The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
The majority of the insurance companies doing business in New Zealand are represented by agencies in Napier, but some of the larger companies have established in the town branch offices with resident managers. Of the offices so established, from an architectural and ornate point of view, those of the Australian Mutual Provident Society, the New Zealand Insurance Company, and the South British Insurance Company stand out as the most conspicuous. The insurance business transacted in Napier, and throughout the province by means of the sub-agencies, is very large, and compares favourably with other centres.
In the fire insurance world the year of 1906 will ever be remembered as a time of great disaster and anxiety. The awful catastrophe at San Francisco crippled a number of American and Continental insurance companies, but, though its effect was felt in this colony, it injured neither the stability nor the prestige of the New Zealand institutions that held heavy risks in that unfortunate city. In our own country the losses by fire reported in the “Australasian Insurance and Banking Record” for the year 1906 amounted to £270,190, and the journal remarked that “New Zealand has been a field fruitful of losses, and has enjoyed pre-eminence as regards magnitude of individual losses.” But, if the fire insurance business for the year has been bad, that of life insurance has been remarkably good. Although he exact figures of the Australian Mutual Provident Society are not yet available, the new business for 1906 constitutes a record. For the year 1905 it amounted to £4,042,505. The new business written in the same year by the Mutual Life Association of Australasia, Limited, was £742,000, being about £100,000 greater than the new business of 1905. Other companies have reported phenomenal successes, and, if the wave of prosperity that has been prevalent for the past few years continues, there is every reason to hope that further records will be established in the future.