From humble beginnings...

We continue to help people to live financially confident lives

Our purpose since 1843 is to help individuals and families to live with financial confidence by protecting their income while they are working and maximising it when they stop.

This still remains at the very heart of LV= and is the reason we exist.

Find out more about our history below.

Our history

We were founded almost two centuries ago

  • 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.

  • Whilst we now offer very different products, the nature of what we do hasn’t really changed since the company began all that time ago – we’re still helping individuals and families to protect and provide for what’s important to them. We're sure our founder, William Fenton, would be proud of his legacy.

Back in time

Take a look at where our offices have been throughout the years


The first LV= office building


Head office, Islington, Liverpool


Head office moves to London


LV= moves to Bournemouth

William Fenton 1843

In 1843 on 37 Blake Street, Liverpool William Fenton, a 36 year old customs officer and a group of his friends formed ‘The Liverpool Independent Legal Victoria Burial Society’.

    Head office, Islington, Liverpool

    The 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.

      Head office moves to London

      In 1930 The grand offices of Victoria House in Bloomsbury Square, London become the head office where the staff looked after over 13 million policies. In 1970 the World Snooker Championships were staged at our grand head office.

        LV= moves to Bournemouth

        Following the acquisition of the Frizzell Group, LV= moved out of London and into the Frizzell campus of offices in Bournemouth, launching into a whole new market – general insurance (until 31 December 2019 when it was sold to Allianz Holding plc).

          It all started with a penny

          We welcomed our first customers with the old "penny policies".

          scales with two groups of people either side
          • Right at the beginning we were formed to give the poor and underprivileged people of Liverpool the chance to bury their loved ones with pride.
          • For many years we offered Industrial Branch Whole of Life Insurance policies or 'penny policies' as they were more commonly known.
          • You could insure you or your child’s life for as little as one penny a week and the society would pay towards a funeral.
          • In the old days, agents would go door-to-door collecting premiums and were a regular sight in the neighbourhood.
          • Many people believe that nowadays these old ‘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.
          • Fill out our policy tracing form to find an old ‘penny policy’.

          A few defining moments

          Here is a list of acquisitions in our history dating back to 1885

          • 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)