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feature in a Fire Ins. risk, as such a shaft creates a draft and acts as a conductor of the flames.-Ins. Agent.
AKEN, M. VON.-In 1792 he made various public experiments for extinguishing fires by chemical preparations, and accomplished some very wonderful results. [FIRE ANNIHILATORS.]
ALABAMA, INS. LAWS OF.-By a law of 24th Feb., 1860, Ins. Corp. of other States and foreign countries might estab. agencies in this State, but all such Cos. must have at least 100,000 dols. actual cap.
By authority of revised code of 1867, married women may insure lives of their husbands. Amount payable to wife, free from claims of husband's creditors. If wife dead, then to children.
By general ins. law 31 Dec., 1868, all Cos. doing bus. in this State must deposit 10,000 dols. in bonds of Comptroller of the State. Ann. statements to be made in July. State Cos. to pay I p. c., and those from other states and foreign countries 2 p.c. on all prems. received ann. for public school purposes. Laws of 1860 and 1867 embodied. No distinction as to class of bus., whether Fire, Life, Marine, etc. General provisions relating to Corp. revised code 1867.
The earliest intimation of a fire is sometimes called an "Alarm." Technically it is a FIRE CALL, which see. ALARM BELL.-In many country districts there exists an alarm bell, which is only rung on the occasion of a fire in the parish or neighbourhood. These bells are frequently on the manor house. The custom is a good one. ALAUZET, ISIDORE, pub. in Paris in 1844 (2 vols.), Traité Général des assurances, assurances maritimes, terrestres, mutuelles, et sur la vie. This production bears marks of profound consideration of the subject, of familiarity with the great authors of the law, and is full of a very bold and at the same time very sagacious criticism. The work is written in the spirit of careful investigation and sound reflection, and will be of both interest and « profit to any one, however conversant with the subject.
ALBERT AVERAGE ASSO. for British, Foreign, and Colonial built Ships, founded in Lond. in 1866, on the principle of mutual contribution, and passed into liq. in 1870. Mr. Thomas Kennedy is the Liquidator.
ALBERT INS. Co. (for Fire and Marine Ins.), founded in 1864, with an authorized cap. of £1,000,000, first issue £500,000.
The Co. was promoted by Mr. George Kirby, the then Man. Director of the Albert Life; and about half the board of this Co. was composed of the Directors of that Co.
In its first year it took over the bus. of the Oriental and General Marine, and of the Alexandra Fire. It founded fire branches in Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, Dublin, India, Japan, etc., etc.; and also entered upon Marine bus. very freely. Its prem. income for the first year was said to be about £161,000. After this the public were prepared to see some change; and in 1866 the bus. was trans. to and united with that of the Western Fire. Mr. Morell Theobald was the Manager of the Fire Department. ALBERT LIFE ASSU. Co. founded in 1838, under the title of the Freemasons and General Life Assu. Loan, Ann. and Rev. Int. Co., with an authorized cap. of £500,000, in 25,000 shares of £20, of which 3 per share became paid up. In Dec. 1849 the name was changed to the Albert Life Assu. Co.
Upon the formation of the Co. it was stipulated by the deed that the shareholders should receive 5 p. c. int., and that the whole of the profits upon the pol. not entitled to a share of the profits should be divided amongst the shareholders, and the profits upon the pol. issued on the parti. scale should be apportioned between the holders of such pol. But it was found impracticable to continue this principle of division after the amalg. of other Cos., and from the 1st January, 1862, the profit was divided in fixed proportions, namely, 80 p. c. to the policy-holders, and 20 p. c. to the shareholders.
The Deed of Set. was most ably drawn, and was especially guarded and strong in limiting the liability of the shareholders to the amount of cap. actually subs. The advantages of which precautions have appeared in a very marked degree in the later hist. of the Co.
The Co. appears to have transacted a very steady bus. during the first ten years of its existence. In 1849 took over the bus. of the Preceptors and General Life, a very small affair estab. in the preceding year. In 1856 it took over the Beacon Life, which had been founded three years previously. In 1867 it took over (1) National Guardian Life, founded 1851 (which had in 1855 taken over Official and General); (2) London and County Life, founded 1851 (which had in 1854 taken over the Oak Mut.); (3) Times Life and Guar. (which had in 1850 taken over the bus. of Independent). It may be said that it was in this year (1857) the Co. entered upon that wild career of amalg, which ultimately destroyed it. In 1858 it took over the bus. of the Bank of Lond. and National Provincial, founded 1851 (which had in 1856 taken over the Falcon and the Durham and Northum berland; in 1857 the Anchor; and in 1858 the Merchants' and Tradesmen's). In 1860 it took over the Medical, Invalid, and General, founded 1841 (which had in 1853 taken over the New Oriental, of Calcutta, and also the Agra). In 1861 it took over the Family Endowment, founded 1835 (which had in 1857 absorbed the Empire, No. 2). In 1862 it
took over the Kent Mut., founded 1851 (which had in 1857 absorbed the English Provident). In 1862 it took over (1) the Western Life, founded 1842 (which had absorbed (1) Manchester and Lond. (2) Metropolitan Counties, which had previously (1861) absorbed the St. George, which last had absorbed in 1859 the London and Continental); (2) The Indian Laudable.
Thus by the end of 1865 we find a total of no less than 26 absorbed offices-making with its own bus. 27 offices rolled into one-or rather seeming to be so. In the course of these arrangements the Co. itself several times assumed a change of name, as in 1857, Albert and Times; in 1860, Albert and Medical; in 1861, Albert, Medical, and Family Endowment. None of these changes were legally authorized, and in 1863 the Co. resumed its title of the Albert Life Assu. Co., and continued it to the end.
The share cap. of the Co. was not much affected by these amalg., except that it became all placed; and while £3 p.s. was the sum nominally called, upon some of the shares issued in connexion with those arrangements a much larger sum was credited as paid.
On the occasion of the taking over the bus. of the Medical Invalid, in 1860, which Co. had a large connexion in India, the Albert commenced very active operations there, under the direction of Mr. W. F. Fergusson, who had been the manager of the New Oriental, and Mr. P. M. Tate, who had been the Indian manager of the Medical. In 1861 the Indian bus. of the Family Endowment was added; and in 1865, the bus. of the Indian Laudable. Hence the Co. had obtained such a position as no British Co. ever had, or prob. ever will obtain there. The profits of that branch were estimated at from £20,000 to £30,000 p.a. The head office was in Calcutta, and there were branches in Bombay and Madras. There were also agencies in China, and in many parts of the East.
The income after these various amalg. reached something like £330,000 p.a. ; but still there was an uneasiness and distrust regarding the position of the Co., well-informed ins. men discovered lurking amidst these large figures elements of danger. The public also began to suspect danger. The sum paid for "surrender of policies," which in 1866 was £10,631 (about the same as it had been in the two preceding years), in 1867 rose to £17,453 5s. 2d.; and in 1868 reached £19,296 35. id. In 1869 the Directors left off paying surrender values. It was feared the end was at hand. On the 13th August (a day or two after closing the Courts for the long vacation), an application was made to the vacation judge in Chancery to appoint provisional liquidators. Thus the Co. stopped with liabilities estimated at nearly £4,000,000; and an estimated deficiency of one
Mr. Geo. Goldsmith Kirby, the founder and manager of the Co., died in April, 1868; his son succeeded him. It is probable that had the father survived, the fate of the office might have been modified. He knew and understood all the ramifications of the Co. The son was strange to the bus. and its complications; but all who know him know that he did his best to avert, and has since done his best to mitigate, the severity of the calamity. As there has been some misapprehension as to the senior Mr. Kirby's financial relations with the Co., we furnish the following details from official sources :
Mr. Kirby was the original projector of the Co., and the terms of his engagement, as stated in the Deed of Settlement, were that he should be appointed for life managing director; that he should receive the annual sum of £400, and also 5 p.c. upon all prems. received; that he should be permitted to Occupy as a private residence, and also as offices for his private bus., rent free, the premises in Waterloo-place not required by the Co.; that he should be allowed to carry on his professional bus. on his own account, and have the conduct of the legal bus, of the Co., for which he was to be allowed the usual professional charges. When the amalg, with the Medical Invalid and General Office was effected in 1860, it was arranged that Mr. Kirby should take one-half p.c. only upon its prems., and allow a yearly reduction from his total commissions of £500.
From the 1st January, 1864, to 31st December, 1867, Mr. Kirby's account had been credited with one moiety of the 5 p.c. commission, of which 6188 11s. 3d. remained unpaid, and he was entitled to the other moiety amounting to about £18,000. On the 4th December, 1867, the following arrangement was made-viz., that in lieu of the above £18,000, Mr. Kirby should accept £15,000, payable by six half-yearly payments, with 5 p.c. interest, the first instalment to be paid on the 1st January, 1868, and that subsequently to the 31st December, 1867, Mr. Kirby was not to be entitled in any one year to more than £3100 in respect of commission. In default of payment of any of the above instalments and interest for 30 days after due date, Mr. Kirby's original rights to revive, and the agreement was not to prejudice his right to the balance of the moiety which he had not received. On account of the £15,000 and interest, two instalments, of together £5312 10s., have been paid, the latter in July, 1868, since which nothing has been paid. On Mr. Kirby's death the commission arrangement terminated.
Immediately on the collapse of the Co., a very searching investigation was made into its affairs. We can only briefly notice the main results elicited. On a valuation of assets and liabilities, as from 31st Dec., 1854, a bal. of £53,314 remained in favour of the Co. Another valuation to 31st Dec., 1858, showed a profit realized of £27,808. Another valuation to 31st Dec., 1861, showed a profit of £33,650. An investigation at the end of 1866 showed a loss of £281,702. That was a net prem. valuation; the others had been on the gross prems. The loss was attributed to the amalg., and the following detailed account has since been made up, one or two of the smaller offices being omitted:
This exclusive of any loss upon the assets handed over by those offices. The highest point of prem. income was in 1866–£331,714 from prems., int. added making £344, 117. The claims and annuities paid in that year were £331,833; the expenses of management, £60,789; dividends and bonus, £13,625, total £406,248. In 1867 the prem. income was £317,033, total income £329,506; claims and annuities, £278, 339; expenses, £73,777, dividends, £9,041, total 361,159. In 1868 income from prems. £308,318, total income £320,661; claims and annuities, £281,687, expenses £53, 194; dividends, £9,039; sundries, £1125; total outgo, £345,046. It is probable that 1869 would have produced still more unsatisfactory results. The directors, most of whom were honourable men, grew alarmed at the prospect, and hence the stoppage of the Co., after an investigation of its affairs by Mr. Jellicoe and Mr. A. H. Bailey.
The annuity contracts in force involved a yearly charge of £18,500. Happily the Co. had for some years almost ceased to grant annuities. The debts to outside creditors amounted to about £20,000. The paid-up cap. of the Co. was £178,011, the uncalled cap. £331,089.
The stoppage of the Co. was very soon followed by consequences of a serious character. Annuitants and claimants under pols. issued by the Cos. which had amalg. with the Albert, now that Co. had stopped, went back upon the orig. offices. Thus, in the course of a few months the following asso. were also ordered to be wound up :-Medical Invalid, Family Endowment, Bank of Lond., Western. (The Kent Mut. was ordered to be wound up, but the order has been set aside). All these asso., however, held Guarantees of Indemnity from the Albert, and would fall back thereon. This would be ruin to the shareholders one and all, in the event of their liability proving unlimited. Then, again, criminal proceedings, and suits in equity against the directors personally, were threatened and commenced. A lifetime of litigation appeared in prospect, when the Reconstruction Committee came upon the scene; and if that body has failed in its orig. aims, it still well deserves the thanks of the entire body of Albert share and policyholders. [ALBERT RECONSTRUCTION SCHEME.]
ALBERT (LIFE ASSU. Co.) ARBITRATION.-The efforts of the Committee in support of the Albert reconstruction scheme eventuated in the passing of an Act of Parl., 34 Vict., c. xxxi, "An Act to effect a settlement of the affairs of the Albert Life Assu. Co. by arbitration, and for other purposes." The Act received the Royal Assent 25th May, 1871. Lord Cairns was appointed arbitrator, with full powers-powers more ample than were probably ever before vested in one man-and no appeal. On the 26th May the Arbitrator commenced his sittings. He intimated very clearly that he intended to regard the rights of all parties; but he did not intend to have any unnecessary delay. He has acted up to that determination. He has heard all the causes that were set down for hearing in any of the Courts of Chancery or elsewhere in this country; and has delivered judgment upon the same. He has also determined the following most important points:
1. That the liability of the Albert shareholders is not unlimited, either upon its ins. contracts or in respect of the indemnities given to the amalg. cos.
2. That where policy-holders have accepted the liability of the Albert in lieu of any of the orig. cos., that is to say, where they have not made a formal protest against the transfer, they have surrendered their rights under their orig. contracts, and can now claim upon the Albert only. [NOVATION.] As to annuitants the case is different. They can only have surrendered their rights under their contract with the original Co. by some specific act of consent of equal force with the original contract, as in Dale's case.
3. That annuitants and policy-holders, in order to prove upon the Albert, must have their claims estimated according to a settled principle of actuarial valuation (as on the date of the winding-up order), as directed by the 158th sec. of Cos. Act of 1862, and the 25th Rule of Court made thereon. This principle of valuation he has directed shall be as follows: Annuitants on 4 p. c. Gov. Annu. Tables; Life and Endow. pol. on a pure prem. valuation 4 p.c. (Old) Experience Table; quite independently of questions of health or over-age. Nor is there to be any difference in favour of parti. as against non-parti. pol. 4. That having regard to the rights of all parties (and some inherent difficulties), he could not sanction a scheme of reconstruction.
5. That the various amalg. were intra vires the powers of the Directors (who are not personally responsible beyond their capital in the undertaking), and must be upheld.
These are the leading features of his ruling. They are based on substantial justice, although of necessity they inflict some hardship upon individuals. By his Lordship's prompt action and enlightened judgment thousands of families will be saved from ruin, and an amount of litigation avoided which would have lasted a generation. All this at about one-tenth of the cost which must have been incurred in fighting out the questions involved by the ordinary and inefficient channels of the Court of Chancery. The arbitration is still proceeding.
ALBERT (LIFE ASSU. Co.) LIQUIDATION.-The order for the appointment of Provisional liquidators was made on 13th August, 1869. Mr. S. L. Price and Mr. Arthur R. Kirby were appointed. On the 17th September, 1869, the Co. was ordered to be wound up by the Court. Mr. John Young and Mr. S. L. Price were appointed liquidators. The winding up was removed from the control of the Court of Chancery by the Albert Life Assu. Co.'s Act, 1871. Lord Cairns was by that act appointed arbitrator with full powers. He has retained Messrs. Young and Price in their positions. They act under his directions entirely. Messrs. Lewis, Munns, and Co., are solicitors to the liquidators. The whole of the uncalled cap. of the Albert Co. has been called up. The costs of the winding-up will fall upon the shareholders, beyond the subs. cap., as in the Professional case. Mr. F. S. Reilly is acting in the capacity of assessor to Lord Cairns in the
ALBERT RECOnstruction Life Assu. Asso. LIM., founded in 1870, with an authorized cap. of £250,000, in shares of £10. The objects of the Co. as registered were: To carry on the bus. of a Life Ins. and Rev. Int. Co., etc., in Gt. Brit., India and elsewhere, and to assist in the liq. of the affairs of the Albert Life Co. It has not progressed, for reasons which will be stated in the next art.
ALBERT RECONSTRUCTION SCHEME.-When the legal and other complications of which we have spoken [ALBERT LIFE Assu. Co.] became apparent, a number of influential gentlemen, many of whom were connected with Indian interests, came forward and propounded a scheme of reconstruction, on such a basis as, under the circumstances, seemed to them alone possible. A fund was to be raised to make up in part the acknowledged deficiency in the assets. This deficiency was stated to be £560,000; it being reduced to this lesser amount in the belief that a considerable portion of the commissions formerly allowed on the collection of prems. would be saved in working the reconstructed scheme. Adding various charges of liq., and otherwise, the entire deficiency would reach £640,000. Against this there was to be set-off value of some of the Albert assets, reducing the deficiency to a net sum of £444,000. It was proposed to make up this sum as follows: The uncalled cap. of the Albert, nominally £321,989, was estimated to produce £150,000. This the solvent shareholders of that Co. agreed to supplement with £34,000. The bal. of £260,000 still required was to be contributed voluntarily by the shareholders of the amalg. cos. in the place of £547,167, which they might collectively be called upon to pay in the event of the winding-up of those several asso. proceeding. The mut. offices were not included as contributors.
As this calculation was computed with a very slender margin for contingencies, it was proposed to form a guarantee fund of £300,000-or rather its equivalent, which would be obtained by the annuitants and parti. pol.-holders agreeing to an abatement of 10 p.c. from their claims, and the non-parti. pol. of 124 p.c.; this regulation not to apply to any pol. of less than 6 years' standing. The above abatement to be represented by a certificate payable thereafter as the funds might admit.
In view of any new bus., it was proposed to provide a new cap. of £250,000, by means of the ALBERT RECONSTRUCTION LIFE ASSU. Co., this to be kept distinct from the administration of the affairs of the old Co., which, however, the new Co. was to undertake. This scheme, with various modifications from time to time introduced, received the sanction of several meetings of share and policy-holders, directed to be held for the purpose of considering it. But as it did not (and we may add could not) embody any scheme of surrender values for such policy-holders as desired to surrender their policies, it met with some opposition, especially from an influential body of German policy-holders.
V.C. James allowed Albert policy-holders to pay their prems. to a special fund in view of this scheme being carried through. About £40,000 was so paid.
When the scheme came up for final hearing before V. C. James he did not sanction it, but recommended an application to Parl. A Bill was accordingly introduced early in the Session of 1871; and after a strong fight in committee, and some amendments, was passed. It opened up a new phase, details of which we have given under ALBert Assu. Co. ARBITRATION. The Arbitrator finally rejected reconstruction as impossible; but the thanks of the policy-holders are due especially to Dr. Farr, Mr. Arthur R. Kirby, and Mr. D. Forrest, for their well-intentioned labours.
ALBION FIRE AND LIFE Ins. Co. (No. 1), founded in Lond. in 1805, under a Deed of Asso. or Partnership, with a cap. of £1,000,000, in 2,000 shares of £500, upon which £50 was paid up. The liability of the individual partners was limited in very strict terms to the amount they respectively held in the capital stock of the Co.
The business of the Co. extended to the ins. of all descriptions of property against Fire, not only in the U.K., but in foreign countries. Also to Life Ins., Survivorships and Annuities.
The orig. prosp. contained this announcement:
It is one of the advantages of the Co. to the public, that it holds out no profession of sharing profits with those it insures. Persons insured are not liable to calls, to make good the losses of others; a responsibility from which they could not be free, if their insurances were accompanied with any prospect of benefit to arise from profits, whatever guarantee might be offered. Persons insured on the plan of receiving returns have been actually subjected to the effects of this dangerous contingency. The following were distinctive features of the Office: Claims were payable one month after proof. No notice of assignment of life policy was required until claims thereunder arose. Policies were granted on the lives of persons about to proceed on long voyages, or intending to reside in foreign countries beyond the prescribed limits, "at prems. proportionate to the nature of the risk." A large commission" was allowed to solicitors, brokers, and others, "who effect Life Ins."
In 1806 this Co. petitioned Parl. against granting a Charter to the Globe Ins. Co., then in course of formation, and prayed to be heard by counsel, etc., against that undertaking. The Co. appears to have entered upon Fire Ins. with more zeal than discretion. It collected duty during the first quarter to the extent of £3,568 4s. 7d., then regarded as a very considerable amount for a young Co. It relinquished the Fire bus. in 1827 or 1828. In 1807 it obtained a Special Act of Parl. 47 Geo. III. c. xxxi., an Act to enable the Albion F. and L. Ins. Co. to sue in the name of the sec. and inrol annuities. This Act recites:
Whereas several persons have formed themselves into a so. or partnership under the name, etc., and have subs. or raised considerable sums in order to effect ins. against Fire and on Lives, and to grant and purchase annuities: and whereas the public hath been greatly benefited by the formation of the so. or partnership with a competent capital to carry on the same; and a considerable revenue is derived to His Majesty therefrom. And whereas difficulties have arisen, and may from time to time arise, as well in recovering debts which may grow due to the said so. or partnership called, etc., as in prosecuting persons who may steal or embezzle the property of, or who may commit or be guilty of any other offence against, or with intent to injure or defraud the said so. or partnership, as by law all the several subs. or proprietors to and in such so, or partnership must in such cases sue and prosecute by their several and distinct names and descriptions, etc.
Then it recites the Annuity Inrolment Act, and finally gives power to sue or prosecute in name of sec. and to inrol annuities under act.
In the same year another Act was obtained, 47 Geo. III. (Ses. 2), c. lxxxvi., to explain and amend the Act just recited; and in 1809 another special Act was obtained, 49 Geo. III. c. cxxv., to explain the two preceding Acts more particularly with respect to the inrolment of annuities. Each of these Acts was careful to explain that it did not mean in any manner to incorp. the Co.
The Co. at a very early date estab. an agency in New York, and transacted bus. in various parts of the U.S. In 1854, when the Ins. Law of N. Y. required all Foreign Cos. to make a deposit of 100,000 dols., this Co. complied with such law, and made its deposit. In 1851 it was under the consideration of the directors whether the Co. should not be made mut.; but it was determined under the advice of Mr. C. Jellicoe not to take that step then.
In 1857 it was announced that the bus. of the Albion was trans. to the Eagle on terms of special advantage to the former. The trans. took place as from 30th June that year. The shareholders of the Albion received a cash payment of £207 14s. 7d. per share in respect of each £50 paid. The policy-holders were to share in the bonuses of the Eagle. The reason assigned for the trans. was that the bus. of the Albion on the other side of the Atlantic was disproportionate to the bus. here; and this would be remedied 1 to a large English Co. The officers of the Albion were properly provided fo truth every one seemed benefited by the arrangement. ALBION LIFE ASSU. So.-This asso. was founded in 1864, with an authoriz £50,000, in 5,000 shares of £10. This was intended to constitute a guarantee a view to Mut. Ins. There is power to pay off the fund so raised; in the me carries int. at 6 p. c. The objects of the asso. are very ample, viz.:
The granting assu. on a single life, or joint lives, and on survivorships, or for limited term contingently determinable, and either with or without parti. in the profits of the co.; the purchase and sale of annuities for lives and limited terms, immediate and deferred ann., and ann. to children or strangers, payable from the death of a parent or other person; the granting of endowments for widows or for children, born or to be born, or for strangers, and at all ages, and all other periodical provisions or payments, immediate, deferred, reversionary, or contingent on human life, or for terms certain; and advance of moneys on personal securities or contracts, whether secured by assu. effected with the co. or not, and on such terms as the directors shall think fit; and all other bus. whatsoever usually effected by cos. or sos. of the like nature, etc.
The liability of the shareholders is unlimited. Three-fourths of profits to policyholders. First division 1868. Mr. George Thomson to be first permanent managing director. Mr. Thomas Knox Holmes, the well-known parl. agent, was one of the subs. to the memorandum, and also one of the first directors. The remuneration of directors to be fixed by meeting. All policy-holders are to become (if required) members of co. The scheme of the asso. is carefully prepared. Policies are granted on half-credit plan, for first 5 years. Whole-world pol. are granted.