The story of The Kings Mutual Insurance Company reflects the social, agricultural, and municipal development of not just the Annapolis Valley, but also the entire province of Nova Scotia and beyond.  It started at the dawn of the twentieth century, when young farmer John N. Chute was dealing with the challenges of establishing a viable agriculture operation at South Berwick in rural Kings County.  Among his concerns was the fact that he and his fellow orchardists needed an affordable means of protection from financial ruin, should disaster strike their buildings. Insurance was available, but premiums were higher than many farmers could or were willing to pay, so Mr. Chute began reading about mutual insurance companies.  He learned that they were enjoying success in the United States, in other parts of Canada, and as close as Prince Edward Island, where a mutual company had been operating since 1885.  He shared this information with fellow farmers B.H. Lee, A.S. Banks, D.C. Crosby, L.D. Robinson, Samuel C. Parker, and Captain Hibbert and they began discussing the prospect of establishing a mutual insurance company. They shared their interest with other farmers and took their idea to a meeting of the local Community and Improvement Club in South Berwick in 1902, where Mr. Chute read a paper on mutual fire insurance.  He explained that in a capital stock insurance company the initial funds are provided by shareholders who are the owners of the company and who receive dividends if the company is successful.  a mutual company, on the other hand, is owned by the policyholders.  If earnings accumulate they may be distributed to the policyholders in the form of rebates in premiums, lowering of premiums, or added to the company’s surplus funds.  Mr. Chute, Rupert Banks, and P.J. Chute were appointed as a committee to inquire into the matter of forming a member-owned company, and they proceeded to gather information from as far away as Wisconsin. They found that three different methods were being employed to operate mutual insurance systems.  The one they decided to adopt was one being used in Ontario, which provided for the taking of a premium note for a fixed amount and the collection of an initial payment, which was credited to the note.  Under this method, each member knew in advance the extent to which his liability might go.  As in a joint stock subscription, each advanced a certain amount and pledged the payment of further sums, in necessary, but not exceeding a certain limit. The committee proposed formation of a company in 1903, but found that the necessary legal authority was lacking, because legislation that had been passed twenty years earlier, closely duplicating that in effect in Ontario, had not been used, and had been left of when the provincial statutes were revised.  At about the same time, a similar company was being promoted in Pictou County, and the member of the legislature from that county reintroduced the discarded legislation.  With the support of the Kings County members, it again became law, as Chapter 46 of the Acts of 1903-4. The act required that the company have subscriptions from a minimum of fifty property owners for an aggregate of at least $100,000, the subscripts to be certified by an inspector, and a certificate issued by the provincial secretary. The provisional directors applied to the Nova Scotia Legislature for a special act to incorporate the company, in which no shares of any kind would be sold.  The only capital would be the premium received from the first policyholders who automatically became the owners of the company, each new policyholder through the years being, in effect, a joint owner.  A meeting of the Kings County Farmers’ Association held in Victoria Hall, Berwick, on April 16, 1904, was devoted to the question of mutual fire insurance. J.N. Chute, B.H. Lee and A.S. Banks presented information they had acquired, and told the meeting that correspondence indicated the mutual system had been a success wherever tried, with insurance being provided at less than half the cost of “old line” companies.  Members of the farmers’ association approved a resolution that steps be taken to organize a company, and Messrs. Parker, Chute, and Lee were named as provisional directors. During the first two years of operation, the business was conducted from the home of the manager.  The following year, space was rented in the Berwick Fruit Company warehouse.  In 1923, the warehouse building was partially demolished by fire, including some of the Company’s records.  The office was moved to a part of the building which was not affected by the fire and remained there until 1931 when the present office building was erected on the east side of Commercial Street in Berwick. In 1958 the Company became incorporated under the Canadian and British Insurance Companies Act and was renamed The Kings Mutual Insurance Company.  With a promise of monetary help in time of trouble, we have grown to be the prosperous Company we are today. In the late 1930’s and early 40’s, the Company lead the way by introducing an Inspection program which is still very active today and contributes greatly to our Company’s success.  As a result of this program, we provide safety and security to our policyholders.  Under the guidance of our Board of Directors, our goal is to provide insurance protection to the policyholders of the Company at the lowest cost consistent with sound underwriting practice and safety.  We have a proud and dedicated team who is anxious to serve your insurance needs and carry on the tradition of our forefathers...
Protecting Nova Scotians Since 1904
© 2017 The Kings Mutual
Protecting Nova Scotians Since 1904
The story of The Kings Mutual Insurance Company reflects the social, agricultural, and municipal development of not just the Annapolis Valley, but also the entire province of Nova Scotia and beyond.  It started at the dawn of the twentieth century, when young farmer John N. Chute was dealing with the challenges of establishing a viable agriculture operation at South Berwick in rural Kings County.  Among his concerns was the fact that he and his fellow orchardists needed an affordable means of protection from financial ruin, should disaster strike their buildings. Insurance was available, but premiums were higher than many farmers could or were willing to pay, so Mr. Chute began reading about mutual insurance companies.  He learned that they were enjoying success in the United States, in other parts of Canada, and as close as Prince Edward Island, where a mutual company had been operating since 1885.  He shared this information with fellow farmers B.H. Lee, A.S. Banks, D.C. Crosby, L.D. Robinson, Samuel C. Parker, and Captain Hibbert and they began discussing the prospect of establishing a mutual insurance company. They shared their interest with other farmers and took their idea to a meeting of the local Community and Improvement Club in South Berwick in 1902, where Mr. Chute read a paper on mutual fire insurance.  He explained that in a capital stock insurance company the initial funds are provided by shareholders who are the owners of the company and who receive dividends if the company is successful.  a mutual company, on the other hand, is owned by the policyholders.  If earnings accumulate they may be distributed to the policyholders in the form of rebates in premiums, lowering of premiums, or added to the company’s surplus funds.  Mr. Chute, Rupert Banks, and P.J. Chute were appointed as a committee to inquire into the matter of forming a member-owned company, and they proceeded to gather information from as far away as Wisconsin. They found that three different methods were being employed to operate mutual insurance systems.  The one they decided to adopt was one being used in Ontario, which provided for the taking of a premium note for a fixed amount and the collection of an initial payment, which was credited to the note.  Under this method, each member knew in advance the extent to which his liability might go.  As in a joint stock subscription, each advanced a certain amount and pledged the payment of further sums, in necessary, but not exceeding a certain limit. The committee proposed formation of a company in 1903, but found that the necessary legal authority was lacking, because legislation that had been passed twenty years earlier, closely duplicating that in effect in Ontario, had not been used, and had been left of when the provincial statutes were revised.  At about the same time, a similar company was being promoted in Pictou County, and the member of the legislature from that county reintroduced the discarded legislation.  With the support of the Kings County members, it again became law, as Chapter 46 of the Acts of 1903-4. The act required that the company have subscriptions from a minimum of fifty property owners for an aggregate of at least $100,000, the subscripts to be certified by an inspector, and a certificate issued by the provincial secretary. The provisional directors applied to the Nova Scotia Legislature for a special act to incorporate the company, in which no shares of any kind would be sold.  The only capital would be the premium received from the first policyholders who automatically became the owners of the company, each new policyholder through the years being, in effect, a joint owner.  A meeting of the Kings County Farmers’ Association held in Victoria Hall, Berwick, on April 16, 1904, was devoted to the question of mutual fire insurance. J.N. Chute, B.H. Lee and A.S. Banks presented information they had acquired, and told the meeting that correspondence indicated the mutual system had been a success wherever tried, with insurance being provided at less than half the cost of “old line” companies.  Members of the farmers’ association approved a resolution that steps be taken to organize a company, and Messrs. Parker, Chute, and Lee were named as provisional directors. During the first two years of operation, the business was conducted from the home of the manager.  The following year, space was rented in the Berwick Fruit Company warehouse.  In 1923, the warehouse building was partially demolished by fire, including some of the Company’s records.  The office was moved to a part of the building which was not affected by the fire and remained there until 1931 when the present office building was erected on the east side of Commercial Street in Berwick. In 1958 the Company became incorporated under the Canadian and British Insurance Companies Act and was renamed The Kings Mutual Insurance Company.  With a promise of monetary help in time of trouble, we have grown to be the prosperous Company we are today. In the late 1930’s and early 40’s, the Company lead the way by introducing an Inspection program which is still very active today and contributes greatly to our Company’s success.  As a result of this program, we provide safety and security to our policyholders.  Under the guidance of our Board of Directors, our goal is to provide insurance protection to the policyholders of the Company at the lowest cost consistent with sound underwriting practice and safety.  We have a proud and dedicated team who is anxious to serve your insurance needs and carry on the tradition of our forefathers...
History
© 2017 The Kings Mutual