Society was formed enabling us to widen our investments and 1958 saw the purchase of Reliance House, an imposing building, situated overlooking the spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

In the modern era

In 2001, the Society relocated to new offices in the Great Hall, Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Also in 2001, the Society launched its highly competitive Smoker Annuity product.

Starting in 2003, the Society has made 7 acquisitions of portfolios of other life assurers' business.

After nine years at The Great Hall, a new Head Office was purchased in Vale Avenue, Tunbridge Wells. The Society moved its operations to the new Reliance House in August 2010, coinciding with the Society's centenary year.

In 2012 policyholders were asked to vote on the future of the Society. The first time a mutual insurer has formally asked this question. The board received an overwhelming vote of support on the Scheme Arrangement proposed, which clarified how the business is run and the future entitlements of policyholders.