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The creation of property insurance

Nicholas Barbon who founded Insurance Office for Houses

Following The Great Fire of London, the first insurance company of its kind was formed to provide support to reduce the cost and number of claims. Between 1680–81, Nicholas Barbon along with 11 associates,  founded “Insurance Office for Houses” which offered fire insurance for up to 5,000 households in London. Any persons enrolled to the policy were given a badge/fire mark to fix to their building. If a fire stated, the Fire Brigade were called, the Fire Brigade would then look for the fire mark firstly before extinguishing the fire. This meant that a lot of buildings were ultimately left to burn until the right company had been involved. Fires were a major danger in London at the time: the Great Fire destroyed more than 13,000 houses and displaced approximately 100,000 people.

Other companies followed Nicholas’ lead and properties were protected in this way until the early 1800s. Nicholas Barbon went on to form his own Fire Brigade.

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