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What is the history of the Home Beneficial Life Insurance company?

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Quick Answer

Home Beneficial Life Insurance was a Richmond, Virginia insurance company founded in 1899 by William Smith Morton. The company was sold in 1997 to American General Life and Accident Company, according to the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, a charity founded by Morton's daughter. Home Beneficial Life Insurance is no longer in business, according to the Better Business Bureau.

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Full Answer

Home Beneficial Life Insurance agents collected premium payments from the company's customers by going door to door every month, and it was one of the leading companies in the industry, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch article. President and CEO Richard Watkins led the company from 1968 until he retired in 1997 after the sale to American General, and he was credited with running an efficient business. Under his leadership, the company grew its portfolio from $1.8 billion active insurance policies to $11 billion at the time of its sale to American General.

Mary Parsons established her foundation with proceeds from her inheritance, which came from her father's Home Beneficial Life holdings, according to its website. The foundation supports the arts, education and historic preservation in the Richmond area, making grants of $3 million to $5 million every year. As of 2016, the foundation had awarded $73 million in capital grants to charitable organizations.

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