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Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company

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 each year in grants for equipment, training and educational programs to local fire departments across the United States.

Since its inception, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company 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 the largest insurer and underwriter in the Hollywood film industry. It has insured motion picture productions since the silent film era.  Fireman’s Fund has insured more than 1400 films in the last decade alone.   When Audrey Hepburn fell from a horse while making “The Unforgiven”, her resulting back injury delayed filming of the 1960 John Houston movie.  Fireman’s Fund paid more than $240, 000 to cover the losses.  “Spartacus” was more costly for the insurer, which paid $245, 000 for delays caused by an emergency operation for actress Jean Simmons, $53, 000 for star Kirk Douglas’ viral infection and $335, 000 for co-star Tony Curtis’ severed achilles tendon.   The company also underwrites reality television shows, concerts and special events. Its second largest film insurance payout was a $15 million claim after star John Candy died during the production of the 1994 film Wagons East.

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 dollar’s 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 Insurance Company 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 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 neighbourhood.

1957 – Premium income topped $300 million.

1968 – American Express acquired Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company.

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 Insurance Company 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. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Coverage for Special Events The Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company has special event solutions to protect your private or public celebrations from the unexpected and also provides liability coverage that is often required by rental facilities.

From animal shows to wine tastings, dance recitals to pumpkin patches, a Short Term Event Program (STEP) can ensure that your private or public event is protected from a wide range of liability claims:

  • General liability
  • Commercial hired and non-owned auto liability
  • Third party property damage (with deductible)
  • Collapse of a temporary structure
  • Fire damages
  • Host liquor liability
  • Medical payments Private Event Insurance:

Weddingsurance, Barmitzvasurance, Celebrationsurance. What if the bride’s dress rips? Or the photographer is ill? Options include:

  • Personal liability insurance – required by nearly all fine venues
  • Cancellation – pays up to the selected limit for non-refundable expenses
  • Weather – available for policies purchased at least 14 days before the event
  •  Photography – pays costs incurred to retake photographs if the photographer fails to appear or if the pictures are lost, damaged, stolen or not properly developed.
  • Gifts, special attire, jewelry, rental property damage – pays to repair or replace such items if the are lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Change of heart – recovers expenses if the bride or groom experiences ‘cold feet’ during the planning process, subject to limitations.
  • Loss of deposits * International destinations – covers destination weddings in Canada, Puerto Rico, the British Isles and parts of the Caribbean (liability not covered in the British Isles or the Caribbean).
  • Professional Counseling – covers counseling needed for the emotional distress of a cancelled event, up to the chosen limit.