BITCO History

The story of BITCO Insurance Companies begins in 1917 when the forerunner of today's company was organized as a reciprocal exchange to provide workers’ compensation exclusively to the coal mine industry.

In 1928 the company incorporated and formed Bituminous Casualty Corporation and in 1933 expanded to include workers’ compensation and liability insurance for industrial operations.

Automobile lines were added in 1942 through the addition of Bituminous Fire and Marine Insurance Company. This subsidiary was needed at the time in order to write automobile collision, comprehensive, fire, theft and miscellaneous physical damage coverage.

Property insurance, including business package policies, was added in 1963.

In 1973 BITCO Corporation was organized by Bituminous as a holding company and the Bituminous Insurance Companies became wholly-owned subsidiaries of BITCO.

In March of 1985, BITCO Insurance Companies and all its operating subsidiaries became members of the Old Republic General Insurance Group, the largest business segment of Old Republic International (NYSE: ORI), and one of the nation’s 50 largest publicly held insurance organizations. The Old Republic General Insurance Group includes a number of other major ORI subsidiaries who provide specialized coverage in the property and liability, life and health, title, and home and auto warranty insurance fields. Old Republic is recognized nationally as one of the preeminent insurers of workers’ compensation programs.


Bituminous formally changed its name to BITCO Insurance Companies in September of 2014. At that time, the names of the company’s policy-issuing companies were changed to BITCO National Insurance Company and BITCO General Insurance Corporation.

In April of 2016, the location of BITCO’s corporate headquarters was relocated from Rock Island, Illinois, to Davenport, Iowa.

Today, BITCO provides specialized insurance services to unique industries at the heart of U.S. infrastructure, including transportation, construction, building contractors, forest products, wholesale, distribution, manufacturing, oil & gas extraction and more.

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