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Records of British Engine Insurance Ltd
Records of British Engine Insurance Ltd
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Association for the Prevention of Steam Boiler Explosions 1855-1931; Atomic Energy Research Establishment 1957; Board of Trade 1879-1966; Boiler Insurance and Steam Power Co 1863- 1886; Bonecourt Boilers 1914; British Empire Exhibition 1924; British Engine Boiler & Electrical Insurance Co 1878-1995; Engine and Boiler Insurance Co 1878-1905; Engineering Offices Association 1925-1964; Factories and Workshop Acts 1925-1937; Guild of Insurance Officials 1961-1968; Industrial Radiography (NDT) Ltd 1950-1973; Insurance Institute of Manchester 1926-1973; Institute of Mechanical Engineers 1917; Longridge family 1853-1980; Manchester Steam Users Association 1855-1969; WD Minto Ltd 1960-1981; National Boiler and General Insurance Co (Vulcan Boiler Insurance) 1865-1965; Royal Insurance Co 1912-1994; Box of Equipment,n.d.Place:/Manchester/Manchester/Lancashire/England
Records of British Engine Insurance Ltd
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British Engine Insurance Limited has its roots in the formation of the Association for the Prevention of Steam Boiler Explosions (APSBE) which was founded in 1854 after public concern about the safety of boilers which regularly exploded causing deaths and injuries running into double figures. The company was formed by Robert. Berwick Longridge (1821-1914) who was chief inspector with the Association until he left to found The Steam Boiler Assurance Company in 1858 with himself as Chairman and his nephew, Michael Longridge, as chief engineer. The main reason for forming such a company was that Longridge felt that insurance should supplement inspection of boilers. The Association did not agree so he resigned after becoming disenchanted with the attitude of APSBE. Within 5 years of its formation the company had 9,000 boilers under its care with boiler owners paying £5 or more per unit. In 1865 the Steam Boiler Company became the Boiler Insurance and Steam Power Company and moved into new premises at 67 King Street, Manchester. In 1873 Longridge urged the Directors to turn their attention to the inspection and insurance of steam engines as well as boilers. This was initially successful but by 1876 the Board began to question the costs, Longridge did not agree, believing coverage could be adequate if premiums were increased. However in 1877 when an engine breakdown involved a very substantial claim the directors decided not to continue. Besides the company discovered that the Memorandum and Articles of Association did not empower them to insure engines so they decided not to continue. Longridge after failing to get them to change the Articles or to start a new company decided to resign and start one himself In 1878 Engine and Boiler Insurance Company was formed at 12 King Street, Manchester. Within two years the company was changed to The Engine, Boiler, and Employers' Liability Company Limited. Employers' liability was not one of the objects for which the company was founded nor had the directors any wish to undertake this. However, it was a step to safeguard the position in view of possible action by other boiler insurance companies. By 1882 a profit of £1,231 was declared on income of £18,378. Twenty three years later the name was changed to The British Engine Boiler and Electrical Insurance Company Limited. This change reflected the use of electricity as a source of motive power and the company had been insuring electrical motors since 1898. The early 20th century saw the large insurance companies, which had previously ignored engineering, started to expand into the sector. Rather than start from scratch they acquired existing companies. Therefore in 1912 British Engine was taken over by the Royal Insurance Company of Liverpool. In 1914 they had set up head office in Fennel Street, Manchester. The Manchester Steam Users Association was absorbed into the company in 1932 and in 1958 they had moved to Longridge House. In 1971 two overseas concerns were established at ITEB in Holland and BEI Services in the USA. In 1976 they were awarded the Queens Award for Exports. Two years later in their centenary year the name changed to British Engine Insurance Company.
Deposited 23 Sept 1997. (accession number 1635)
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