You're in good hands.....

How did Connecticut become the principle base of insurance companies? Was a fountain of indemnity discovered nearby? Please enlighten me.

This is something I’ve wondered about as well, but it is more specific than just Connetecut. I think the entire world of insurance is directed from the town of Hartford.

Nah, just the ones you happen to hear about the most, maybe. Northbrook, Illinois; Novato, California; New York City, St. Paul, all have national (or international) insurance companies headquartered there, and the list goes on. And we’re not even talking about foreign companies, like Allianz (based in Germany, the 6th largest insurance company in the world – I think I read it writes something like $50 Billion worth of coverage a year all over the world).

The companies in Hartford just had a catchy ad campaign!


I’m a woman phenomenally
Phenomenal woman
That’s me
(Maya Angelou)

Hartford is a conservative, traditional place, so it is good for insurance companies. When I think about it, several cities in America are prominent for certain industries or specialties:

Atlanta - cable news
Detroit - autos
Hartford - insurance
LA/NYC - movies/tv and fashion
Las Vegas- casinos
Memphis - blues music
Nashville - country music
NYC (wall street) - finance
NYC - musicals
Seattle (Redmond) - software
Silicon Valley - software ideas

Most of the places you listed as hotbeds of one industry or another got that way because it was easy to start a business there. LA, for example, became the motion picture capital because the early film industry got chased out of NYC, mostly for charges of immorality. Out in LA, you had (1)low property values (2)a variety of locations for shooting (3)lots of sunlight [important before the invention of hi-watt lamps], (4)a lack of law enforcement, and (5) a close proximity to the Mexican border, in case (4) wasn’t lax enough.

I think that at least two of the examples George gave (Atlanta and Seattle) are the results of a single business entity. If Bill Gates or Ted Turner decided to move their operations to Kansas City for example, that city would become a major software or cable center.

While this is true in extremes… certain industries do thrive in certain areas precisely because of the presence of high-powered competition.

Why? Employee movement. For instance, in both Northern Virginia and Silicon Valley, there are high concentrations of IT professionals - so, it makes a lot of economic sense for IT companies to set up shop there, as they have a trained employee base handy.

Sometimes, they even over-saturate; you have to try real hard to be an unemployed system administrator in Fairfax County, because there are too many openings and not enough people.


Oh, another thing…

A great many businesses start as a result of employees leaving the nest and striking out on their own; they tend to do this without moving.

Hence, Bob leaves his position at Tri-County Insurance to start his own company across town. It grows, and later, one of his employees does the same thing, and so on…