Our History

Cirencester Friendly offers a Holloway style income protection contract called Income Assured Enhanced. Unlike many income protection providers, this gives you the option to grow a capital sum alongside your income protection contract; a feature that goes all the way back to our roots.

In 1878 Stroud business man George Holloway wrote an essay detailing a scheme that provided workers with sick pay, should they fall ill and become unable to work. For this, workers would pay a regular premium.

George Holloway also highlighted the need to provide for the worker after retirement. His essay outlined a way to build up a capital fund – known as the Holloway Principle.

The beginnings of Cirencester Friendly

Based on the Holloway style income protection contract, the Cirencester Conservative Association Working Men’s Benefit Society was formed in 1890 – soon followed by the women’s and Juvenile Societies.

Throughout the early 1900s the Society’s Membership continued to grow and its name shortened to ‘The Cirencester Conservative Benefit Society’. By the 1960s the Society had assets of over £1.5 million and was renamed ‘The Cirencester Benefit Society’.

Big changes for Cirencester Friendly

In the 1980s the Society had just 6 members of staff and Membership was declining. So began the computerisation of records and a big marketing boost. When the Friendly Societies Act was introduced in 1992, the Society was registered and incorporated under its present-day name ‘Cirencester Friendly Society Limited’ (trading by Cirencester Friendly).

With a declining Membership the Society appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Paul Hudson, in 1997 – signalling big changes. Two years later, Health and Wealth (the Society’s original product) was replaced by Income Assured, based on George Holloway’s principles. Income Assured was so popular that in 2002 – after a surge of new Members and staff – Cirencester Friendly moved to 5 Dyer Street, its current home. Success continued through to 2006 when the Society launched Income Assured Plus.

In 2008 the Society accepted 5,985 new Members, its best ever sales year – and continued to grow. Membership now exceeds 35,000.

2014 saw the introduction of our first ‘pure protection’ contract, My Earnings Insurance, which helps to make our contracts available to many more working people.

2016 marked another stepping stone for the Society as we launched our first range of product enhancements, My Extra Benefits. The range provides Members with the option to add value to their income protection contract by including; Fracture & Hospitalisation Benefit and Working Life Death Benefit.

In 2017 we developed our product offering with the introduction of Income Assured Enhanced. The product is an enhancement to our award winning Income Assured Plus contract. It is designed to better suit the needs of the UK's changing workforce and their lifestyle.

Looking to the future

As a Holloway Friendly Society, providing award-winning, affordable income protection for working people remains at the heart of all we do as we develop new products with Members being forefront of mind.