Fire Losses and Overinsurance
An interesting reason for the ever-increasing fire losses is given by State Fire Marshal John G. Gamber if Illinois in a letter to FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, published in this week’s issue. Mr. Gamber attributes a great part of these losses to overinsurance and suggests that the insurance companies and their agents should reform the methods of underwriting so as to put a stop to the practice. No one is better qualified to speak authoritatively on this subject than is the state fire marshal. His work is intimately connected with running to earth just the class of criminals which take advantage of the laxity of the insurance companies and the greediness of their agents in allowing these individuals to overinsure their property to many times its value.
But the one most vitally interested in the matter is the fire chief. Upon him and his men falls the burden of combatting the flames which the torch of the incendiary sets and not only preventing them from spreading to other property but also, if possible, controlling them quickly enough so as not to destroy the evidence of the crime.
It is to be hoped that the presentation of the subject so plainly by Mr. Gamber will result in the insurance companies taking up this matter vigorously and by their concerted action putting a stop to the evil of overinsurance.