The Mercantile Accident and Guarantee Insurance Company, Limited

The Mercantile Accident and Guarantee Insurance Company, Limited, 54, St. Vincent Street.—

    Age has its advantages— notably in wines, and not infrequently in a few pleasant old manners and customs that we would fain see faithfully preserved. But in these “go-ahead” days age has little to do with the determining of prosperity, and this has been well proven by the Mercantile Accident and Guarantee Insurance Company, Limited, one of the youngest, yet one of the most enterprising and progressive of Scottish insurance institutions engaged in the transaction of fidelity and accident business.

    This energetically conducted organization was founded three years ago at its present headquarters, corner of St. Vincent and Buchanan Streets, Glasgow, and at once undertook the transaction of three leading and highly important branches of insurance business—general accident, fidelity, guarantee, and employers’ liability assurance. The company was projected and promoted entirely by the personal efforts of its present general manager, Mr. C. Williamson Milne, who saw that there was room for such an institution, believed that its success was assured, fortunately secured the co-operation of a directorate composed of gentlemen of eminent status and repute, and has already achieved results which have justified the confidence with which the venture was inaugurated, and is likely to realise all the anticipations of good fortune entertained at its inception. The capital of the organisation is £200,000, and the security offered to policy-holders and the notable character of its influential directorate is unquestionable. Generally speaking the Mercantile Accident and Guarantee Insurance Company has placed itself in the front ranks of progress in all matters of improved feature and attractive points as characteristic of its business methods, and every forward movement that has come to be favourably regarded by the insuring public receives due consideration and illustration in its system of operations.

    To speak briefly concerning a few salient features of the three branches specialised:—In accident assurance a really comprehensive policy is offered by the Company, and the document granted is commendably free from vexatious conditions and needlessly arbitrary restrictions. The limits of foreign travel are very wide, every facility is afforded for keeping the policy in force beyond the confines of Europe ; the notice period is extended to fourteen days. The policy covers injuries received through unprovoked assaults, a liability from which many other companies exempt themselves by the conditions of their policies ; and fatal claims are paid immediately on satisfactory proof of death and title being furnished. An annual premium of £4 will cover : £1,000 in case of death, £1,000 in case of permanent total disablement ; £500 in case of permanent partial disablement ; £6 weekly during temporary total disablement ; and £1 10s. weekly during temporary partial disablement. This affords a good idea of the liberality of the benefit and the moderation of the charge therefor. The early bonus system of the Company’s accident department is very noteworthy. A reduction of five per cent is allowed off the second year’s premium, seven and a half per cent, off the third, and ten per cent, off the fourth and following years' premiums, notwithstanding any claims which may arise ; and in addition to this a special rebate is allowed to total abstainers. It is thus seen that the Company’s bonus allowances commence as soon as the policy has been one year in force, whereas a frequent rule with other offices requires the payment of five premiums before a bonus is allowed. Altogether the “Mercantile” of Glasgow offers in its accident department advantages not surpassed by any other British office, and the combination of benefits held out to policy holders certainly cannot wisely be ignored.

    In the guarantee department the system is similarly good. Absolute security is afforded, and the Company’s bonds are accepted by the Board of Trade, the Local Government Board, H.M. Commissioners of Inland Revenue and Customs, various municipal corporations, and numerous other important public bodies and institutions. The rates of per centage charged are reasonable and carefully graded according to the risk undertaken. Fidelity guarantees are granted to all who are possessed of a good character ; preliminary formalities are restricted within strictly necessary limits, and guarantee claims are paid within one month after satisfactory proof has been given of the cause, nature, and extent of the loss.

    In the third department of the Company’s operations policies are issued under the Employers’ Liability Act of 1880, covering all liability under that Act and at common law, including the cost of defending unjust claims ; (2) joint policies, providing in addition to the above, compensation for all accidents for which the employer is not liable. This, probably the latest distinct development of a new branch of insurance, needs no introduction or excuse for existence. It is decidedly beneficial in that it tends to preserve the interests of the employer, and reimburse him for any loss incurred through accident to those engaged in his service, and it is thoroughly well exemplified by the “Mercantile” under the sub-divisions above enumerated.

    All the operations of the Company thus far have been attended by a success that is the manifest outcome of skilful, sagacious, enterprising, and thoroughly efficient management, coupled with the observance of honourable principles in every transaction, and the past and present achievements of the institution stand as promises and assurances of augmented prosperity and still higher attainments in the future. The Company are rapidly extending their system of representation by competent agents, and have branches under the supervision of resident secretaries in all the leading towns of the United Kingdom. The London office is situate at 3, Abchurch Lane, E.C. The head offices in St. Vincent Street comprise a handsome suite admirably situated in the very centre of the city, and occupying a part of the fine Western Club Buildings, one of the handsomest edifices in its vicinity.

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