Underwriters Board of Rochester, Inc. Papers

In line with the University of Rochester’s recommendations regarding COVID-19, the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation will be closed to the public until further notice, effective Monday, March 16, 2020.

Other Views:  Print/PDF  |  EAD Note: You may browse using the navigation on the left, or use Ctrl-F to search within this finding aid.

UNDERWRITERS BOARD OF ROCHESTER, INC. PAPERS
Creator:
Call Number: D.124
Dates: 1881-1886, 1924-1958
Physical Description: 2 boxes, 1 package, 7 scrapbooks
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Access
Use
Citation
Content List
Box 1
Box 2
Package 1: Oversize Photographs
Scrapbooks
Collection Overview
Title: UNDERWRITERS BOARD OF ROCHESTER, INC. PAPERS
Call Number: D.124
Dates: 1881-1886, 1924-1958
Physical Description: 2 boxes, 1 package, 7 scrapbooks
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
The Underwriters Board of Rochester, Inc. was made up of a group of insurance agents in the city of Rochester. On December 29, 1926, a group of these agents, because of a quarrel with the Eastern Underwriter's Association over commission rates, met together and formed a temporary organization under the name of Rochester Insurance Agents' Association. On January 25, 1927, the members, for their own protection, decided to make the Rochester Insurance Agents' Association a permanent organization that would eventually take over the functions of Local Board of Fire Underwriters and Casualty Insurance Club of Rochester, an organization which, under the name of Local Board of Fire Underwriters (or Fire Underwriters' Association), had been in existence since before 1881. In fact, with the formation of the new organization, the older Local Board of Fire Underwriters was allowed to lie dormant, the members joining the new organization, although Casualty Club meetings continued to be held for some time afterward. It was first proposed that the new organization be called Insurance Board of Rochester, but owing to legal difficulties, the members changed the name of the new organization to Underwriters Board of Rochester, Inc. on April 4, 1927.

Almost all of the agents who represented stock insurance companies in Rochester joined the new Board of Underwriters. They sold fire, casualty, life and automobile insurance. In 1932 the Board surveyed the holdings of the Rochester Diocese of the Catholic Church and made sure it had adequate coverage. The Underwriters Board was affiliated with the New York State Association of Insurance Agents, and the National Association of Insurance Agents. Local Board members were very active in both organizations, some of them serving terms as officers in the State Association,, and in 1935 had the honor of hosting both the state and the national conventions of the groups in Rochester.

At its inception, the Board pledged itself to observe fair dealings and foster good fellowship among members and the public in their business of selling insurance; to formulate rules for the uniformity and certainty and establish brokerage commissions, customs and practices; and to support legislation calculated to improve the conduct of the insurance business and protect the insuring public against loss or damage resulting from ignorance and fraudulent practices. Its objectives were to support and standardize the business of insurance so that it would be respected by the public to support right principles and oppose bad practices in underwriting, to furnish comprehensive knowledge and dependable service to the public in insurance matters, to maintain the dignity and responsibility of its members in their duty to the public and to elevate the standard of integrity, honor, and courtesy of its members. Accordingly, the Board tried to keep its name before the public at all times. It sent its representatives to Albany to lobby against proposed legislation on workman's compensation, and spoke out against compulsory automobile insurance, raising the speed limit, and gasoline taxes. It sponsored essay contests during Fire Prevention Week. It ran a series of advertisements in the local newspapers highlighting the effect of new automobile legislation, and was always quick to point out potential public safety hazards. In 1942 the Board was awarded the London Assurance Public Relations Trophy by the New-York State Association of Insurance Agents. The Underwriters Board lasted as an organization of insurance agents in the city of Rochester until 1955. It then decided to expand its membership to all of Monroe County. With this expansion of coverage, the Board changed its name to Insurance Agents Association of Monroe County, Inc. And ceased to function as formerly.

Scope and Content
The collection consists of minutes of meetings of the general Board, the Board of Directors, and the various committees from December,, 1926 to December, 1955; bank and account books from 1924 to 1926; a stock ledger; and minutes of the meetings of the older Local Board of Fire Underwriters from the years 1881-1886. There are also seven scrapbooks containing primarily newspaper clippings and agency newspapers from the year 1927 to the year 1958. Pages from another account book covering the years 1929-1940 can be found at the beginning of the first scrapbook. There is also a carbon copy of a letter written by Mr. Louis Hawes, the Executive Secretary of the Board, to Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Mr. Hoover's reply at the beginning of the fifth scrapbook.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Louis Hawes,, former Executive Secretary of Underwriters Board of Rochester, Inc., in 1975.Access
The UNDERWRITERS BOARD OF ROCHESTER, INC. PAPERS is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], UNDERWRITERS BOARD OF ROCHESTER, INC. PAPERS, D.124, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:


Content List
Box 1
Meeting Minutes
Folder
1. List of Board of Directors and Committee Members, 1927-1931, 1933
2. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1926-1927
3. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1928
4. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1929
5. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1930
6. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1931
7. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1932
8. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1933
9. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1934
10. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1935
11. Minutes of Committee Meetings, 1930-1935
12. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1936
13. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1937
14. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1938
15. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1939
16. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1940, 2 copies.
17. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1941, 2 copies.
18. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1942-1943
Box 2
Meeting Minutes, Financial Records, and Photographs
Folder
1. Minutes of Directors and General Board Meetings, 1944-1948
2. Minutes of Meetings, 1949-1955
3. Account Book - Casualty Insurance Club, 1924-1926
4. Bank Book - Casualty Insurance Club, 1926-1928
5. Minutes of Meetings and Account Book - Local Board of Fire Underwriters, 1881-1883
6. Record Book #2 - Local Board of Fire Underwriters, 1884-1886
7. Photographs of Board Members.
8. Stock Ledger
Package 1: Oversize Photographs
Scrapbooks
1. Newspaper Clippings, 1927-1929
2. Newspaper Clippings, 1934-1935
3. Newspaper Clippings, 1935-1936
4. Newspaper Clippings, 1936-1940
5. Newspaper Clippings, 1940-1947 (labeled as Publicity Book #4)
6. Advertising Book, 1941-1942
7. Safety Committee, 1952-1958


Other Views:  Print/PDF  |  EAD