Fireman's Fund Insurance Company is a Novato, California-based insurance company owned by Allianz SE of Germany. It was founded June 18 1863 and issued its first policy to Walter Hawxhurst covering one half interest in 1,000 kegs of Boston syrup for a premium of $12. Its name is derived from an early business arrangement to pay 10% of profits to widows and orphans of firefighters. This practice was ended two years later when San Francisco established a paid fire department, although the company still donates to firefighting causes through its Heritage Program.
It was acquired by American Express in 1978, but became independent again in 1985, and was purchased by Allianz in 1991. In 2006, the company had 4,100 employees and assets of more than $12.2 billion.
It was one of the first car insurance providers, and issued the world's first airplane insurance policy. Today it insures diverse operations such as agribusiness and feature film production. It has insured the productions of films such as Top Gun, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Lord of the Rings.
Fireman's Fund has had a long history providing coverage and paying claims after some of the most catastrophic events in American History, including the Great Chicago Fire, the San Francisco earthquake and Hurricane Katrina.
In 2006, Fireman's Fund offered the first green insurance for commercial buildings. These policies cover LEED-certified buildings or allow a conventional building to be built green following a loss. The company has since developed other green insurance products for sustainable manufacturing, commercial automobile fleets and homes.