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Founded in 1843

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.

Along came William Fenton, a 36 year old customs officer and a group of his friends who formed ‘The Liverpool Independent Legal Victoria Burial Society’. Their goal was to help the poor bury their loved ones with dignity.

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.

Scroll through our history using the left and right buttons below

Our history

The LV= heart shown in topiary

Our Founder -
William Fenton 1843

William Fenton the founder of Liverpool Victoria

The first LV= office building 1843

37 Blake Street, the first LV= office in 1843

Head office, Islington, Liverpool 1868

The LV= head office Islington Liverpool 1868

The Board and staff

The Board and staff members sat in a group for their photo in 1871

The Audit department 1914

The busy audit department back in 1914 with lots of paperwork around them

The LV= Board

The Board members sat for a photo around a very long table in 1914

Head office moves to London 1930

The Head office building back in 1930

Inside Victoria House
London 1930

Inside the grand head office in Victoria House London

Staff Fire Brigade

LV= staff fire brigade members fighting a large fire burning

The audit department 1942

A slightly more modern audit department in 1942

World Snooker at head office 1970

The main table action at the 1970 World Snooker championships

A mainframe Computer 1980

A man loading data tapes at the mainframe computer

A new brand

The new LV= brand shown for the first time in 1994

LV= moves to Bournemouth 1996

The new offices at Frizzell House in Bournemouth

LV= Bournemouth today

The latest photo of Frizzell House in Bournemouth with the new large green heart on the roundabout

Our Heritage

Being a mutual

We're a mutual. But what does that actually mean? It means that unlike a plc, we exist solely for the benefit of our members. Someone becomes a member when they have one of our member qualifying products. The members all jointly own LV=.

This means instead of focusing on making money for private shareholders, we channel our energies and resources into doing what's right for our members and customers. It's no wonder, then, that our products regularly win lots of awards. And our awards are not limited to our products but also our high levels of customer service.

Our beginnings

Our roots go all the way back to 1843, when we welcomed our first customers. In those days we were known as the "Liverpool Independent Legal Victoria Burial Society".

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.

Fill out our policy tracing form to find an old 'penny policy'.

Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society

Our own origins come from Liverpool, in the exact same poverty ridden streets that Charles Dickens used as the inspiration for his novels. He was a volunteer policeman at the time that a group of dock managers first sat round a table and created the Liverpool Victoria Legal Friendly Society. Liverpool Victoria quickly grew into one of the larger friendly societies. Over the years, Liverpool Victoria acquired several other burial societies and mutuals, all of which are listed below.

Life companies taken over by Liverpool Victoria and year of acquisition

  • Liverpool Crown & Anchor Friendly Society (1885)
  • Liverpool Protective Assurance & Burial Society (1903)
  • New Era (1904)
  • General Friendly Collecting Society (formerly Leeds and General Friendly Society) (includes the Hulme Burial Society) (1908)
  • Most Friendly Burial Collecting Society (1933)
  • City Mutual (Guernsey) Collecting Society (1935)
  • City Mutual (Jersey) Collecting Society (1935)
  • Hibernian Mutual Assurance Collecting Society (1944)
  • General Federation of Trade Unions Friendly & Collecting Society (GFTU) (1952)
  • Independent Burial Society (1953)
  • Withington Friendly Burial Collecting Society (1954)
  • Ardwick Union Burial Society (1957)
  • Keighley Samaritan Brief (1963)
  • Druids Burial Society (1965)
  • Permanent Insurance Company Limited (2001)
  • Royal National Pension Fund for Nurses (RNPFN, 2001)
  • UIA Insurance Limited (life business only) (2005)
  • Tomorrow (2007)
  • Teachers Provident Society (2016)