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  • 200 years of Sun Life

    Sun Life's journey has been a long and exciting one. From humble beginnings in the City of London, there are now over 850,000 Guaranteed Over 50 Plan policyholders*.

    Here are some of the landmarks of the past 200 years:

    Starting small

    In 1810, the Sun Fire Office Board launched a life assurance company from two rooms in Bank Buildings on Cornhill in the City of London. The company's first employee was Joshua Milne, an actuary, who was employed on a salary of £300 a year and stayed with us for 33 years.
    A famous visitor

    The offices had visits from many people looking for life assurance, including, in 1838, a young Charles Dickens, who had completed his Pickwick Papers the previous year. He wrote in his diary about his visit to Sun Life, but, unfortunately for him, the Board decided that he worked too much, and therefore turned down his proposal!
    First in class

    By 1900, Sun Life was the first company to offer life assurance without the need for a medical - something we're still proud to be offering today.
    Tough times during the war

    Sun Life evacuated its head office at the outbreak of war in 1939. The company lost two London branches in the Blitz, as well as branches in Canterbury and Plymouth. After the temporary HQ was also destroyed, Sun Life found a new wartime home at Dorking: 'Ribblesdale' - a 20-room house standing in an acre of grounds.
    Changing times

    We take computers for granted these days, but in 1959 Sun Life entered the technological age when our first computer was delivered. This crude card-punching data storage device was so big it had to be hoisted on scaffolding to the specially strengthened third floor of the company's headquarters!
    From the 1970s, Sun Life split its headquarters between London and Bristol. Since then we have continued to build on the Sun Life heritage and now we have over 30 years experience of the over 50s market, and are the leading provider of over 50s life cover**.
    Where did the Sun Life logo come from?

    Fire marks were used from the late 17th century to the start of the 20th century. By displaying them outside a house, the owners could prove that they were insured against fire, and show the company they were insured with. The sun face has grown out of the fire marks of that time. Here are some of the sun faces that have been used over the past 200 years.


      Sun Life logos


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    *As at 05 September 2013
    **Most popular whole of life guaranteed acceptance plan bought directly. ABI statistics - 12 months up to 30 June 2013.


  •  Celebrating 200 years of Sun Life

    200 years of Sun Life