The United States Fire Insurance Company of New York was an insurance company formed on April 9, 1824, with a capital stock of $250,000. The company grew to become an important provider of insurance nationwide, before ceasing operations some time after the 1970s.
The United States Fire Insurance Company of New York commenced business on April 9, 1824, with a capital stock of $250,000. The Principal Office for the company was located at 46 Pine Street in New York City.
Joshua Sutton Underhill served as President of the company from 1849 until his death in 1858 at the age of 55. Elected to replace him was his younger brother, Abraham Sutton Underhill, who served as President for a further 25 years.
At the time of Joshua's death and Abraham's election, their nephew, W. Wilson Underhill began working as a clerk in insurance commissions. In 1862 he was appointed to the position of Assistant Secretary at the company, becoming Secretary in 1865. He was elected President of the company in 1882 following Abraham's death the previous December, a position he held for 26 years until his retirement in 1908.
A war among insurance companies around 1898, caused a committee of 15 New York-based insurance companies to be formed, and to organize a tariff association. E.C. Irvin of the Fire Association of Philadelphia said at the time, "Rates at first were made so high as to invite and foster unfair and illegitimate competition, loose practices, private deals, broken agreements, and at last utter demoralization. A meeting in September 1898 called for an association to rate and govern the fire insurance businesses in New York City. William Wilson Underhill was involved in discussions leading to formation of the tariff association, given his role as President of the United States Fire Insurance Company. Underhill was subsequently elected as Secretary for the Fire Insurance Tariff Committee. Citing the withdrawal of small companies and a large loss ration for the last two months in 1898, that the work of the committee would be favorably received.