Our History

A Bright Beginning

ELCO Mutual got its start over seventy-five years ago in Chicago, opening its doors as Employees Life Company in 1946. The company has seen many changes since that time, but our dedication to exceptional products and service has remained constant. While we keep an eye out for how the latest technology can help us improve our quality of service, we remain committed to retaining the human element in our customer interactions.

Policyholders First

Employees Life relocated to Rogers Park, Illinois, in 1954 and became a mutual company in 1977, transferring ownership to its policyholders. As a mutual company, ELCO contributes profits to pay non-guaranteed dividends to policyholders with participating contracts. This is in contrast to a stock company, which instead pays dividends to its stockholders. We understand that as owners of the company, our policyholders are part of the ELCO Mutual family.


In 1979, Employees Life moved to ELCO’s current home in Lake Bluff, Illinois. Over the following six years, the company merged first with Crown Life and then with the Locomotive Engineers Mutual Life and Accident Insurance Association. Employees Life acquired Apollo National Insurance in 1991, and in 2013, the company became ELCO Mutual Life and Annuity.

The ELCO Advantage

Throughout its long history, ELCO Mutual has focused on service, security, and protection. We prioritize making real human connections with our clients. Each phone call our office receives is still answered by a live person. Our enduring record of outstanding service makes us an experienced, reliable partner in meeting our clients’ insurance and annuity needs, and our conservative investment strategy keeps our clients’ funds secure, even in turbulent economic times. At ELCO Mutual, our mission is to help our clients attain financial security with easy-to-understand insurance and annuity solutions.

March 15, 1946

Employee's Life officially chartered and opened its doors in downtown Chicago, IL


Employees Life moved to Rogers Park, IL

January 1, 1977

Employees Life became a mutual company


The company moved to our current home in Lake Bluff, IL

January 1, 1980

Employees Life Company Mutual merged with Crown Life

July 1, 1985

Employees Life Company Mutual merged with the Locomotive Engineers Mutual Life and Accident Insurance Association


Apollo National Insurance is acquired through reinsurance

March 2013

Employees Life Company (Mutual) changed its name to ELCO Mutual Life and Annuity