The first mutual company at the roots of Groupe Promutuel origin was based on values of cooperation and solidarity. It was founded in the Montréal region in 1852 by people who decided to join together for mutual protection in the event that one of them became the victim of a fire.
In the middle of the 19th century, farmers were not well-protected by traditional insurers who refused to grant them protection for their property because they deemed the risks too great.
To deal with this problem, a number of people in the same area decided to get together and jointly protect their heritage, their equipment and their livestock by adopting ways to ensure their security in the event of a loss.
That’s how the first mutual company at the origin of Groupe Promutuel was born in Huntingdon, in 1852. A group of cultivators and notable villagers founded the Fire Mutual Insurance Company of Beauharnois.
This type of mutual association grew rapidly across Québec because it met a real need in the agricultural community. Mutual insurance companies grew rapidly between 1900 and 1956. At first, they granted protection against damages caused by fire and lightning, and then added protection against the wind.
Mutual insurance companies were successful because insureds knew one another, their claims expenses were low, and they shared a bond of mutual trust. This had a positive impact on fire prevention, since everyone had an interest in the common good.
To standardize their operations, defend their interests with the government and expand their influence, a number of mutuals decide to form a federation. This project to create a federation materialized on April 18, 1956.
At the dawn of 1975, a new insurance act would bring fresh challenges for fire, lightning and wind mutual insurance companies, which saw a significant extension of their mandate. The Act would allow them to offer automobile, home and business insurance or, in short, to underwrite all types of damage insurance.
In the last twenty years, Promutuel Insurance has pursued its growth by focusing on its mutual insurance approach, its insurance expertise and its presence in all regions of Québec.
The principles of mutualism live on
Collectively, insured members are the owners of their mutual insurance association. Thanks to this democratic structure, all insured members can participate in decision-making by exercising their right to vote at the annual general meeting, regardless of the size of their portfolio.
Our mutual associations are very involved in their community, both from a geographic standpoint—through their head office—and in terms of social commitment. Year after year, they sponsor and support causes or organizations that contribute to the economic and social well-being of the territories that they serve.
From an economic standpoint, the mutual associations play an important role in their region: job creation, investments, and business partnerships with companies and suppliers.