Julius Yemans Dewey, medical doctor of Montpelier, Vermont, was among the company's founders. He would later serve as general agent and then president of the company and delivered the remittance of the company's very first claim on July 26, 1850.
On January 1, 1999, pursuant to a mutual insurance holding company reorganization, National Life converted from a mutual to a stock life insurance company. All of National Life’s outstanding shares are now owned by its parent, NLV Financial Corporation, which is the wholly-owned subsidiary of the parent holding company, National Life Holding Company. The holding company and its subsidiaries are collectively known as the National Life Group and its headquarters are in Montpelier, Vermont.