What Is Durham Life Insurance Company?

The Durham Life Insurance Company was an insurance company based in Raleigh, N.C. for most of its existence. The company went through a series of mergers and acquisitions beginning in 1979 and is no longer in business as of 2014.

The company was founded as Durham Mutual Protective Association in 1906. It was originally based in Durham, but moved its corporate headquarters to Raleigh in June of 1920. The company started out issuing industrial insurance for accidents, sickness and death to a base of largely low-income customers. Life insurance was also sold for larger premiums.

As the company grew it began offering a broader range of insurance products. In 1927 it expanded into broadcasting with the purchase of radio station WPTF. The station changed its call letters to WQDR-FM in 1972. The company also acquired the television station WRDU-TV in 1977 and renamed it WPTF-TV.

Dunham Corporation became the parent holding company in 1979, and with incorporation, Durham Life Insurance became its subsidiary. Dunham Corporation merged with Capital Holding Corporation in 1991, which in turn became Providian Corporation in 1996. Providian then sold its insurance holdings to Ageon.

As of 2014, inquiries about former policies with Dunham Life Insurance can be directed to Monumental Life Insurance Company of Iowa.