Spring 1843, a business venture was launched that had the strongest of social implications.
The Liverpool Independent Legal Victoria Burial Society was born at 37 Blake Street, Liverpool.
The owner was William Fenton, a 36-year-old customs officer.
The great object of this Society is to afford the poorer classes of community, the means of providing for themselves, and their children a decent interment, at the trifling expense of a half-penny, a penny or three pence a week.
A team of agents going door-to-door.
Surplus assets covered stationary, coal and candles.
1868 expansion to new Liverpool offices, an old boarding house at 23 Islington was purchased for £2,000, where William Fenton was provided with free residence, coal and taxes.
1883 over 2,000 employees.
1914 the outbreak of war and the Society is getting prepared for action.
1917 28,020 claims amounting to £393,030 paid in respect of soldiers and sailors who have died on active service.
1930 The grand offices of Victoria House in Bloomsbury Square, London become the head office.
1939-1945 12,387 staff at Head Office, looking after over 13 million policies.
Older members of staff shouldered the burden of an ever-increasing workload as their younger colleagues were called up.
Only two employees chose to evacuate the London office.
The Liverpool Victoria fire brigade covered 12-hour shifts, maintaining non-stop protection around the clock lasting six strenuous years and dealt with two incendiary bombs and a high-explosive bomb which hit Victoria House.
4,000 employees absent on active service. Many of the 3,000 temporary women collectors were their wives.
1970 The World Snooker Championships were held at head office.
1980 The mainframe computer.
1994 Raising the flag revealing a new brand identity (a hen protecting its young).
1996 Liverpool Victoria takes over the Frizzell Group, moves out of Bloomsbury Square in London and relocates its Head Office to Bournemouth.
2007 A new era in the launch of a more vibrant and modern brand, a new logo and the iconic green heart.
Back in 1843 Liverpool was a tale of two cities. Host to 40% of the world’s trade it also had areas of great poverty and destitution.
For many decades we were most commonly associated with what was known as the ‘penny policy’ – life insurance at its simplest. Door-to-door agents would collect these penny premiums, allowing people to leave a little something behind to cover the costs of a decent funeral.
These days we offer much more but the essence of what we do hasn’t changed. It’s all about helping people to protect and provide for the things they love. We believe William Fenton would be proud of his legacy.
Back in time
Here's just a snapshot of 175 years of history
The first LV= office building
Head office, Islington, Liverpool
Head office moves to London
LV= moves to Bournemouth
Why we are here
Our roots go all the way back to 1843, when we welcomed our first customers.
Initially, friendly societies were formed to meet the financial needs of working class people, by providing schemes for funeral expenses. As such, friendly societies are mainly associated with Industrial Branch Whole of Life Insurance policies or 'penny policies', as they were more commonly known.
With these 'penny policies', you could insure your or your child's life for one penny a week, and the society would pay towards the policyholder's funeral. Often such organisations and societies, which funded Whole of Life Insurance, were also known as collecting societies, as they used to send agents to personally collect policy premiums by going door-to-door every week.
Nowadays, many people believe these 'penny policies' hold no value, but if you have unclaimed policies we'll still honour the sum assured, plus bonuses added to the policy, as long as the premium payments are up to date. If they aren't, you may get a reduced amount.
If you or your family have been with LV= for decades we want to hear your story. Simply fill in a short form to tell us about your journey with LV=.
To celebrate our 175th year, we'd love to hear from our longest standing customers. We recently spoke to a customer who has been with us for over 50 years and we know there are thousands more out there.