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Excuse me, Mr. President?

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

One of the first policyholders with Mutual Assurance was Thomas Jefferson. Sworn in as President in 1801, Mr. Jefferson moved to Washington, DC to run our new country. While in office, however, he let his insurance policy on Monticello lapse, resulting in the following correspondence from William Frederick Ast, who introduced the idea Mutual Assurance to the Virginia Assembly in 1794, and was the company's original principal agent.

Mr. Thomas Jefferson RICHMOND 5th, May 1807 Albemarle


On recurring to the records of the Mutual Assurance Society, I find that you have not paid your

two-thirds of a quota, 55 dollars 20 cents, due on the tenth of December last, to be paid to Mr.

William Price, cashier general at this place.

You will please to observe that you stand uninsured until you have paid the same; that you have to

pay interest to the day of payment, and in failure of which, under the law, a motion must be made

against you.

When the great fire happened at Norfolk, in 1804, the towns and country were joined - the

payment of the losses sustained took all the funds, then on hand: which is the reason why a call for

a quota became necessary -- Since the separation of the town and country insurance, those great

slams can hardly ever happen to the country insurance; however it has since the division, sustained

a good many losses, and as the delinquents do not pay up, as fast as they ought to do, the funds

actually on hand are low.

It is a great pity that the system of the Mutual Insurance is, for want of ........examined into, not

better understood; if it was generally understood (sic), and the people would all insure, there is no

question but one premium would (sic) insure the houses situated in the country forever: therefore

everyone ought (sic) to lend an assisting hand to make it general.

If you have sold the building, please to send this to the actual owner.


W.F. Ast


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