Leadership

INSURANCE RECKLESSNESS.

Issue 5 and Volume 3.

INSURANCE RECKLESSNESS. Since the recent great fires in this city, the insurance companies have advanced their rates of insurance in the dry-goods district about 100 per cent. This will give the companies a slightly increased annual revenue, but it does not strike at the root of the evil of cheap architecture with which New York and other cities are endangered. If it were impossible for owners and occupants of cheaply constructed and dangerous buildings to obtain any insurance whatever upon the capital invested in them, there would speedily be an end to their erection. But the recklessness that characterizes the insurance business is so great that companies will insure anything that they can get a premium for—even, as one of their officers has said, “ a powder-house in tophet.” While this is true, capitalists have no incentive to build fire-proof buildings. Cheap and showy structures bring in quite as much…

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