The Providence Insurance Co. inaugurated the insurance agency system in the United States back in 1803. That's when the vessel and cargo insurer-one of the first insurance companies established in this country-decided to expand, and appointed the nation's first independent agent.

Two hundred years later, the East Providence, R.I.-based multi-regional, multi-line property/casualty insurer-known since 1820 as Providence Washington Insurance Cos.-has remained true to the independent agency system.

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