A Look Back at Our Roots

Sometimes it’s important to take a look back and appreciate where you came from – especially when you’re over 140 years old! But even though Lambton Mutual was formed all the way back in 1875, we weren’t the first in Ontario.

Mutual insurance started here in the mid-1850s after legislation by the Governor of Upper Canada was amended to encourage the formation of more domestic insurers. Before that, there was only the British American Assurance Company, a stock company established in 1833.

The story goes that a small group of 14 farmers banded together to protect one another from financial ruin. They gathered in place and signed a note promising to reimburse each other in the event of a barn fire.  At the time, no one else would offer the rural settlers insurance coverage. In this way, the ‘farm-mutuals’ were born in true neighbour-helping-neighbour style.

When they were first organized, the farm-mutuals had to gain all their knowledge of insurance through experience. As the number of companies grew, they found a way to continue helping each other by gathering together to exchange their knowledge, share experiences and discuss common problems and solutions. The first meeting of the mutual insurance companies was held in 1882 as the ‘Purely Mutual Underwriters Association of Ontario,’ now known as the Ontario Mutual Insurance Association (OMIA).

The association provided leadership and guidance. It kept the rural mutual insurers up to date on developments in insurance policy coverage and helped them to continue operating successfully throughout the changing times. It also provided an opportunity for company directors and staff to meet and exchange ideas. It’s still helping our industry today.

Now, Lambton Mutual is one of over 40 independent, 100% Canadian mutual insurance companies across the province of Ontario. We cover a lot more than farms these days. We also provide home, auto and business coverage. Yet, at our heart we remain the same as we were over 140 years ago –  Canadians coming together to protect ourselves in common need.

That’s another part of the Mutual Advantage.