Cheapening Insurance Rates.
The editorial in the last number of the JOURNAL, entitled “Tricks on Insurance Companies,” is attracting much attention in insurance circles, and will, doubtless, lead to a more careful inspection of the so-called fire apparatus to be found in private buildings. Mentioning the subject to an officer high in authority in the Fire Department, he assured us that there was but one building in this city provided with private fire appa. ratus that he would place the slightest reli ance upon in case of fire~ This establish ment is a large manufactory, employing many men, who are organized into a regulat fire brigade, with an old and experienced Fireman at their head, who drills them regu. larly in the use of the very excellent appara tus provided for them. There have beer several incipient fires in this building, bui the trained employes have succeeded in ex tinguishing them without calling upon the Department. But this is a single case out of thousands. As a rule, fire apparatus is put into private buildings simply to secure a redu ced rate of insurance, and when this is done no further heed is paid to the apparatus. If insurance surveyors were judges of effective fire appliances they would very readily dis cover the difference in the quality of hose that is made for actual fire service and that which is provided for the express purpose of hoodwinking them. One of the largest street-car stables in the city is conspicu ously equipped with an abundance of hose, but it is of the very cheapest quality made, with couplings put on with wires, and will no more hold water than will a sieve; yet, by displaying it, they succeeded in getting such reduction of insurance rates as amply repaid them for the very small expense they had been put to in its purchase. We repeat what we have so frequently said, that private fire apparatus is a delusion and a snare, pro vided for the special benefit of the insurance companies, and not intended for actual ser vice. The only trustworthy guide for in surance companies in establishing their rates is the efficiency of the public Fire Service U~Ofl which they must rely for the protection of the nronertv sought to be insured.