Philadelphia Contributionship Founded
Philadelphia Contributionship, the oldest insurance company still in existence in the United States was founded by Benjamin Franklin and fellow firefighters.
Declaration of Independence Adopted
The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and approved the final draft of the Declaration of Independence, thereby severing the 13 American Colonies’ political connections to Great Britain. The document was actually signed on August 2, 1776 by all 56 delegates grouped by state from north to south, with the exception of the President of the Continental Congress, John Hancock.
Baltimore Equitable Society for Insuring Houses from Loss by Fire was founded
Constitution of the Company was unanimously adopted and officers were elected and Joseph Townsend was appointed as Treasurer. The Society’s office was officially located at Mr. Townsend’s home at 18 West Baltimore Street (later known as 624 E. Baltimore Street). It was a 3 story building with an attic office.
Baltimore was officially incorporated
Baltimore Town merged with Fells Point and incorporated as the City of Baltimore.
Flag that flew at Fort McHenry completed
Mary Young Pickersgill, a flag maker who learned her craft from her mother, delivers the flag that had been commissioned by Major George Armistead to fly over Fort McHenry. The flag that Ms. Pickersgill created was later known as the Star Spangled Banner and is currently among the most treasured artifacts in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The home of Mary Pickersgill was once insured by Baltimore Equitable Society (note the firemark under the flag), and when she was making the flag the Society’s office was just around the corner on Baltimore Street.
Battle of North Point
Brigadier General John Stricker’s Third Brigade of the Maryland State Militia engages the British Army and Navy led by Major General Robert Ross and Rear Admiral George Cockburn in the Battle of North Point near the Patapsco River. This early engagement by the American militia delayed the British troops and allowed time for a more organized and strengthened American militia to defend the eastside of Baltimore from British advancement. British Major General Robert Ross was mortally wounded in the Battle of North Point.
Fort McHenry bombarded
American troops stationed at Fort McHenry defended the Baltimore Harbor from attack by the British Navy on September 13-14, 1814. During the war of 1812 an American storm flag (17 by 25 feet) was usually flown over Fort McHenry, but on the morning of September 14, 1814 a larger American garrison flag (30 by 42 feet) that was commissioned by General Armistead and made by Mary Pickersgill, was raised over the fort as a signal of America’s victory over the British. Francis Scott Key, a lawyer from Frederick Maryland, who was on a ship in the harbor attempting to negotiate a prisoner transfer between the Americans and British, saw the large American flag waving in the dawns early light on September 14, 1814 and was inspired to write the poem called “Defence of Fort M’Henry”. This poem was later put to music and became America’s national anthem-“The Star Spangled Banner.”
Remains of British Soldiers buried
Joseph Townsend, Baltimore Equitable Society’s Treasurer was outspoken on the then common practice of burying deceased indigents and unidentified corpses wherever they were found. Mr. Townsend had even raised the necessary funds amongst his friends to create a potter’s field in Baltimore (its location is under the current Johns Hopkins oncology center parking lot and garage). So, when it was determined that the remains of British casualties needed to be buried, Mr. Townsend was chosen to organize a group of men to bury the 44 unclaimed bodies.
Marquis de Layfayette visits Baltimore and Joseph Townsend
In 1824, the Marquis de Layfayette who fought with the Americans during the Revolutionary War, made a return visit to America. Layfayette made a stop at the home of Joseph Townsend and presented him a gift of a desk. They discussed the Battle of Brandywine, as they both had been there many years earlier, and continued a correspondence afterwards.
Joseph Townsend, Treasurer of Baltimore Equitable Society Dies
Joseph Townsend, the Treasurer of Baltimore Equitable Society, dies in his 85th year, shortly after lunch while conducting business of the Society. Townsend had served as Treasurer of Baltimore Equitable Society for over 47 years and was a prominent and well respected citizen of Baltimore.
Baltimore Equitable Society moves their office
Upon the death of Joseph Townsend, the Baltimore Equitable Society could no longer operate their business out of his home. They moved their office to 19 South Street, and they were a co-tenant of this property with the Baltimore Water Company. They purchased this property in 1851 for $20,000.
Baltimore Riot of 1861
Southern/Confederate sympathizers attacked the Federal Militia at the President Street Station. The Federal Militia (primarily from Massachusetts) had just been called up and was on route to Washington, D.C. Four soldiers and 12 civilians were killed in the riot. Since these were the first deaths (by hostile action) in the Civil War it was known as the “First Bloodshed of the Civil War”. Baltimore Equitable Society’s offices were located just a few blocks away and when the Federal Militia fled from President Street Station to the Camden Street Station they may have passed the office windows.
Baltimore Equitable Society moves their office
Baltimore Equitable Society purchases the Eutaw Savings Bank, located at the SE corner of Eutaw and Fayette Streets, for their office and remains there for 114 years.
The Great Fire of Baltimore
Fire raged in Baltimore for over 30 hours, fueled in part by strong winds, destroying over 80 blocks in the downtown area. More than 1,500 buildings were completely destroyed and another 1,000 damaged. Fortunately, no lives were lost. Fire companies were sent from Philadelphia and Washington DC to help put out the fire, but since there were no standard pipe fittings, the fire companies were unable to hook up their equipment. Baltimore City Hall and the Federal Post Office remained standing.
Baltimore Equitable Society sustained 445 claims and paid out over $1.9 million in losses (close to $51 million today) and continued to operate in a city that had been destroyed and took over two years to rebuild.
Stock Market Crash
The collapse of share prices on the New York Stock Exchange signaled the beginning of the 12-year Great Depression.
Baltimore Equitable Society continued to operate (1929-1939) their insurance business. Surplus remained intact, investments remained secure and assets grew by 23%.
Across the nation, cities grieved the assassination of Martin Luther King. Peaceful gatherings to memorialize the Civil Rights Leader led to angry crowds and unrest. The Baltimore riots began late on April 6, 1968 and continued through the next few days until the presence of the Maryland National Guard and curfews calmed the crowds.
After the unrest, some insurance companies refused to cover properties inside city limits, but Baltimore Equitable Society continued to write homes in Baltimore City that met their underwriting requirements.
Baltimore Equitable Society offers totally Perpetual Product
Times were changing. Homeowners, Condominium Owners and Apartment Dwellers were requiring a broader form of coverage and Baltimore Equitable Society wanted to provide the newest and latest coverages. The completely perpetual policy was designed to cover our policyholders’ needs. Today, we have many forms of policies from the standard HO2 policy to the deluxe HO5 policy. In addition, we offer a Condominium Policy (HO6), and Renters Policy (HO4), all of which contain the fully refundable deposit feature. If your primary home is insured with Baltimore Equitable Insurance, Rental Policies (DP3) for your rental units and Excess Liability Policies (better known as Umbrella Policies) are also available and have the fully refundable deposit feature.
Baltimore Equitable Insurance
Baltimore Equitable Society begins trading as Baltimore Equitable Insurance because even though the Company is now almost 200 years old, most people did not even know who or what the company did. People thought the Company was some form of a social or ‘brotherhood” organization. While the legal name remains Baltimore Equitable Society for Insuring Houses from Loss by Fire or shortened (for IRS purposes) Baltimore Equitable Society, it is now better known as Baltimore Equitable Insurance.
Hurricane Isabel damages Maryland
Hurricane Isabel does extensive damage to Baltimore and Maryland. Streets were flooded in Fells Point and the Inner Harbor.
Baltimore Equitable Insurance moves their office
Baltimore Equitable Insurance was in their office located at 21 N. Eutaw Street for 114 years when they decided to relocate to a new location at 100 N. Charles Street, just a few blocks away. The building at 21 N. Eutaw Street would require major renovation in order to accommodate the growing office. Not only did Baltimore Equitable need to go through over 100 years of normal cleanup, they needed to find a good home for all their collectibles in their museum located on the second floor of the building. The Company donated many artifacts to the Maryland Historical Society, The Museum of Industry and to the Fire Museum of Maryland. Other items were brought to the new office or sold. When the moving van arrived to relocate the office to its new location, so did Hurricane Isabel! Baltimore Equitable Insurance worked tirelessly that weekend to get their computers and phone lines up and running to handle all the claims calls that came pouring into the office that Monday. This is another example of the dedication of our team at Baltimore Equitable Insurance to be there for our policyholders in their time of need.
Dow falls over 777 points
The Dow Jones falls over 777 points because Congress rejected the bank bail-out bill.
Baltimore Equitable Insurance’s, like many other companies’, portfolio value decreased, but this decrease did not affect the servicing of our clients, the operation of our business, or the protection of the policyholders’ deposits in any way. Baltimore Equitable Insurance’s portfolio fully recovered to its former valuation by December 2010, due in part to its careful, well managed investments in stable companies.
Baltimore Equitable Insurance celebrates 225 year
Baltimore Equitable Insurance is the second oldest insurance company in the United States that is still in business. Their proud, history is entwined with the rich history of the Baltimore, Maryland, and the United States. Baltimore Equitable Insurance honored to still be able to serve our policyholders in Maryland and Pennsylvania now and in the future.2019