Provident Mutual was established in 1840 as the Provident Clerks’ Mutual Benefit Association, along with a sister company called the Provident Clerks’ Benevolent Fund. The two new companies were often known together as the Provident Clerks’ Mutual Benefit Association and Benevolent Fund.
The company was formed “for the purpose of affording to clerks and others the means of making a provision for themselves in old age, for their families at their decease, and an endowment for their children.”
The association issued its first policy in 1841 and in 1846 set up the first UK group life assurance scheme by which Magniac, Jardine & Co. undertook to pay the premiums for providing life assurance to their employees as a benefit of employment.
In 1848 the company changed its name to the Provident Clerks’ Mutual Life Assurance Association.
By 1859 the company was managing the staff life assurance scheme for the Post Office and, in 1860, began operating staff life assurance schemes with leading railway companies, starting with the Great Western Railways. The company pioneered a system to take weekly or monthly premiums from salaries to allow all employees of participating companies to afford life cover.
In 1903 the company name was changed to the Provident Clerks’ & General Mutual Life Assurance Association and in 1917 the name was changed again to the Provident Mutual Life Assurance Association.
In 1995 the company merged with the General Accident Fire & Life Assurance Corporation Ltd. to become Provident Mutual Life Assurance Ltd. The business was dissolved in 2003.