Percie Johnson founded Johnson Insurance in St. John’s, N.L., in 1880. It remained a family business for the next century, with Percie’s son and grandsons leading the company through decades of growth.
In the 1950s, Johnson became the first Canadian insurance firm to offer clients a monthly payment option for their premiums. Ten years later, it became the first insurer to offer clients a complete range of benefits under a single plan, with a single payment.
Today, Johnson is a subsidiary of RSA Insurance Group, a U.K.-headquartered multinational insurance company. RSA added Johnson to its portfolio of Canadian companies in 1997, which also include Western Assurance and Canadian Northern Shield. Johnson has 1,400 employees and 30 offices across Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. It reaches other parts of Canada via its website with a general focus on home insurance (excluding Nunavut) and auto insurance, except in B.C., Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Johnson’s policies are primarily underwritten by Unifund Assurance Company, another subsidiary of RSA Insurance Group. Johnson also offers group benefit programs.
In 2018, Johnson launched a rebranding campaign to promote itself as a customer-centric company. Its mascot, a Newfoundland dog named Johnson, represents the firm’s Maritime roots.