A guide to the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company records, 1882-1969

Processed by: Historic Documents Department staff, 8November2017.
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Building E, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: 415-561-7030
Fax: 415-556-3540
URL: http://www.nps.gov/safr

A Guide to the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company records


San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, National Park Service
2018, National Park Service

Title: Fireman's Fund Insurance Company records
Date: 1882-1969
Identifier/Call Number: HDC1780 (SAFR 24946)
Creator: Unknown
Physical Description: 10 items.
Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
Building E, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
Abstract: Fireman's Fund Insurance Company records (HDC1780, SAFR 24946) consists of correspondence, photographs, copies of articles and three volumes including 2 ledgers and one logbook. The vessel HARVEY MILLS is the particular focus of most of the materials. The collection is available for use without restriction.
Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
Language(s): In English.


This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.

Publication and Use Rights

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Processing Note

The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide.
Please cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.

Preferred Citation

[Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], HDC1780 (SAFR 24946), Fireman's Fund Insurance Company records, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Acquisition Information

Material received from Fireman's Fund Insurance Company.

Historical or Biographical Note

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.
In recent years, the company had continued a similar social mission through its Heritage Program, in which it provided 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 was the largest insurer and underwriter in the Hollywood film industry, insuring motion picture productions since the silent film era. The company also underwrote 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]
In September of 2014, it was announced that Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), Allianz Group's specialty corporate insurer, would fully integrate Fireman's Fund's commercial property/casualty insurance business beginning on January 1, 2015. In a move following the announcement of the integration, ACE agreed to acquire Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.'s personal lines business for a total of $365 million. The deal closed in the second quarter of 2015.
[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.

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.
  • 1906 - San 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 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.
  • 1968 - American 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.
  • 1991 - Allianz 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.
  • 2014 - Announced that Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty would fully integrate the commercial Property/Casualty business of Fireman's Fund beginning in January 2015.
  • 2015 - ACE agrees to purchase Fireman's Fund personal lines business for $365 million.
from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fireman%27s_Fund_Insurance_Company, 6Nov2017

Collection Scope and Content

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company records (HDC1780, SAFR 24946) consists of correspondence, photographs, copies of articles and three volumes including 2 ledgers and one logbook. The vessel HARVEY MILLS is the particular focus of most of the materials. The collection is available for use without restriction.

Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 10 file units as follows:

File Unit 1: Correspondence re: acquisition of HARVEY MILLS painting and logbook, 1969

  • File Unit 2: Correspondence relating to the HARVEY MILLS, 1955, 1969, 1986
  • File Unit 3: HARVEY MILLS photographs (vessel, models, painting)
  • File Unit 4: Warren Mills photograph, undated
  • File Unit 5: HARVEY MILLS from American Merchant Ships, 1950-1900 by F.C. Matthews, 1930, photocopy
  • File Unit 6: The Unlucky HARVEY MILLS from The Down Easters by Basil Lubbock, photocopy; two typed transcripts of same
  • File Unit 7: Seattle Daily Post Intelligencer, transcribed articles on and about HARVEY MILLS, photocopies, 1887; also typed excerpts re HARVEY MILLS from other publications
  • File Unit 8: Logbook, HARVEY MILLS: Statement of General and Particular Average and Special Charges: Case of The Harvey Mills, 1882-1883
  • File Unit 9: Ledger, Cash Record, Home Fire and Marine, 1912 (1 volume plus one folder of loose items from volume)
  • File Unit 10: Ledger, Monthly Balances, Fire and Marine Insurance, 1919

Related Materials

There are three additional Fireman's Fund archival collections: HDC0722, SAFR 8139; P79-037a, SAFR 15238 and P83-063, SAFR 19083
  • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Administrative records