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As the New York Insurance Association Inc. embarks on its 140th year of service to the insuring public, we are reminded of the simple organization objective of our founders: “To assist the member companies to provide sound insurance protection and enable them, through combined effort and influence—to protect themselves against interference or injurious legislation.”
A meeting convened at the Bracket House in Rochester in 1882 to organize the New York Central Organization of Co-Operative Fire Insurance.
In 1942, a group of mutual insurers, many of them identified as “subway mutuals” for their New York City location, banded together with a group of upstate mutual insurers to form the Association of New York State Mutual Casualty Cos., which was headquartered in New York City.
In 1965, when most members were writing multiple lines of insurance, the association dropped the word “casualty” from the name and later, when stock companies were allowed membership, the word “mutual” was dropped.
As we approached the ’70s the Central Organization, as the New York Central Organization of Co-Operative Fire Insurance had been called conversationally for so many years, got a new name: The New York Co-Operative Insurance Association (NYCIA) and was headquartered in Oneida, New York. Only a few short years before the NYCIA reached its 100th anniversary; another mark of leadership was achieved by becoming the first state association to own its own office building.
Open house was held in May 1980. Just six months later, the offices at Oneida were the victim of a devastating fire that started in the buildings nearby and spread its destruction to surrounding structures. In 1981, the NYCIA relocated its offices in North Syracuse, N.Y. NYCIA incorporated in 1988 and became the New York Insurance Alliance Inc. (NYIA).
By 1997 the New York Insurance Association Inc. was formed by the unification of the New York Insurance Alliance and the New York State Insurance Association. Hence, we have the new NYIA, as it is known today. Both associations’ charter members were mutual insurers. As the industry changed it became apparent that stocks, mutuals and cooperatives had far more issues in common than they did differences and New York’s property/casualty insurance industry would be best served by a single voice.
For more than twenty years, that voice has been NYIA.