Fireman's Fund Insurance Company

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Fireman's Fund Insurance Company
Type Subsidiary of Allianz SE
Industry Insurance
Founded 1863
Headquarters Novato, California, United States
Key people Andrew Torrance, President & CEO
Products Insurance
Employees 2,850
Website www.firemansfund.com

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, based in Novato, California, provides personal and commercial property and casualty insurance products in the United States.

The company is a principal U.S. subsidiary of Allianz SE, a global financial services company, the 20th largest corporation in the world based on revenue (Fortune Global 500, August 2010). Allianz SE employs nearly 155,000 people worldwide.

Fireman's Fund offers a ranging portfolio of coverage, including personal auto, homeowners, excess, and collections insurance for high-net-worth clients. Commercial insurance products include entertainment, business office policies, workers compensation, general, professional, and excess liability, auto, and farm and ranch coverage.

History[edit]

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company was founded in 1863 in San Francisco. Its name reflects its founding mission in which 10 percent of profits were paid to the widows and orphans of fallen firefighters.

Today, the company continues a similar social mission through its Heritage Program, in which it provides millions of dollars[citation needed] each year in grants for equipment, training and educational programs to local fire departments across the United States.[1]

Since its inception, Fireman's Fund has insured some of America's notable landmarks and inventions, including the Golden Gate Bridge and the Spirit of St. Louis.

Fireman's Fund is largest insurer and underwriter in the Hollywood film industry. It has insured motion picture productions since the silent film era. The company also underwrites reality television shows, concerts, and special events. Its largest film insurance payout was a $15 million claim after star John Candy died during production of the 1994 film Wagons East.[2]

Timeline[edit]

1863 — Ship captain William Holdredge founded Fireman's Fund Insurance Company in San Francisco. Its first policy was one-half interest in 1,000 kegs of Boston syrup. The premium was $12 cash in advance.

1871 — The company paid all of its claims from the Great Chicago Fire – about a half million dollars' worth – within 60 days, nearly wiping out all of the company's capital.

1905 — The company had roughly 6,000 independent agents.

1906 — Fireman's Fund was the first company to provide nationwide auto insurance.

1906San Francisco earthquake destroyed Fireman's Fund's headquarters and all records, but it was able to pay all policyholder claims with a combination of cash and stock. Claims were taken “on their word” as all insurance documents were destroyed.

1920s — Insured the first movies with sound. Since then, the company has insured movies ranging from Top Gun to the The Lord of the Rings trilogy and is currently the largest insurer of Hollywood films.

1927 — Insured Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis.

1936 — The company grew to 1,500 employees and about 10,000 independent agents.

1953 — Moved its headquarters to a modern facility in San Francisco's Laurel Heights neighborhood.

1957 — Premium income topped $300 million.

1968American Express acquired Fireman's Fund.

Early 1980s — Outgrew its space in San Francisco and moved the headquarters north to Novato, California

1984 — Insured the ABC telecast of the 1984 Olympics.

1985 — Fireman's Fund was sold off by American Express and became an independent company.

1991Allianz AG acquired Fireman's Fund.

2001 — All of the company's 109 New York employees located in the south tower of the World Trade Center survived the terrorist attack.

2004 — Fireman's Fund launched the Heritage Program, a recommitment of its founding philanthropic mission to support the fire service. Grants are given to local fire departments to help purchase new equipment, tools and training.

2006 — Created the first green insurance products in the United States.

Financial strength ratings[edit]

Fireman's Fund has received some of the highest financial strength ratings available from Standard & Poor's, A.M. Best, and Moody's. These ratings were affirmed in May 2011.

  • Excellent (A) rating from the A.M. Best Company
  • Excellent (A) rating from Standard & Poor's
  • Good (A2) from Moody's

The role of each rating agency is to inform policyholders about the ability of a company to pay claims, both short-term and long-term.

Business model[edit]

Fireman's Fund works with independent agents and brokers and is powered by two primary business units: commercial insurance (includes agribusiness) and personal insurance.

Commercial Insurance offers businesses and organizations risk management by providing admitted and non-admitted solutions, customized products for a variety of industries and program business for small to mid-sized affinity programs.

Personal insurance for high-net-worth and affluent customers includes home, auto, valuables, excess liability, art, wine, and jewelry collections, yacht, and watercraft.

Fireman's Fund has provided Farm and Ranch insurance for American farmers since 1876 – owner occupied family farms and larger scale agricultural operations for ranchers, farmers, and dairy owners.

Fireman's Fund was the first insurer in the United States to offer green insurance coverage for both personal and commercial lines, starting in 2006.

U.S.-based sister organizations[edit]

Management[edit]

Andrew Torrance, Chief Executive Officer

Torrance was named president and CEO of Fireman’s Fund in 2013 replacing Lori Dickerson Fouche who left for Prudential Insurance Company.

With more than 25 years of property and casualty experience, he most recently served as CEO of Allianz UK, part of the Allianz Group. Previously, he was director and head of the Allianz UK broker division. He also served as CEO at London & Edinburgh Insurance Group and as a partner with the Boston Consulting Group. He holds a degree in theoretical physics from the University of Cambridge and a master’s degree from the London Business School. He has also served as chairman for the ClimateWise initiative, a global insurance consortium committed to reducing climate change risk.

Charitable giving[edit]

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company was founded with a mission to support the widows and orphans of fallen firefighters. Over the years, the company's charitable giving has transitioned into an effort of prevention and safety.

Today, through the company's self-titled “Heritage Program,” Fireman's Fund awards grants to U.S. fire departments for equipment, training and community education programs. Some grants are also given to fire and burn prevention organizations.

Since 2004, Fireman's Fund has donated more than $28 million to over 1,800 local fire departments across the country.

Independent insurance agents/brokers that sell Fireman's Fund products direct these grants to support fire stations in their communities. Company employees can also nominate fire departments for grants.

Fireman's Fund has won numerous corporate responsibility awards for this grant program, including the 2008 American Business Award for Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program.

Into The Fire[edit]

Fireman's Fund was integral in putting together Into the Fire, a documentary which originally aired on the History Channel in 2005. The film is now available on DVD and the company has offered programs to sell the DVD with a portion of the proceeds going back to the fire service.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Grant Funds Training Tool for Itasca Firefighters". The Chicago Tribune. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Richard Verrier, "Film insurer's goal is to keep cameras rolling", Los Angeles Times, September 4, 2013.

External links[edit]