Zachariah Allen

Zachariah Allen

Mr. Zachariah Allen was the founder of a system of insurance based on loss prevention as the primary objective of risk management. His efforts as a businessman to secure rate credit for protective measures taken to reduce the probability of fire loss were unsuccessful. So, he joined other like-minded mill owners in Rhode Island to establish in 1835 the Manufacturers Mutual Fire Insurance Company.

Each plant insured by his firm was inspected annually and all devices then available for protection against fire loss were installed. From his work evolved today’s professional property-conservation programs, the concept of partnership between insurers and insured in loss prevention and the Factory Mutual System.

He contributed to the development of programs and institutions to enhance the economic, cultural and moral life of his community. He was the first in America to practice scientific forestry and he was a well-known investor and author of several books on history and science.

His philosophy of life can be best expressed in his own words: “As social beings we do not live for ourselves only, but mainly for posterity. We constitute the existing links of a chain that connects the past with the future.”