Back in 1828…

The Andover Companies was founded by a group of prominent town leaders from Andover, Massachusetts. These well-known members of the community—bankers, mill owners, property holders—met up at a local tavern. However, this was far from a social gathering. Instead, these leaders had come together to discuss a very serious concern: the threat of a fire catastrophe.

Unlike today’s properties that are equipped with smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, and other fire safety precautions, there were hardly any effective protections against fire loss in the early 1800s. A fire could spread exceedingly fast through a quickly expanding mill town like Andover, causing utter devastation.

To preserve their community and make sure property owners could rebuild their house, factory, or other building if a fire event occurred, these enterprising citizens came up with a clever solution: an insurance company, called Merrimack Mutual Fire, owned entirely by its policyholders, that would ensure that property losses due to a fire would be covered.

Over the next century, property owners’ protection needs grew increasingly more complex as their properties, and thus potential risks, became more diverse. To meet its policyholders’ new and emerging requirements, Merrimack Mutual acquired Cambridge Mutual Fire Insurance Company in 1913. Then, in 1955, Bay State Incorporated was added to the mix, expanding the company’s ability to offer a broad range of property insurance solutions.


Merrimack Mutual, Cambridge Mutual, and Bay State are a family of companies that make up The Andover Companies, one of the largest and longest-standing mutual insurance groups in the Northeast. For over eight decades, we have provided premier insurance products and services that shield personal and commercial properties and their owners from not just fire damage but numerous other common property risks, as well.

Since that momentous founders meeting in 1828, The Andover Companies has continually adapted and evolved to meet the needs of our policyholders. At the same time, we have never wavered from our company’s original and ongoing purpose: to protect our neighbors, the community, and their valuable properties.