For more information or to join please contact Past International President Jim Walsh at or call 603-234-5663

Since our founding more than 131 years ago, UCT has been guided by our mission of uniting people with a common passion for good citizenship and volunteerism to improve their local communities.

Thousands of volunteers throughout the U.S. and Canada exemplify this humanitarian spirit by donating countless hours and dollars to improve our communities and provide for those in need.

As part of a fraternal benefit society, our members can participate in volunteer and social activities through our local councils. Members also receive valuable benefits including insurance and financial products to fulfill a variety of needs for growth, savings, and protection. Membership is open to all people 18 or older.

The Order of United Commercial Travelers of America (UCT) was formed by eight traveling salesmen on January 16, 1888, in Columbus, Ohio, as a society to provide accident insurance and other benefits for traveling salesmen, or commercial travelers, and their families. The new organization’s officers adopted titles similar to those of other organizations of the day. For example, Levi Pease was the first Supreme Counselor, John Fenimore was the first Supreme Junior Counselor, and Charles Flagg was the first Supreme Secretary.

UCT Milestones

  • 1888 UCT founded in Columbus, Ohio
  • 1891 UCT publishes The Sample Case magazine learn more
  • 1899 UCT expands into Canada learn more
  • 1914 UCT institutes Office of Chief Agent for Canada
  • 1959 UCT creates May E. Tisdale Scholarship Fund learn more
  • 1960 UCT establishes a scholarship fund for students and teachers seeking degrees or certification in special education
  • 1987 UCT donates $250,000 (Silver Sponsor) to the International Special Olympics Games in South Bend, Indiana
  • 1990 UCT establishes endowment fund at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute learn more
  • 1991 UCT donates $250,000 (Silver Sponsor) to the International Special Olympics Games in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1993 UCT and ACT in Canada join forces learn more
  • 1997 UCT establishes UCT Charities learn more
  • 2010 UCT becomes national sponsor of American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) learn more
  • 2012 UCT hosts first annual UCT Winter Hockey Festival for special hockey athletes
  • 2013 UCT kicks off first UCT Gives Back video contest for special education programs
  • 2014 UCT launches Kaye Trainer International Capital Campaign for special hockey programs
  • 2014 The UCT Heaston Scholarship is established learn more

We’re always open to new ideas and welcome new members.

UCT Mission Statement

UCT, a fraternal benefit society, is an international member-benefit organization uniting people with a common passion for good citizenship and volunteerism to improve their local communities. 

UCT Vision Statement

We intend to make UCT relevant to all generations and achieve an even distribution of members by age within the next 10 years. 

UCT Values

We will operate with the highest ethical standards, and focus on fraternal and community service.

Why Join UCT?
Benefits Available to Members

The Fraternal Difference -What Agents Should Know About UCT

Below is a series of questions asked of PSC Jim Walsh when he was International President for publication in the Agent Newsletter. These answers are still relevant today.

As Supreme Counselor, briefly explain what you would like agents to know about the fraternal aspect of UCT.

Fraternalism as defined in the dictionary as a group of people organized for a common purpose. It is said in our ritual that “Our fraternity is made up of individual personalities and the acts of each affect all.” While we are in the process of redefining our common bond we know that our core membership is very fraternal.

Fraternalism is the backbone of UCT and the fabric of society. In 1988 President George W. Bush described the fraternals as the “1000 points of light” that fills the cracks that government cannot. Our insurance products are a great selling tool in some places but fraternalism is what keeps UCT moving forward especially in places where there is no paid agent program.

Just recently I traveled to western Canada and had the pleasure and honor to meet with the membership there. There is no paid agent program in Canada (fertile ground for sure) but their membership continues to grow because of fraternalism and community activity.

The Canadian members have demonstrated time and again how fraternal they are. Take for example the Fraternalist of theYear program that was instituted in 1984. Since its inception there have been 27 Fraternalists named with 12 coming from Canada! This is significant because Canada has the smallest number of members but fraternalism keeps them going.

The Canadian Councils win the Medal of Honor Program, which is about fraternalism and community involvement, almost exclusively. Member asking member signs their members. Even with our paid agent force working hard here the members being signed here are not as fraternal as our councils to the north.

We need to educate these new members about fraternalism and tell them what kind of projects their new councils are involved in where they live.

The truly fraternal members of UCT are the hard workers in their council and in their community. They are welcoming and always willing to help another member or anyone else in their community who is in need.

Our founding fathers agreed not only to insure each other but also to help the families in need by establishing the Widows and Orphans Fund to provide temporary help for widows, widowers and orphan children of our deceased members.

The Fraternal Benevolent Fund was created to assist needy members of our Order in much the same fashion as the Widows and Orphans Fund.

Lastly the UCT Foundation Fund was created to provide immediate temporary help to the member who may sustain disaster to their home and is financially in need of assistance. Many of our members have suffered misfortune and UCT has been there to help.

None of these member benefits are part of the insurance that members may purchase to be a member. Our projects; Aid to persons with intellectual disabilities, Junior Golf, Youth/Drug Awareness, Safety Programs, Cancer Education and Prevention, and many others specific to individual councils are funded not by insurance but with dollars earned and distributed by the members

What advantages do you believe UCT, as a fraternal benefit society, has in comparison to commercial insurers? How do you suggest agents market those advantages to potential clients?

Commercial insurers do not offer ancillary benefits as described above. You get only what you pay for. We offer that and much more.

We offer friendship, community involvement with your friends, social activities, travel, leadership opportunities, monetary assistance if needed and much more.

We offer members the opportunity to network socially and in business. We offer members the chance to save money through the organizations many member discount programs.

Agents can best market these advantages by experiencing them for themselves. I can read anything and proclaim that I know the facts and can recite the tenets. But until I live those things and share them with my friends I can never be passionate about them and passion about what you believe in attracts clients.

Agents should make sure they have a contact in the local council to provide the new member and potential client. The local council would gladly sponsor a Friendship Dinner to meet the potential client and tell them about UCT.

Agents should be familiar with our website and encourage potential clients to visit. There is a lot of information there to help the potential client understand what they will receive for their dollar.

Agents are also members of UCT. What advantages do you think active involvement in their local council offers member-agents?

I’m sure that active involvement in local councils can benefit member-agents if for no other reason giving them a chance to network with members and gain new accounts.

The biggest reason for being involved in their councils is to see what their council and the council they will be signing members into is doing in their community. Many people would like to be more involved in their communities and only need an invitation to help. Member-agents will learn more about fraternalism by going to council meetings and participating in council events than by simply reading about fraternalism.