A milestone in the insurance world was recently celebrated as W. Harold Petersen, RHU, DFP, an acknowledged leader in the industry celebrated his 60th year in the insurance industry and his 80th birthday. Friends, associates, and industry notables gathered at the Hyatt Valencia Hotel, Valencia, Calif., for a black tie gala including aquavit toasts and a Danish dinner under the theme of “Dancing With a Star.”
Mr. Petersen completed his Political Science curriculum at UCLA in 1948 and joined Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company as an Underwriter. He subsequently served as Policy Design and Approval Administrator and negotiated the first policies to be approved under the sweeping 1950 “Minimum Benefits Law of California.” For this accomplishment he was recognized by “Who’s Who in Insurance,” the youngest person ever listed in that publication. He was then appointed to create and manage the Special Risks and Association Group Department using Lloyd’s of London as a reinsurer.
Mr. Petersen abandoned corporate life to pursue a successful sales career. He was subsequently enticed to enter into a four year agreement with American United Life Insurance Company, to organize a disability division for that company. He next led a group in the formation of a new disability company, Underwriters National Assurance Company. In 1967, Mr. Petersen formed a marketing and management company that was the genesis of the professional underwriting firm that is known today as Petersen International Underwriters.
Mr. Petersen has written, produced, and taught a number of study courses for insurance agents and brokers, financial planners, and insurance company personnel. He is the author of several books on personal economics to include “Life Is Just a Cash Flow,” “The Tax Advantage Digest” and “Future Income as an Asset.” He founded the Advance Disability Insurance Underwriting Seminars at Purdue University, Florida State University, Michigan State University, Notre Dame, Tulane, and other established universities.