Fire Insurance Records

The first fire insurance company was founded in 1680. The records of many early fire insurance companies survive, the most notable being the Sun Fire Office, founded in 1710. Records of the Sun, originally kept in their central office, including registers of policies issued, are held at the Guildhall Library, London.
Policy registers (which date from 1710) give not only the names of the policy holders, but also describe the property insured with its value, and give the names of tenants. There are indexes to some policy registers.
Registers kept by local agents may survive and will be found in county record offices. Some companies kept drawings made by surveyors, which show the layout of buildings insured, sometimes with details of outhouses.
Registers of staff have been found for a few insurance companies and the names of men recruited for fire fighting may be found recorded in the minutes of the Boards of Directors.
Claims for loss by fire are often recorded separately and are also to be found recorded in companies’ minutes.
Details of records with numerous examples and a national survey of all fire insurance records held in record offices and elsewhere in the UK can be found in David Hawkings, Fire Insurance Records for Local and Family Historians.

Many parishes had their own fire engines, so too did large factories and country houses. Find more about Castle Cary's fire engines on our Explore site.