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Genesis: Historical research

Krasnoyarsk Mutual Fire Insurance Society (1904-1917)

Dolidovich Olesya Mikhailovna

ORCID: 0000-0003-3364-1528

Doctor of History

Associate Professor; Department of Russian History, World and Regional Civilizations; Siberian Federal University 

660041, Russia, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Krasnoyarsk, Svobodny Avenue, 79

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Starovoitova Evgeniya Nikolaevna

ORCID: 0000-0001-6262-7931

PhD in History

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Social Sciences; Siberian State University of Science and Technology named after M.F. Reshetnev

660037, Russia, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Krasnoyarsk, prospekt im. gazeta Krasnoyarsk worker, 31

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Abstract: The subject of the study is the organization and activity of the Krasnoyarsk Mutual Fire Insurance Society. On the basis of the historical and genetic method, the reasons for the origin of the insurance business in the Yenisei province, the leading trends in its development during the second half of the XIX - early XX centuries, changes that occurred under the influence of the First World War are analyzed. The application of the historical-systematic method allowed the authors to determine the role and place of the city mutual insurance society in the emerging fire insurance system in one of the provincial centers of Eastern Siberia. The historical-comparative method made it possible to identify the differences between mutual insurance companies and joint-stock companies. The statistics of fires and the scale of losses from them grew in the Russian Empire in the second half of the 19th - early 20th centuries. At the same time, a fire insurance system was being formed. A specific non–commercial form of insurance was mutual insurance (the main types are zemstvo and city), which arose due to the fact that the services of private insurance companies were inaccessible to a wide range of the population. In the Yenisei province , the only society of this type appeared only at the beginning of the XX century. Krasnoyarsk City Mutual Insurance Society for a short period of its existence could not significantly change the situation in the local insurance market, where the dominant position was occupied by branches of joint-stock insurance companies. Nevertheless, his activity has had a beneficial effect on the development of the insurance business in the city by reducing tariffs, supporting fire-fighting measures of the city authorities. The First World War carried the threat of loss of organizational and financial independence of mutual insurance companies, since the government became interested in the idea of introducing a state monopoly of fire insurance in order to compensate for the budget deficit.


city administration, provincial insurance, Yenisei Province, Krasnoyarsk, monopolization of the insurance business, mutual insurance company, First World War, fire society, insurance company, fire insurance

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

1. Introduction

During the XIX – early XX centuries. In the Russian Empire, a fire insurance system was being formed, which turned into an important component of sustainable economic development. In the post-reform period, mutual fire insurance became an integral part of it, which was a specific non-commercial form of organizing insurance relations. The study of the historical experience of the development of mutual insurance companies provides the key to understanding the essence, forms and methods of organizing insurance protection at the state and consumer level, the principles of functioning of the insurance market, the patterns of formation and development of the Russian insurance business.

In pre–revolutionary historiography, the peculiarities of the insurance institute in Russia were studied - fire safety conditions in cities and rural areas, fire statistics, etc. Historians' attention was focused on the development of joint-stock insurance companies [2; 21, etc.] and the organization of zemstvo mutual insurance [15; 19, 26, etc.]. Practical and reference publications, manuals for novice employees and insurance agents with a description of the procedure for calculating insurance premiums, reinsurance, characteristics of risk groups, etc. were published [32].

During the Soviet period, all types of insurance passed into the hands of the state, insurance companies (both joint-stock and mutual) ceased to exist. The topic has ceased to be relevant, and the number of studies has decreased. Urban mutual fire insurance organizations were considered as one of the types of "bourgeois" insurance in general works on the development of the insurance business in the Russian Empire [16; 24; 33].

In modern Russian historiography, interest in studying the history of the insurance business has grown markedly, which is largely due to the revival of the activities of private insurance companies. There are review papers on the main stages of domestic insurance from the end of the XVIII century to the present day [18; 27]. A significant amount of research is devoted to the development of the legislative framework of the insurance business [25; 28; 31, etc.]. The central position is occupied by the organization of zemstvo insurance, which is shown as an effective institution that supported the economic stability of the country [3; 29, etc.].

In recent years, the number of scientific articles on urban mutual fire insurance societies has been increasing. It is shown that their goal was public mutual assistance, not commercial profit, they made insurance more accessible to ordinary people [1]. There was serious competition between joint-stock companies and mutual insurance companies. After the creation of such companies, joint-stock companies were forced to lower insurance premium rates [22]. Nevertheless, in general, the activities of urban mutual fire insurance societies in the Russian Empire in the second half of the XIX-XX centuries have been studied in fragments, with few works performed on regional materials.

The purpose of this article is to analyze the organization and activities of the Krasnoyarsk Mutual Insurance Company. The basis of the source base is the office documentation, concentrated in the State Archive of the Krasnoyarsk Territory (GAKK). Fund 170 (Krasnoyarsk Mutual Fire Insurance Society) contains lists of members, meeting logs, reports and minutes of general meetings, books of board resolutions, correspondence with the city fire commission, etc. The funds 126 (Krasnoyarsk city Agency "Anchor"), 172 (Krasnoyarsk City Agency of the First Russian Insurance Company), 651 (Board of the city Insurance Company "Russia" of the city of Krasnoyarsk, Yenisei province) contain documents of local branches of private insurance companies – general insurance rules, certificates of insurance of buildings and other property, reports of the boards, correspondence between managers and agents, etc. The archival materials used allow us to get an idea of the development of the fire insurance system in general in the Yenisei province, and in Krasnoyarsk in particular, to explore the specifics of the functioning of the Krasnoyarsk Mutual Fire Insurance Society.

2. The origin of the insurance business in the Yenisei province

At the turn of the XIX–XX centuries. in the Russian Empire, an increase in the number and concentration of the population due to the processes of modernization and urbanization led to a densification of buildings, respectively, the number of fires increased rapidly. Thus, in the provinces of European Russia, 271,468 fires were registered in the five years 1895-1899, 315,227 in 1900-1904, and 408,691 in 1905-1909. The fires caused significant damage to the country's economy and the well-being of its residents. From 1895 to 1909, more than 2.8 million yards and property worth over 1.5 billion rubles burned down. More than 90% of fires occurred in counties, but cities accounted for a third of the total losses [30, p. II, XIV].

Firefighters stated: "Despite the constant enrichment of construction equipment with refractory materials and structures, both qualitatively and quantitatively, for the development and improvement of the organization and technology of fire fighting, for an increase in fire protection requirements from government and public institutions, fire safety does not decrease, but increases" [4, p. 1].

A significant part of the specific causes of the fires remained unclear, since there was no special investigation into such cases. The established causes were distributed as follows: in the first place in terms of number were fires that occurred due to negligence, then – from faulty pipes and furnaces, in the third place – arson, and a small number accounted for fires from lightning. Fires inadvertently occurred from the "lack of culture and ignorance" of people who violated the basic norms of fire management in everyday life, as well as poverty and misery of the majority of the population, which made it impossible to comply with fire and building regulations and the creation of fire brigades in all localities. Both in rural areas and in cities, the fall of fields and hay mowing, practiced every spring, played a significant role. Arson in order to obtain insurance was a widespread phenomenon due to the fact that it was difficult to prove criminal intent. On average, only 5% of such cases reached the court [23, p. 72; 4, p. 20].

In the Yenisei province, mass migrations from the European part of the country, the growth of cities, the acceleration of commercial and industrial development also led to an increase in the number and density of the population, as well as buildings. Thus, the number of citizens in 1851 was 18.1 thousand people (in Krasnoyarsk – 6.1), in 1897 – 62.6 thousand people (26.7) [5, p. 42]. Similarly, the number of fires increased annually. For example, 93 fires were recorded in 1884, 167 in 1890, 553 in 1901, and 468 in 1905 [34, pp. 47-49; 20]

Documents about the events of 1881 in Krasnoyarsk testify to how severe the consequences of urban fires were. From April 17 to 18, the provincial council, the board and the court, the control chamber, the state bank, the buildings of the men's and women's gymnasiums, the Vladimir orphanage, the vocational school, Gostiny Dvor, 16 forges, 12 tanneries, 4 soap factories, 3 watermills, 390 residential buildings and many outbuildings burned down. The suburban villages of Drokino and Torgashino were also affected. People died, many were burned, and a large number of residents were left homeless. The elderly, widows, and the disabled, who could not take care of themselves, found themselves in an extremely difficult situation. At the suggestion of the mayor P. M. Prein, a Commission was established to provide assistance to the victims of the fire, funds were transferred to the committee's account opened in the branch of the State Bank to help the victims. In total, it was possible to collect about 67,000 rubles [17, pp. 3-5]. Krasnoyarsk residents were given bread, flour, clothes, and paid for treatment. The governor made a suggestion to the peasants of the villages of the Minusinsk and Achinsk districts through the police officers, assessors and volost boards that they should not raise prices for bread, flour, meat, oats, and building materials. The police and the city council prevented the purchase of goods in the bazaar for the purpose of speculation. The Minusinsk district police officer convinced the owners of the Abakan Ironworks to reduce prices for cast iron and iron products for residents of Krasnoyarsk, who began to rebuild housing [6].

Fire insurance in the Russian Empire has long been a government monopoly. In 1786-1822, an Insurance Expedition operated under the State Loan Bank, which insured pledged stone houses, manufactories and factories in large cities. In 1827, the First Russian Fire Protection Society appeared, in 1835 – the Second, in 1846 – the Salamandra partnership. All three companies received the monopoly right to conduct insurance activities in certain regions of the Russian Empire. After the expiration of their privileges in the insurance industry, the era of free competition began. In 1875, the joint-stock companies entered into an agreement on a common policy, forming a syndicate, which caused an increase in rates. However, in the pursuit of profit, companies began to violate agreements. In 1894, the Government introduced supervision of insurance companies through the Insurance Committee of the Economic Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 1895, the Russian Reinsurance Society was formed, which was engaged in reinsurance of risks of domestic insurers. In the future, the insurance market became more complicated.

In the Yenisei province, the nascent insurance market was controlled by several joint-stock companies. In the 1880s, the Anchor insurance company operated in Krasnoyarsk. By 1895, the First Russian Fire Insurance Company, Commercial Fire Insurance, Rossiya, Nadezhda, opened their branches, by 1900, the Second Russian Fire Insurance Company, the Russian Insurance Company, the St. Petersburg Insurance Company, the Northern Insurance Company also opened their branches. The agents of the companies conducted an investigation and assessment of losses.

Due to high tariffs and the low level of solvency of the majority of the population, the services of insurance companies were available only to wealthy groups of the population. Thus, in the Krasnoyarsk branch of the First Russian Insurance Company, gold miners and representatives of the wealthiest merchant dynasties insured their homes – P. I. Gadalov, A.V. Danilov, A. A. Balandin, V. A. Balandina, L. I. Yarilova, L. A. Icikson, E. M. Gavrikova, R. G. Kiselman, V. I. Kornakov, Ya. S. Pomeranets, S. A. Hartung, A. N. Smirnova, D. M. Dubnikova-Liebman, V. A. Meyrovich, E. M. Fleischerg, etc. The clients also included the Fedorov Gold Mining Society, the representative office of the Parisian company engaged in the purchase and sale of furs "Revillon Brothers", the L. I. Yarilova tannery in Minusinsk district, the Trinity Salt Works, the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Krasnoyarsk Jewish Prayer Society, firms – G. I. Stosard-Sykes, the Zuckerman Brothers, Frolov and Ryabchukov", Trading house "K. Chevelev and his sons" and others [13].

In 1861, a decree was issued "On the introduction of mutual fire insurance of property in cities, townships and towns of the Empire (regulations on mutual insurance)", in 1864 – "Regulations on mutual zemstvo insurance", which determined the development of zemstvo and city mutual insurance societies. The government sought to get rid of the significant expenses that it had to make to maintain the inhabitants devastated by fires. In 1867, the regulation on mutual provincial insurance of rural buildings in provinces that were not covered by the zemstvo reform was put into effect, its benefits were explained to the population – public participation, remuneration in case of fire.

In the Yenisei province, insurance fees for Provincial mutual insurance were collected in volost boards and county city councils. In rural areas, the insurance fee was collected according to the statements approved by the Provincial Administration. The state board sent out salary lists for each rural society. After notification of the fire, the volost board had to order an inspection of the damaged and burned buildings within a day, send the documents by first mail to insurance agents, who, after checking, sent them with a conclusion to the Peasant department. It was necessary to provide detailed information about all burned buildings with an indication of their assessment, if the structure was partially damaged, determine the amount of burned and surviving parts, estimating within the amount indicated in the insurance statements. The amount of the insurance premium was determined as follows: "The amount in which all the buildings of the yard accepted for insurance in the aggregate are provided is divided by the total amount of the assessment of these buildings; the private received from the division is multiplied by the estimated amount of burned or damaged buildings and the resulting product will amount to the insurance amount to be paid to the victim" [14, L. 14]. In the event of the insured's death, the benefit was paid to his family members.

In the cities, payments for provincial insurance were made a year in advance, and were noted in salary lists. In the event of a fire, a member of the city public administration arrived at the site to inspect the insured buildings that were burned and damaged by fire. In the presence of the owners and appraisers from the burghers, an act was drawn up with a description of the burned or damaged property, indicating the amount of insurance, the cause of the fire. Further, the victim was issued a certificate of the city administration on his non-involvement in the causes of the fire. To receive insurance compensation, the victims of the fire sent a certificate, an act and a fire announcement by mail to the third department of the Yenisei provincial administration. Those who insured property in joint-stock insurance companies were charged arrears on provincial insurance upon presentation of policies [14, L. 1-2, 5].

In practice, it was quite difficult to get the insurance amount for the Provincial Mutual Insurance, since it was necessary to properly prepare the documents and submit them on time. The volost boards allowed especially many violations in this regard.   

3. Krasnoyarsk Society of mutual property insurance against fire

The first urban mutual fire insurance societies appeared in the 1860s and 1870s in Novgorod, Yaroslavl, St. Petersburg, Perm, Tula and other cities. By 1875, there were 14 such societies, by 1883 – 43. Soon the idea arose to establish mutual reinsurance of risks, since severe fires could lead to bankruptcy of small companies. In 1890, the Penza Union of Mutual Insurance Societies in Case of Emergency Fire Losses was established, which by 1909 already included 86 societies. The mutual insurance societies also created a bureau, elected at regular congresses, which acted as an intermediary between the societies and the government, as well as among themselves, and published the "Bulletin of Mutual Insurance". In 1909, the Ministry of Internal Affairs approved the charter of the Russian Union of Mutual Fire Insurance Companies. The companies that were previously members of the Penza Union have now joined the created Russian Union, the purpose of which was mutual reinsurance of the risks assumed by each of them.

In the Yenisei province, the first and only urban mutual insurance company was established in Krasnoyarsk. In 1888, the mayor G. A. Larionov, in a report to the City Duma, justified the need to create such a society. Previously, he ordered from the Irkutsk City Duma a copy of the charter of the society founded there in 1884. The City Duma created a commission consisting of N. G. Gadalov, I. I. Alekseev, A. I. Yemelyanov, A. P. Kuznetsov, N. A. Shepetkovsky to consider this issue. After 8 years, the mayor requested the results of the commission's work – there were none, and in 1896 the case was archived. In the following year, 1897, the board of the Tomsk Mutual Insurance Society sent a written proposal to Krasnoyarsk on the establishment of mutual insurance, offering its assistance, but received no response.

In 1901 The Krasnoyarsk Voluntary Fire Society sent to the City Duma a reasoned petition on the need to create a mutual insurance company, information about fires over 10 years, a city plan, signatures of 44 people who expressed a desire to become the first policyholder members. At a meeting in September 1902, the City Duma recognized the creation of the society as desirable and necessary, gave a guarantee for 25,000 rubles, and elected a special commission to develop the charter. The commission was headed by the mayor, chairman of the volunteer fire society P. K. Gudkov. In June 1903, the charter was approved, in December the Krasnoyarsk Mutual Fire Insurance Company began its operations, and in 1904 joined the Penza Union. P. Titov was elected Chairman of the Board, V. V. Sidorov was elected treasurer, and P. V. Veselkov was elected accountant. The number of votes at general meetings depended on the sum insured. The minimum sum insured, which gave the right to vote at general meetings, was 300 rubles.

There was no normal charter of mutual insurance companies before the revolution, so the Krasnoyarsk Society acted on the basis of instructions and rules of societies in different regions of the country – "Instructions of the Astrakhan Mutual Property Fire Insurance Society" (the word "Astrakhan" was simply crossed out on the printed copy and "Krasnoyarsk" was written on top), "Rules and Regulations of the Insurance of the Nizhny Novgorod Society mutual fire insurance of property" (crossed out "Nizhny Novgorod", entered "Krasnoyarsk") [7].

Since the first year of its existence, the Krasnoyarsk Mutual Insurance Company has been operating successfully. By December 1, 1904 it insured property for 1,409,660 rubles [7, l. 46]. The largest policyholder was the city administration, since many city buildings housed social institutions (schools, hospitals, almshouses, etc.). In 1904, the Krasnoyarsk authorities insured property in the amount of 332,500 rubles. As well as the Petty-bourgeois council, the city was given a 10% discount.

Branches of insurance companies divided city blocks according to the degree of fire danger into categories or classes. In a special position was the Nikolaevskaya Sloboda, located behind the railway line, experiencing a shortage of water, with extremely crowded buildings. No more than half of the estates in this settlement were accepted for insurance, for amounts 20% less than the estimated amount. The tariffs of the mutual insurance company were initially planned to be lower than in the local branches of joint-stock insurance companies: "The task of mutual insurance is to establish insurance that is possibly affordable at low cost and conditions of direct relationship of policyholders with the insurer in case of fire losses"[7, L. 54]. After the opening of the Krasnoyarsk Mutual Insurance Company, joint-stock companies lowered insurance premiums, and left high (from 3rd to 6th) fire hazard classes in Krasnoyarsk. This affected mainly the owners of stone and brick estates along Voskresenskaya, Gostinskaya and Blagoveshchenskaya streets from Parade Ground Lane to Stepanovsky, as well as government and public buildings. In order not to lose policyholders, the Krasnoyarsk Mutual Insurance Company had to make insurance premiums even lower [11].

Private banks did not issue loans secured by real estate insured by the Krasnoyarsk Mutual Insurance Society, under the pretext that it had not yet proven itself to be reliable enough. The situation was similar in government agencies for government contracts and supplies: "Due to such a requirement, homeowners who are put in need to take out a loan secured by their property in a private land bank, or who are required to pledge a government contract or supplies, willy-nilly have to insure their property in joint-stock companies, and therefore, firstfirstly, to overpay for insurance of their property, since the tariff of joint-stock companies is much higher than ours, and secondly, they do not have discounts from the paid premium that the mutual insurance company gives to its members" [10, l. 11]

At the general meeting at the end of 1906, the issue of ways to preserve capital was considered. The exchange rate for government interest-bearing securities was low and unstable, and if they were sold, the company would suffer losses. Keeping money in banks at 4% per annum was also considered unprofitable. The board concluded that it was better to provide loans to the city public administration at 5%, but only for fire-fighting purposes (installation of water pipes, wells, etc.). By this time, the company's capital amounted to 33,000 rubles in interest-bearing securities and about 9,000 rubles in cash. Of this amount, it was required to leave 6,582 rubles as a share of responsibility to the Perm Union for 1907. Another 5,937 rubles were allocated for the formation of a reserve fund. It was decided to lend the remaining funds to the city [10, l. 13-14].

The city's mutual insurance societies supported fire prevention measures everywhere: "Fire and insurance are two sides of the same coin <...> The smaller the losses from fires, the lower the insurance premium. That is why all mutual insurance companies are taking measures to improve fire brigades, to set up their fire wagons, to develop volunteer fire brigades, to organize pipe cleaning teams, to strengthen the night watch, to develop buildings made of fire-resistant building materials, etc." [10, L. 8]. In the early years of its existence, the Krasnoyarsk Society did not have much money for such purposes. The cheapest fire–fighting measure was considered to be the planting of deciduous trees on both sides of the streets - they covered the roofs and walls of buildings, prevented the rapid spread of flames. The Board decided to make a discount on insurance to residents of Mykolaiv Sloboda who planted trees near their estate, as well as to attract students to arboretum holidays. In 1908, a loan of 5,000 rubles was issued at 4% per annum to the Krasnoyarsk Volunteer Fire Company to expand the trading operations of the roofing iron warehouse [10, l. 8-9]. Since 1909, the volunteer fire company has received an annual loan of 800 rubles. In 1907, the scholarship holder of the mutual insurance society studied at the fire technical courses in St. Petersburg, and upon his return received the position of assistant fire chief at the fire department [9, l. 15].  In 1910, the city administration was granted a loan for the construction of a water pipeline.

The board of the society has repeatedly appealed to the city councils of the county towns of the Yenisei province with a proposal to open its branches in them, but for a long time it did not receive a response. In December 1907, a branch of the Krasnoyarsk Mutual Fire Insurance Company was opened in Minusinsk, and in 1911 – in Yeniseisk. The majority of the union societies under the Penza Treaty approved the idea of accepting Minusinsk and Yeniseisk into the union as branches of the Krasnoyarsk Society [8, l. 82].

4. Changes in mutual insurance during the First World War

The beginning of the military events caused the evacuation of a number of insurance companies that found themselves in the front line. During the retreat of enemy troops from the cities, small fires arose, but they were extinguished by Russian troops. For example, when Lutsk and Dvinsk were reoccupied by the Russians, no significant damage was found in the cities. The Bialystok and Vilna Mutual Insurance Companies were under occupation, but they left agents in place, giving orders not to extend insurance contracts, not to expand activities, report on the risks of the company and determine the causes of fires. In some cities, the property of residents burned down, which was confirmed by documents from the Russian and German authorities, but mutual insurance companies, according to their charters, were not responsible for fire losses of a military nature. Insurance joint-stock companies have taken similar restrictive measures, but they have not stopped operations. The Zemstvos partially reduced their activities, while some declared full responsibility even for war losses, obviously believing that after the war the government would cover them [8, l. 13-13 vol.].

Due to the fact that local mutual insurance companies were legally quite autonomous in their activities, the board of the Russian Union of Mutual Insurance Companies could not close them and developed a "Regulation on evacuated Societies". In the first half of the document, the approximate evacuation procedure was unsubscribed, in the second – recommendations were given on reducing activities. In January 1916, at an Extraordinary Meeting of the union, a resolution was adopted on the continuation of insurance operations in evacuated societies and those operating in enemy-occupied territories. This situation meant that the Russian Union assumed financial responsibility under these agreements. However, many members of the union refused to recognize this document: losses from military operations could not even be approximated and could amount to tens of millions of rubles, the union could not have enough funds to cover such expenses, and it would have to resort to a large loan, which, in the conditions of continued war, would lead to the complete liquidation of the mutual insurance business. Thus, the general meeting of the Irkutsk Mutual Insurance Society recognized the decision of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Union as illegal, subject to cancellation, otherwise it announced its withdrawal from the union [12, L. 14 vol.].

In this regard, in June 1916, a general meeting of the Russian Union of Mutual Fire Insurance Societies was held in Petrograd. In total, the union consisted of 162 city mutual insurance companies, representatives of 82-89 companies were present, including Krasnoyarsk (representative – P. V. Veselkov). The issue of the evacuated societies caused a split among the participants. Some believed that the continuation of operations in the occupied territories carried a risk to the entire mutual insurance business, since it meant unbearable obligations for the union. Others insisted that, by their very nature, mutual insurance companies are more related to cooperatives, and should be guided not only by profit issues, but also by moral ones, the meaning of the existence of the union was precisely to provide mutual assistance in the event of an extremely serious misfortune.

The chairman of the audit commission, A. A. Cherven-Vodali, called for a compromise solution: "The Board decided to find out the situation of cities close to the front, for which it sent a member of the board there. From the inspection it turned out that there is a weakening in the fire protection, in some cities due to the lack of people, in others – horses, etc. But local societies are taking care to improve the case" [12, l. 29 vol.]. He also argued that there was no need to fear great destruction in these territories – the buildings there, as a rule, were built of stone, the enemy command itself was interested in rooms for its troops. The union was not responsible for fires that occurred during the retreat and abandonment of territories under the law. As a result of the discussion and voting, despite the categorical protests of representatives of some societies, it was decided to confirm the validity of the January "Provision".

The second issue was the extent of the union's charitable activities during the war. The Chairman of the board cited data that during the two war years, mutual insurance companies donated one million rubles to help victims of military operations, and another 4,000 rubles a month were allocated for the maintenance of the Union's infirmary in Tver. He recommended abstaining from other charitable contributions for the time being, since another important task was outlined ahead – providing assistance to insured members from evacuated and occupied territories. The meeting supported the decision to allocate 39,900 rubles for this purpose, another 3,939 rubles to spend on issuing to various persons affected by the war, and this is limited.

Further, the registration of fires and the maintenance of documentation on them were discussed. During the war, mutual insurance companies began to experience a shortage of specialists, fire companies – fire masters and firefighters. The participants of the meeting recommended paying an additional amount to the firemen, who were obliged to go to the fires, so that they would record and fill out specially designed cards for mutual insurance companies. In cities where high burning rates have been recorded in recent years, members of the board of the union had to conduct a survey.

The last report discussed was "On the monopolization of insurance." By the beginning of the 20th century, the financial resources of mutual insurance companies became sources for investments in government loans, shares of industrial companies and commercial banks, in addition, they were used in servicing domestic and foreign debt. The government considered the idea of introducing a state monopoly of fire insurance. Chairman of the Board of the union K. M. Yaichkov suggested that the idea itself arose due to the fact that the state lost income with the abandonment of the wine monopoly and was now looking for additional sources of replenishment of the budget: "Aware of the needs of the state and given its difficult situation, we are ready to put up with the state duty, which we now pay in double the amount, with income tax, although, not being commercial organizations that profit from the business, we should not be involved in it. But we cannot agree with a different purpose of insurance funds" [12, l. 55].

The representative of the Ostrovsky Society, N. A. Ognyannikov, noted that both mutual insurance companies and ordinary people would suffer from the introduction of a monopoly – in an effort to increase revenues, the government would simply dictate its terms and tariffs, financing of fire-fighting measures would cease: "It is currently impossible to raise fundamental objections to combining private activities in the hands of the government. On the contrary, there are industries in which it is recognized that they can only be the activity of the state. If we turn to insurance, then here some types of insurance, such as insurance for the disabled, old age, and unemployment, can only be carried out by the state. But since our monopoly project arose not in the form of expediency of the insurance business, but under the influence of fiscal motives for finding funds for the state, these motives themselves say that monopoly will not follow for the benefit of insurance itself. The monopoly will not give special financial resources to the state, since the imperfection of the organization will be reflected in huge losses" [12, l. 56 vol.].

Despite the general rejection of this idea, the participants of the meeting did not dare to openly oppose it. The resolution stated that representatives of the Union of Mutual Insurance Companies, as well as firefighters, public figures, etc. should be involved in the development of the planned reform. The wish was expressed that the reformers act in order to strengthen mutual insurance based on the principles of self-help of the population interested in reducing fire safety.

5. Conclusion

In the second half of the XIX – early XX centuries, due to urbanization and accelerated technological development, the problem of fires became increasingly acute both in the Russian Empire as a whole and in the regions. In the Yenisei province, the economy remained agrarian in nature, and the dynamics of all economic and social processes was slow. In this regard, the fire insurance system was developed later than in European Russia, the scale of insurance activity was much more modest. Several private insurance companies have monopolized the local insurance market. Expensive tariffs made their services inaccessible to the general public. The mutual insurance system was not represented by zemstvo insurance. The only municipal mutual insurance company in the province appeared in Krasnoyarsk only at the beginning of the XX century. It successfully developed and in a short period of its existence competed with private companies, helped reduce tariffs, played an important role in mitigating the consequences of fires for residents of the provincial center, issued loans and irrevocable allowances for various fire-fighting measures. During the First World War, the Krasnoyarsk Society operated as part of the Russian Union of Mutual Insurance Companies. The main problems of mutual insurance were: the issue of compensation for evacuated societies from the frontline and occupied territories, the scale of charitable activities, the lack of specialists to register fires, and the monopolization of the insurance business by the government.

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Review of the article "Krasnoyarsk Mutual Fire Insurance Society (1904-1917)" The subject of the article is the formation and development of the Krasnoyarsk mutual Fire Insurance Society in 1904-1917. The research methodology is based on the principles of science and historicism. Comparative historical, historical-genetic and chronological methods are also used in the work. The relevance of the topic. Fires are one of the serious and massive types of disasters that cause great material and often human losses. Insurance arose as a reaction to all kinds of disasters and was aimed at reducing losses from natural disasters, in particular fire. In our country, forms of insurance have gone through a fairly long development path, in the pre-Soviet period, forms of insurance were different, in the Soviet period there were only state forms of insurance, in the modern period, with the transition to the market and market relations, as in the pre-revolutionary period, both state and private insurance organizations exist and develop. In this regard, the study of the insurance experience in Russia in the pre-Soviet period seems relevant and significant. The author of the article notes that "studying the historical experience of the development of mutual insurance companies provides the key to understanding the essence, forms and methods of organizing insurance protection at the state and consumer level, the principles of functioning of the insurance market, the patterns of formation and development of the Russian insurance business" and it is difficult to disagree with this. Indeed, the study of past experience at the present time, when insurance has become actively developed, is very important and this work is undoubtedly relevant and timely. The scientific novelty of the work is determined by the fact that in this work, in fact, for the first time, the topic of the Krasnoyarsk Mutual Insurance Society became the subject of study. The novelty is also determined by the fact that, in general, the history of fire insurance in Russia has not been adequately reflected in historical research and this work will to some extent give impetus to the development of this problem. The novelty of the work also lies in the fact that the work is based on the extensive use of archival sources, some of which are being introduced into scientific circulation for the first time. The work style is academic and clear. The structure of the work is designed in such a way as to achieve the purpose of the work and tasks: to analyze the work of the Krasnoyarsk Mutual Insurance Society and show its activities in the period from 1904 to 1917. The structure of the work consists of an introduction, which shows the relevance of the study and provides a fairly in-depth analysis of the historiography on the topic of the study. The main part of the work consists of the following sections: The origin of the insurance business in the Yenisei province, the Krasnoyarsk Society for Mutual Property Insurance against Fire; Changes in the mutual insurance business during the First World War. The conclusion of the work presents the conclusions. The names of the sections fully correspond to their content, the author studies in detail and comprehensively on the basis of available materials, the work of predecessors on this and related topics and archival documents the origin of the insurance business in the Yenisei province, studies and shows how the Krasnoyarsk Fire Property Insurance Society arose, identifies what changes have occurred in the company's activities and in the organization of fire insurance in the years of the First World War. The work is based on a diverse range of sources, including archival materials from the State Archive of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, which made it possible to show the activities of the mutual fire insurance society during the period under study and how the relations of this society with provincial and city authorities developed. The bibliography of the work consists of 34 sources: archival documents, works on the topic and related topics of the pre-revolutionary period and works on insurance of modern researchers. The bibliography shows that the author knows the topic deeply and comprehensively. The bibliography of the work undoubtedly deserves special attention, because it will give opponents and readers the opportunity to find answers to their questions. The appeal to the opponents is presented at the level of the collected information received by the author during the work on the topic of the article and in the bibliography. The conclusions are objective and follow from the work done. The article will be of interest to specialists, as well as to all those who are interested in the history of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, the history of the development of insurance and insurance companies in Russia.
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