AAA celebrates century of insurance service

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AAA offices in Kansas are marking the AAA Insurance centennial anniversary this week with a birthday cake celebration at each of their offices for AAA members and other visitors.  A ceremony with remarks by AAA officials took place today at the Topeka AAA office.

It all started 100 years ago with a desire to offer affordable automobile insurance to AAA members. This month, CSAA Insurance Group, the company that provides AAA Insurance to AAA Kansas members, celebrates a century of service to AAA members.

“We’ve been giving insurance a good name for 100 years,” said James Hanni, AAA Kansas spokesman. “There are only a handful of insurance companies in the U.S. who have reached this milestone. The continuing dedication to service, financial stability and innovation is why we are so pleased to offer this insurance to our members.”

In the summer of 1914, what was then known as the California State Automobile Association Inter-Insurance Bureau sold its first 100 auto insurance policies. At that time, there were only 214 miles of paved roads in the entire United States and an estimated 1.7 million cars, 32,980 of them in Kansas –  one for every 58 Americans. Today there are 2.5 million registered vehicles in Kansas.  The most popular car in 1914 was the Ford Model T and the most common type of insurance claims were blown-out tires thanks to rough roads, weak rubber and thoroughfares littered with glass shards from broken bottles that fell off milk delivery vehicles.

Today, the company now known as CSAA Insurance Group has over 2.4 million policyholders located in 23 states and Washington D.C. In 1914, the best-selling car was a Ford Model T.  Today, the best-selling car is the Toyota Camry, and our nation has 2.6 million miles of paved roads, and Kansas ranks fourth among the states for the most miles of roadways.  Americans possess nearly 232 million cars, SUVs, vans and pickups, with 54% of households owning more than one vehicle. The most common auto insurance claims are for fender benders and cracked windshields.

“Clearly, a lot has changed over the past 100 years,” said James Hanni, AAA Kansas spokesman. “We expect the next 100 years will be just as exciting and our members can count on AAA Insurance to be there for them—because 100 is just the beginning.”

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