Collecting and Selling Antique Insurance Policies

26 Apr 2011

Collectibles cover all types of items and all fields and one such field is Paper Ephemera collectibles.

Paper Ephemera is divided into very many categories, from the most basic match boxes and vintage candy wrappers to very respectable and sometimes exceedingly expensive antique documents, share certificates and paper money banknotes. Collecting documents and financial papers, such as stock and share certificates, is called scripophily. Insurance policies fall into this category of antique financial documents.


History of insurance is as old as the human history, as the most basic steps we take to make provisions for the future are parts of an insurance plan. Western style institutionalised insurance in the form that we know it today started in the 17th century in Holland and in England – one of the main contributors to the development of the industry was the great fire of London in 1666. This is when proper fire and also marine insurance certificates and policies start to appear. There was a steady growth of insurance during the entire 18th century and the main insurance companies, which are still the biggest entities on the insurance market today, were established in the later part of the 18th century. The 19th century brought with it an Industrial Revolution which first spread in Europe and then throughout the world with the colonial powers. This was a major catalyst to the fast growth and development of insurance sector.


The three main insurance types were fire, life and marine insurance and each insurance underwriting and renewal of a policy was done on paper. The document was issued in two or three copies that were kept by all the parties involved in the contract. Early insurance policies were very elaborately designed legal documents. They bore watermarks and elaborate engravings of the company logos that in many cases occupy up to half of the document. Clerks meticulously wrote down in a copperplate scripts the terms of these policies and the underwriters signed and often was sealed the policies. This produced very attractive looking and unusual documents that were kept folded in the solicitors’ archives and in the archives of the insurance companies.


Collectors nowadays prize these old documents and they are eagerly sought after by enthusiasts who collect antique stocks, share certificates and financial ephemera. Particularly rare and elaborately designed antique insurance policies can fetch up to a few hundred pounds. They are very decorative, and even if not valuable, they make a very impressive office wall decoration when framed.


Here is a list of old main companies that issued elaborate insurance policies:

Aetna Insurance Company

Agricultural Insurance Company

Alliance Assurance Company

Alliance British and Foreign Life and Assurance Company

American Exchange Fire Insurance Company of City of New York

American Fire Insurance Company

American Life Insurance and Trust Company

Anglo-Danubian lloyd Allgemeine Versicherungs Aktien Gesellschaft

Atlas Assurance Company

Belknap County Mutual Fire Insurance Company

British Equitable Assurance Company

British Law Fire Insurance Company

Caledonian Insurance Company

Citizens Insurance Company

Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society, Limited

Columbia Insurance Company

Commerce Five Insurance Company

Commercial Union Assurance Company

Compagnie D’Assurances Generales Contre L’Incendie et Les Explosions

Compagnie Francaise Du Phenix

Continental Insurance Company

Corporation of London Assurance of Houses and Goods from Fire

Council Bluffs Insurance Company

Cycladiki Insurance Company

Dutchess County Mutual Insurance Company

East Of England Mutual Life Assurance Society

Edinburgh Assurance Company Limited

Employers’ Mutual Insurance Association

Equitable Life Assurance Society

Ethniki Insurance Company

Farmers’ Fire Insurance Company

Fort Wayne Insurance Company

Germania Fire Insurance Company

Germania Lebens Versicherungs Aktien Gesellschaft

Government Insurance Office of New South Wales

Grand Lodge of the Ladies Society of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen

Greek Commercial Union Insurance Company

Guardian Assurance Company Limited

Guardian Mutual Life Insurance Co

Hanover Fire Insurance Company

Hartford County Mutual Fire Insurance Company

Hartford Live Stock Insurance Company

Hearts Of Oak Benefit Society

Hillsborough Mutual Fire Assurance Association

Home Insurance Company

Howard Insurance Company of New York

Imperial Fire Insurance Company

Imperial Insurance Company

Inman Steam-Ship Company Limited

Insurance Company of North America

Insurance Company of Scotland

Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania

Jupiter General Insurance Company Limited


La Mutuelle Lyonnaise

Lancashire Insurance Company

L’Helvetia: Compagnie Suisse D’Assurances Contre L’Incendie

Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Company

L’Union Insurance Company of France

Lycoming County Mutual Insurance Company

Manchester Fire Assurance Company

Manufacturers Fire and Marine Insurance Company

Manufacturers’ Mutual Fire Insurance Company

Maryland Fire Insurance Company of Baltimore

Merchants’ Insurance Company

Milwaukee Mechanics Insurance Company

Montgomery County Mutual Insurance Company

Morris County Mutual Life and Fire Insurance Company

Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York

Mutual Property Insurance Company Limited

National Congress of Loyal Americans

National Loan Fund Life Assurance Society of London

National Provincial Insurance Company

New England Mutual Insurance Company

New Hampshire Fire Insurance Company

Norddeutscher Lloyd-Bremen

North British and Mercantile Insurance Company

Northern Assurance Company

Norwich and London Accident Insurance Association

Norwich Union

Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation

Ocean Insurance Company

Ohio Farmers Insurance Company

Onondaga County Mutual Insurance Company

Patriotic Assurance Company of Dublin

Pearl Assurance Company

Pearl Insurance Company

Pennsylvania Fire Insurance Company

People’s Fire Insurance Company

Phoenix Fire Insurance Company

Phoenix Assurance Company Limited

Phoenix Insurance Company

Phoenix Insurance Company

Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company

Prudential Assurance Company

Prudential Insurance Company of America

Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Company

Refuge Assurance Company Limited

Resolute Fire Insurance Company

Rhin et Moselle

Riunione Adriadica Sicurta Adriatic Insurance Company

Rockford Insurance Company

Rockingham Mutual Fire Insurance Company

Royal Exchange Assurance

Royal Insurance Company

Royal Insurance Company Limited

Royal London Auxiliary Insurance Company

Saint Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company

Salvation Army Assurance Society Limited

Scottish Union & National Insurance Company

St. Nicholas Insurance Company

State Fire Insurance Company

State Mutual Fire & Marine Insurance Co

State Mutual Fire Insurance Company

Sun Insurance Office

Thuringia Insurance Company

Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford

United States Plate Glass Insurance Company of Philadelphia

United States Treasury Department

Vulcan Boiler and General Insurance Company

Washington County Mutual Insurance Company

Watertown Fire Insurance Company

Yehuda Insurance Company

York County Mutual Insurance Company

Yorkshire Fire and Life Insurance Company


Do you have old documents or an old archive of papers that you would like to get rid of? Before you throw anything away or put in your local auction, find out their value on You will receive an answer in about 30 minutes without the need to leave your home. And our experts may realise for you more money in a much shorter time. You can also sell gold, sell diamonds, sell art and sell antiques.


Happy selling and collecting!