Chautauqua Patrons Insurance Company traces its roots to 1877. At that time, the company was known as the “Patrons Fire Relief Association”. It was formed when farm families, belonging to the fraternal organization called “The Order of Patrons Husbandry”, banded together for the purpose of providing insurance against loss by fire of farm related property. At a special meeting of the Pomona Grange in Sinclairville, NY on August 24, 1877, it was agreed that the Order of Patrons of Husbandry believed that the present rates of insurance from loss of fire or lightning were higher than necessary. They therefore pledged to share mutually each others losses. W.H. Scott, Worthy Master of the Chautauqua County Pomona Grange, appointed one member from each Grange as a Director to complete the original organization of a Patrons Fire Insurance Company in Chautauqua County. Mr. Allen Alonzo Stevens was elected to be the first President of the organization. On January 18, 1878, the first Annual Meeting of the Chautauqua County Patrons Fire Relief Association was held at the Grange Hall in Jamestown.
The company was originally founded as a non-profit organization. Its sole purpose was to provide cash indemnity to the person insured for loss to his property by fire or lightning. The method of providing such cash was the collection of funds from all who are insured to be paid by the few who suffer the loss. This is the basic principle of mutual fire insurance first established by Benjamin Franklin back in the 18th Century. The organization operated for 67 years on the principle of waiting to see how much the losses would be and then levying an assessment to pay them. It was not until 1944 that the By-Laws of the Association were amended in order to levy an advance assessment to pay estimated losses. The first financial report of the company in 1879 showed 92 policies in force with total receipts of $327.37.
At the January 1948 meeting, the association voted to change the insurance policies to add perils of extended coverage- excluding wind. Small commercial risks were also written with individual rates for each separate risk. After many years of discussion on the subject of windstorm insurance, the Executive Committee entered into an agreement to offer the coverage at the Annual Meeting in 1954.
In November of 1974, the Chautauqua Patrons moved their office from the third floor of the Bankers Trust Building into larger quarters on the second floor. Old equipment and furnishings that had been used for many years were replaced by new, with a layout specifically arranged for them by a local designer.
On January 15, 1975, a motion was made to change the name of the Association to Chautauqua Patrons Insurance Association. During the next 20 years, the company experienced substantial growth and the time had come to move to yet another larger facility. In 1995, the company moved to its present location at 529 W. Third St. in Jamestown, NY.
In 2002 the name of the company was changed to Chautauqua Patrons Insurance Company. With continued growth, the building was renovated and a large addition was added in 2007.
The company is extremely proud of its history. The directors, officers and staff look forward to continuing the proud tradition of providing excellent customer service and financial security to our policyholders.