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Our story

In 1887, the Ecclesiastical Buildings Fire Office was founded to protect Anglican churches and church buildings against the risk of fire.

Since then, the name Ecclesiastical has stayed with us as we’ve grown and gone on to become one of the largest independent British-owned insurers. Of course, today we offer much more than just award-winning insurance – we now provide financial services, risk management, investments and more.

Our original principles are still important to us as an independent,  international insurance and financial services provider today.

Our roots

Our founders had the idea of insuring churches and church buildings and ploughing any profits they made back into charitable work.  Today, we continue to have a charitable purpose of which we are extremely proud.  

Branching out

Until 1895, we only offered insurance for churches – and we only insured against fire.  We still insure churches – more than 22,000 of many Christian denominations including the Church of England, Church in Wales, Scottish Episcopal Church and United Reform Church – and we also provide insurance to mosques, synagogues and Sikh and Hindu temples. However, we’ve gone on to insure much more, so that around three-quarters of our insurance business is outside the faith sector.  We're the market leading insurer of Grade I listed buildings, insure more than 40,000 charities, over 40% of independent schools and, with other insurers, 10 of the UK's World Heritage sites. 

Some of the types of insurance we’ve added give clues to changes in society and the way we live.

Changing times

Caring has been in our DNA since we were founded.  How we do our work will change with the times and as technology evolves.  But our honesty and integrity remains and earns us far greater trust than others in this field, at a time when it's never been more important.

  • 1887

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    1887 – Ecclesiastical Buildings Fire Office was founded, largely to protect churches from the consequences of fire.
  • 1919

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    1919 – We began to offer life insurance as people are starting to realise the need to protect the things they hold dear.
  • 1957

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    1957 – With more and more people becoming car owners we started to offer motor insurance.
  • 1959

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    1959 – We offered our first travel insurance product. This is right at the start of the boom in package holidays and people travelling further afield for their holidays.
  • 1978

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    1978 – We launched the first of our specialist policies for schools and care homes, now known as education insurance  and care insurance. This is at a time when schools were starting to have more responsibility for their own budgets and more equipment. The care home industry is growing too, as people live longer.
  • 1980's

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    In the 1980s the average UK male was expected to live into his early 70s. Today, men's average life expectancy is nearly 80, accelerating the need for more and better financial planning.

  • 1985

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    1985 – We launched our first property owners’ insurance product as more people are investing in other properties, as well as their own homes.
  • 1988

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    1988 – We were one of the first companies to launch a socially responsible investment fund, as a centenary celebration product.
  • 2000

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    2000 – With our long relationship with the church, it seemed natural for us to offer wedding insurance. Couples are spending more time and money on making their big day special.
  • 2006

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    2006 – We launched our award-winning Heritage Insurance  – the first dedicated insurance product for commercial heritage properties.

  • 2013

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    2013 - We were awarded Chartered Insurer status for our entire UK operations by the Chartered Insurance Institute.

  • 2011-2016

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    2014 - 2016 - We set ourselves an ambitious target to give £50m to charity over three years and reached this goal in early 2016, donating nearly £53m to charity in just over two years.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg No 1718196. Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg No 24869. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg No 243111. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg No 2046087. Ecclesiastical Underwriting Management Ltd (EUML) Reg No 2368571. E.I.O. Trustees Ltd Reg No 941199. EdenTree Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg No 2519319. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. EIO and ELL are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 113848 (EIO) and 110318 (ELL). EFAS and EIM are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 126123 (EFAS) and 527473 (EIM). EUML is an appointed representative of EIO who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 402228.