Church of Scotland Insurance Company Limited

Company Number: SC001777
Date of Incorporation: 1 October 1888
Contact Details: 67 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2JG
Operating Details: Active
Other names (if known): Free Church of Scotland Fire Insurance Trust Limited (1888-1901), United Free Church of Scotland Fire Insurance Trust, Limited (1901-1930), Church of Scotland Fire Insurance Trust Ltd (1930-1982)
Function of Company*: non-life insurance (6603)
Headquarters/Base of Operations Location: Edinburgh
Area of Operation: Insures churches across Scotland

*Taken from Standard Industrial Classification 2003, as used by Companies House in 2010


Held By: Privately held, please contact the National Register of Archives for Scotland for further details

Scope/type: Minute Books 1888-1998; Share register 1888-1967; Annual reports/returns 1941-1971; Register of Directors 1888-1970; some policy material and order and claims details 1920s onwards; material from the centenary lunch 1988.

Conditions governing access/use: Contact NRAS

Related records:Some company records in the National Archives of Scotland, including records relating to the Royal Commission on Churches report on the company

Company History

The Church of Scotland Insurance Company is the only independent survivor of the original twenty insurance companies established in the wake of the opening of the Edinburgh Stock Exchange in St David Street. Of the other 20, 8 quickly came to grief while the other 11 were soon acquired by major insurance groups. The objective of the company was to supply ecclesiastical property with fire insurance, and thus reduce administration on behalf of individual church groups. Though the company now provides more comprehensive insurance, it still fulfils its purpose of simplifying insurance on Church of Scotland property.

The advance planning and much of the initial work of establishing The Free Church of Scotland Fire Insurance Trust Limited was carried out by William Brown, who then became the company’s first accountant and secretary. There were 69 initial holders of the 1542 shares in the company, many of them businessmen from Edinburgh and Glasgow. The initial reinsurance side of the business was taken on by The Mutual Fire Insurance Corporation, and in the first year alone the company covered 716 policies. In 1894 admission to the Fire Offices Committee on the Royal Exchange was obtained. By the early 1970s the company had close ties to the Commercial Union Assurance Group, The Guardian Royal exchange Assurance Group and the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, though it was comfortably the smallest of these. The name changes during this period reflected the different unifications of churches in Scotland, rather than any upheaval or change within the company itself.

In 1896 William Brown died, and subsequent running of the company devolved to three generations of the Scott family. WP Scott handed on secretaryship of the company to WP and JA Scott in 1926, and WLR Scott took on the running of the business from them. The firm of Scott Oswald (with WLR Scott still a partner) acted in the role of Company Secretary up to the 1990s, and is still involved in the audit process of the company today.

In 1973 the Church of Scotland General Trustees acquired the entire share capital of the company. In 1982 the name was changed to its present form, recognising that it had been acknowledged and certificated as a fully-fledged insurance company by the Department of Trade and Industry.

With thanks and acknowledgement to George Gray and Kevin Roberts at the Company