header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
April 16
1962 - Walt Disney donates bison herd to Hart Park [story]

Harold_Ppetersen[PIU] – Local philanthropist W. Harold Petersen, chairman of the board of Valencia-based Petersen International Underwriters, was inducted May 19 into the Iowa Insurance Hall of Fame.

Accompanied by his wife Jacquie, daughter and two of his sons, Harold was one of five insurance professionals honored at a ceremonial dinner held at the Olmstead Center at Drake University in Des Moines.

An Iowa native, Harold was born and raised on a very humble dairy farm outside the small town of Council Bluffs, just across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska. He witnessed first-hand the familial financial devastation caused by the sudden disablement of his father. A severe back injury left Harold’s dad unable to run the farm which the family subsequently lost to creditors. A childhood spent under economic hardship helped shape Harold’s determined and lifelong advocacy for disability insurance, and started his mission to help Americans financially protect their hard-earned incomes.

His career began in 1948 at Mutual of Omaha as an underwriter, building their fledgling disability insurance sector. In 1956, Harold was recruited by American United Life Insurance Company of Indianapolis to forge their accident and health insurance division. Four years later, he started his own disability carrier called Underwriters National Assurance Company which he ran until 1967 when he moved his young family to Los Angeles to form an insurance marketing and management firm which evolved into what is today known as Petersen International Underwriters.

With a focus on the high-limit and specialty disability insurance market, Petersen International, under Harold’s leadership, has grown into the largest personal accident Coverholder at Lloyd’s in the United States.

But Harold has also put his passion for disability insurance into more altruistic endeavors. Over the past 65 years, he has guest-lectured on advanced health underwriting methodology at dozens of the country’s most notable universities, and he has developed several nationally sanctioned health insurance and financial planning training courses. Most importantly, Harold recognized the need for a national association devoted specifically to disability insurance when he co-founded the International DI Society in 2005.


Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


  1. Congratulations on your award Harold!

  2. Congratulations on your award Harold!

  3. So very proud of you, dad, and my gratitude of being my “surrogate” father of 30 years surpasses my love of you. You, and you alone have grown PIU with your brilliance and leadership. All others have been followers in the pathway you have so passionately created for others. You have been richly rewarded and recognized, as it should be.

  4. Julie Henley Julie Henley says:

    Congratulations to one of the nicest people in the world!!

  5. Christin Hinderaker Coy says:

    Congratulations Harold. You definitely deserve this award. Very happy for you. Please give my best to Jacquie from me. All the very best, Chris.

  6. Big congratulations with a hug from Chris.

  7. What a wonderful honor!! Congratualtions Harold!! And so nice that your family was able to be there with you! I know that my Bill always looked forward to your business meetings together over the years!!!

Leave a Comment

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1962 - Walt Disney donates bison herd to Hart Park [story]
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board has approved the recommendation to name Donna Manfredi as the principal of Golden Oak Adult School.
Donna Manfredi Takes Helm at Golden Oak Adult School
The Executive Office of the Board of Supervisors announced the leadership team of the newly formed Probation Oversight Commission who will be tasked to lead efforts to monitor the Probation Department’s progress on systemic reform.
L.A. County Announces New Probation Oversight Commission Leadership Team
The Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons will host a virtual Open House on Wednesday, April 28 to help those interested in advancing their careers by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
COC University Center Hosting Virtual Open House
The Santa Clarita Public Television Authority will hold its regular meeting virtually Monday, April 19, at 2:00 p.m.
April 19: Santa Clarita Public Television Authority Virtual Regular Meeting
SCV Water has received a nearly $250,000 California Special Districts Association Public Safety Power Shutoff program allocation from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).
Cal OES Awards SCV Water $250K Grant
The Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, coordinated by the Department of Arts and Culture, and KCET have joined forces to create a new documentary that explores the value of arts education for the youth, communities, and creative economy of L.A. County.
KCET Documentary to Feature L.A. County’s Arts Education
The Santa Clarita Valley League of Women Voters, partnering with College of the Canyons Center for Civic Engagement and its Engage the Vote Student Action Team, is sponsoring a virtual, “Conversation with Mayor Bill Miranda,” on Monday, April 19, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Miranda Joins League of Women Voters, COC for Virtual Conversation on Local Government
A woman died after having been rushed to the hospital following a stabbing in a Saugus neighborhood early Thursday morning.
LASD Investigating Deadly Saugus Stabbing
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 23 new deaths and 613 new cases of COVID-19, with 27,535 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: 16 and Over Now Eligible for Vaccine; SCV Cases Total 27,535
The results of two surveys regarding the controversy surrounding the Hart High School mascot were reported during the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board meeting on Wednesday.
Survey Shows Majority of Staff, Students Favor Keeping Hart Mascot
As students and staff return to schools for in-person instruction, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reminds everyone to keep the safety of students in mind when traveling around schools.
With Schools Reopening, LASD Reminding Drivers to Keep Student Safety In Mind
1954 - Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden on streets of Newhall for filming of "Suddenly" [story]
Frank Sinatra
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 57 new deaths and 411 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as the county prepares to expand vaccination eligibility to residents 16 and older on Thursday.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: Vaccination Eligibility to Expand to 16+ Thursday; SCV Cases Total 27,515
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has approved $140,000 in funding to the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club through the county's Community Services Block Grant.
Barger to Allocate $140K in County Block Grant Funds to Boys & Girls Club of SCV
California public health officials this week lifted capacity limits on in-person services at places of worship from the state's reopening scheme, following a handful of Supreme Court decisions in favor of congregants challenging the state’s COVID-19 capacity limits.
California Lifts COVID Capacity Limits on Places of Worship
The Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday night approved one-time funding of $100,000 for the relocation of Bridge to Home shelter services for people experiencing homelessness, and an additional loan not to exceed $110,000.
Santa Clarita City Council OK’s Funding for Bridge to Home Shelter Relocation
California Institute of the Arts, or CalArts, is leasing space at Newhall Crossings in Downtown Newhall to put its students’ artwork on display, officials with the Valencia arts college announced recently.
CalArtians’ Works on Display at Newhall Crossings
The Santa Clarita City Council unanimously approved Tuesday a Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital expansion plan, following a public hearing with protest from members of a local carpenters union and calls by community members to include a mental health care unit for children.
Santa Clarita City Council Approves Henry Mayo Expansion Plan
California Senate Bill 546, a measure to extend the state's "iFoster" cell phones and data program for foster youth, has passed out of the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee with unanimous support, according to Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).
Wilk’s Bill to Extend ‘iFoster’ Cell Phone Program for Foster Youth Moves Forward
2014 - "Become Ocean" by John Luther Adams (CalArts BFA 1973) named winner of 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Music [story]
John Luther Adams
College of the Canyons athletic programs returned to campus this week to begin outdoor team strength and conditioning activities, guided by a stringent return-to-campus procedural plan designed to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and support staff.
Cougar Athletics Return to Campus
The organizers of high school athletics in Southern California announced Monday their plans to move forward with section championships for a number of outdoor sports.
CIF Announces Plans to Move Forward with Post-Season Play
If you watched NASA’s exciting Mars Perseverance rover landing on Feb. 18, you definitely won’t want to miss the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus spring 2021 virtual Star Party on Friday, April 23.
April 23: COC Canyon Country Virtual Star Party
%d bloggers like this: