Our Company's History
Motion Establishing the Algoma Mutual Fire Insurance Company
January 19, 1899 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Moved by W.G. Sims sec. by Robert Rush that whereas the business men and other property owners of S.S. Marie feel that the tariff of the Canadian Fire Underwriters Ass. as applied to them is unjust and discriminating by reason of an additional charge of fifty per cent because we are situated West of a certain line and whereas the Insurance companies have refused to throw off the obnoxious fifty per cent extra charge. Therefore be it Resolved that it is expedient and necessary to organize a Mutual Fire Insurance Company for the Districts of Algoma and Nipissing which shall have powers to transact fire Insurance business in the Farms and Villages and rural portions of said Districts and that this meeting pledge itself to support and patronize such a company and to encourage its establishment and maintenance in every proper and legitimate manner.
The Algoma Mutual Insurance Company began in 1899 as a fire insurance company with a head office in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Its original mandate was to provide relief from rates charged by "outside" companies that were considered to be "unjust and unfair to the people of this section of the country". Specifically, there was at that time an "obnoxious fifty per cent extra charge" for people situated West of a certain line. The new company proposed "to do business along the C.P.R., perhaps as far East as North Bay, also on Manitoulin and St. Joseph Islands".
The Company continued until the mid nineteen hundreds, being operated from various director's homes until October, 1975, when Mr. Lorne Wolgemuth took over operations and moved the Company to his farm just East of Thessalon. This move represented the beginning of real growth and the genesis of Algoma Mutual as a modern Property and Causality insurer. Sustained growth led to the hiring of full time employees and an eventual move in 1989, into the present office location on Main Street, Thessalon.
Algoma Mutual Insurance Company still adheres to the original objective of providing affordable insurance to residents of Northern Ontario between North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. Farm insurance is still a priority product, although residential and automobile insurance have become majority components of the Company's business, mostly due to demographic shifts toward an urbanized population base, and the advent and dominance of the internal combustion engine since the Company's inception in 1899. The priority marked for Algoma Mutual continues to be Algoma/Manitoulin, with support from secondary markets in Sudbury, North Bay, and up highway 11 towards the Timmins area, and South into Parry Sound, Muskoka, and Haliburton districts.