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In 1752 Benjamin Franklin and his fellow firefighters founded The Philadelphia Contributionship, the nation’s oldest successful property and casualty insurance company. The company formed as a mutual insurance company, one in which policyholders would come together to share the risks, modeled after the Amicable Contributionship of London.

Philadelphia was a relatively small town in 1752 with approximately 15,000 inhabitants and 8 volunteer fire companies. Fire prevention elements played a large role in the planning of the city; streets were wider than average and brick and stone were common building elements. Despite preventive measures and the efforts of firefighters, fires did still occur. Insurance offered a safety net and Philadelphians were quick to take advantage of it. A notice appeared in The Pennsylvania Gazette advertising the new venture in February and by April there were enough interested subscribers to hold a general meeting and elect a board of directors. By June the directors were issuing seven year renewable term policies, covering only the building. Policyholders would pay a deposit, refundable at the end of that seven year period, minus a small fee for the survey, policy and fire mark.
Contact: Philadelphia Contributionship .
Location: Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 888.627.1752
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