The Hartford started out in 1810 focusing on fire insurance. Fifteen years later, it wrote its first insurance policy for Yale University. A fire in 1835 that destroyed New York’s financial district ignited the spark for The Hartford to prove itself. Hartford's president called a meeting of directors. He encouraged them to pledge their personal fortunes in order to rebuild the insurance claims.
Throughout the 19th century, The Hartford served many famous figures. Even President Abraham Lincoln trusted The Hartford by purchasing a fire insurance policy. Robert E. Lee also purchased a home insurance policy from the company for his property in Virginia.
As time passed and technologies advanced, so did The Hartford. Early into the 20th century, the company formed its Accident and Indemnity Company. This was to provide a wide variety of insurance coverage. It also continued to provide insurance coverage to all sorts of Americans. They included famous figures like Babe Ruth and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Hartford even insured some of the largest construction projects ever, such as the Hoover Dam and Golden Gate Bridge. By 1984, The Hartford had become the only insurance company to provide auto and home insurance to AARP members.
In the last 15 years, The Hartford has achieved many milestones. In 2003, it became a founding partner of the US Paralympics, and it celebrate its 200th birthday in 2010.