Bringing the story of fire insurance to life



Traditional values, digitally driven

Insurance is one of the most important industries in the UK and touches our lives every day, but yet little is known about its origins or history.
The Insurance Museum is working to change that, by creating an engaging and valuable resource, in the form of a digital exhibition to help share the fascinating story of insurance.
Fire! Risk and Revelations launches the Insurance Museum into the public arena, bringing the story of insurance to a new audience. While of interest to the general public, the museum is engaging schools to develop their understanding within existing curricula, while attracting new talent into the profession, by showing what an interesting and diverse sector insurance can be.

OB were tasked to design and build its first ever digital exhibition – focussed on the history of Fire Insurance.

Creating an online exhibition proved to be a multi-faceted task due to the many elements to consider. From extensive research, sourcing content, photography, interviewing specialists and collectors, game development, producing and editing videos, and ultimately the design and build of the online exhibition itself.

Due to a limited budget, we had to find ways of being creative and devise methods of telling the story that would engage its various audiences. We had to pull together a strong and fascinating exhibition, with high production values, without a high cost.


Once we’d established the master story for the overall exhibition, we shaped the content over a series of five bite-sized galleries – ‘Rising from the ashes’, ‘Fuelled by coffee’, ‘Powered by the Industrial Revolution’ and ‘250 years of insurance fire brigades, part I and II’.

Each gallery shares the history of fire insurance from its birth back in 1667 following the Great Fire of London, right through to 1929 and the introduction of insurance firefighting brigades – all events influencing the foundations of fire insurance that we are familiar with today.

The galleries feature video interviews with sector experts and historians, with interesting facts and fascinating objects from archives, private collections and museums from across the UK. We even created a branded TV channel ‘IMTV’ interviewing historical figures and developed an interactive game showing the tools and methods in which they used to extinguish fires back in the 17th Century.


By creating an accessible online exhibition, and delivering digital content in a fun and surprising way, OB have enabled the Insurance Museum to reach a wide audience to help share the fascinating story of insurance – for educational purposes, historical interest and to help engage younger audiences.

With additional support and funding from the industry, the plan is to produce further online exhibitions to share interesting stories from across the sector, including marine, art, motor, aerospace, climate change, life and pensions, cyber, AI and even the specialty insurance of celebrities and other unique risks; backed up with educational and career resources for schools.

“I am both delighted and excited that the Insurance Museum has been able to adapt and continue progress through the pandemic, and that the patience and hard work of the Trustees, Jonathan Squirrell and the team at OB Brand Consultancy, and Howard Benge, have produced something truly tangible to show for their efforts. We are all well aware of the difficulty employers are experiencing in their efforts to attract talent to our profession. It’s been a constant theme throughout my career. I sincerely hope that Fire! Risk and Revelations will be the start of our efforts to do something about that.”

Reg Brown – Chairman, Insurance Museum

  • Research and planning

  • Gallery curation and storytelling

  • Image sourcing

  • Art direction

  • Interviewing

  • Photography

  • Video editing

  • Game design and development

  • Website design and build

“This is the first time the story of fire insurance has been curated in this digital format. The content didn’t exist as a single source anywhere, so it is quite an achievement to have carved out such a strong story arc for the online galleries.

Thanks to OB’s team, partners, collectors, historians, writers, and archivists, with whom we worked to create different and engaging media formats to support the content narrative.

This delivery very much reflects the value of the Insurance Museum’s role in collating stories and knowledge for everyone’s benefit for posterity.”

Jonathan Squirrell – Director, OB Brand Consulting