Our History

Over the years many local centres and committees have merged to become the Insurance Institute of Exeter. Geographically the Institute now covers one of the largest institute areas.


1920 - The IIE is formed and holds it's first meeting at The Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter on the 19th February 1920. Mr. Albert Alfred Amos of County Fire Office is elected President and the first council was formed.

1920 - The Institute holds its first CPD Event. George Lithgow of the Sun Fire Office, Plymouth delivers a lecture on Paper Mills and the associated risks.

1921 - The first annual dinner is held on Friday 21st October at the Royal Clarence Hotel. The guest of honour was Principal Hector Hetherington of the Exeter University College. The president spoke of his great support of the proposed University in Exeter.

1922 - The CII revise their membership rules to allow Insurance Brokers to become members.

1924 - Mr R. C. Spencer who was employed by The Vulcan Boiler & General Insurance Company was elected as president. At that time, the IIE was the only institute to have an engineer insurance official.

1925 - Membership had increased to 34, including seven being lifetime members.

1932 - On 14th June The first IIE golf match was arranged representing the IIE played against one composed of local Directors of Insurance Companies. The game was reported to be 'a keen struggle' with the Directors won 7 to 6.

1934 - Mr Clifford. C. Mortimore (Manager of County Fire Office) is elected president after moving from Watford in 1931. Mr Mortimore sadly passed away in 1940 aged 49, causing much sadness within the local industry.

1935 - IIE Membership grows to 200 members, a centre had been commenced at Barnstaple and the institute library had been established and under the control of the honourable librarian D. J Tapper.

1935 - IIE organises the 'Silver Cup' Cross Country Run of 3 miles around Pynes Ridge, near Heavitree, Exeter. The winner was G. G. G. Gendfe (Commercial Union), who finished quite fresh in 21min. 9Sec.

1936 - The Exeter Institute Sports and Social committee was well underway with a host of activities including cross country runs, cricket, golf and lawn tennis. This included frequent tournaments against The Plymouth Insurance Institute.

1938 - Mr Lionel Coles was instrumental in establishing the Torquay centre.

1938 - Mr Philip Foale Rowsell, C.B.E, J.P, FCII, Chairman of the Devon Insurance Committee was elected president. Mr Rowsell was a pharmacist, insurance expert and prominent figure in civic life in Exeter and Devon.

1939 - The customary annual dinner was cancelled due to the war. Instead members met for supper at the Chevalier Inn, Exeter. The Education Committees syllabus was cancelled. A toast was made to honour members serving with the forces.

1948 - An inter city cricket match was played between the Exeter & Plymouth Institute for the Burrow Cup at Ford Park, Plymouth. The home bowlers 'had the last word' and match ended 84 to 75.

1949 - The Guildhall, Exeter was declared uninsurable by the Institute following an enquiry from the town clerk Mr C J Newman. The reasoning behind this was that “the building could not be replaced”.

1960 - K. G Clark awards the institute with the gavel that is used in all formal meetings to the present day.

1980's - The IIE absorbs the Institute of Barnstaple and North Devon

1991 - Mr Peter Stewart Wilson completed 25 years as Honorary Secretary of the IIE and was commended at the annual dinner by The Director General of the CII, Dr D E Bland.

1995 - Membership of the Institute had increased to 550.

1997 - The 75th Annual Dinner was held at Devonshire House, University of Exeter on Friday 14th March 1997. President: Richard Owen. Speaker: Alan Cleary, former president of the CII and CILA. Special Guests: Allen Prior from the CII and Cees Schrauwers, General Manager of Commercial Union.

2000 - The Insurance Institute of Taunton merges with the IIE.

2001 - Membership of the Institute had increased to 723.

2006 - The David Grimley – Young Professional of Year Award is created.

2013 - The Exeter Institute achieves “Accredited CPD” status from the CII.

2017 - The IIE Young Professionals Group was formed and held it's first meeting on 24th February. President, Mark Fowles opened the meeting with an address to the 20 attendees.

2018 - The Insurance Institute of Exeter hosted it's first Awards Night to recognise the achievements of Young Professionals in the area.

2020 - The Insurance Institute of Exeter hosted it's first semi virtual AGM, with some members joining via zoom. For the rest of 2020, due to the Coronavirus the meetings have been held virtually.

2021 - The Annual Dinner was postponed due to Coronavirus.

2021 - The AGM was held virtually via Zoom.

2021 - Graham Brown was awarded the position of Honorary Life Vice President at our AGM.