Managing my financial journey
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Fire insurance

At around the same time that Lloyd’s was becoming established, other types of insurance were starting to become more popular. Although not the oldest class of insurance, fire insurance – insuring buildings against the risk of fire – was the first to achieve corporate status, with the creation in 1667 of the Insurance Office (which became the Phoenix Insurance Company in 1710 and subsequently became part of the Royal & Sun Alliance Company, which exists today). Some of the first fire insurance policies were issued on properties rebuilt after the Great Fire of London in 1666. Although the earliest fire insurance policies were on private houses and contents, this market gradually expanded to cover fire risk to commercial buildings. Because of the larger risks being borne, insurance firms tended to spread the risk between numbers of them. Nevertheless, the Tooley Street fire of 1861 resulted in overall claims of £1 million (a considerable amount at the time) and led to the insurance firms backing the creation of the London Fire Service, to which they made contributions. Fire insurance continued to develop throughout the nineteenth century, eventually becoming part of a package of insurance cover which is commonly offered under buildings insurance policies today.

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Figure 7 The Tooley Street fire

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