INSURANCE: Bad News from Seattle

When the Narrows bridge at Tacoma.

Wash, crashed last month (TIME. Nov. 18), one insurance firm that took only a bystander's interest was careful, conservative Merchants Fire Assurance Corp. of New York, whose files held no direct policies on the $6,400,000 wreck. Officers were still congratulating themselves when — two days after the bridge collapsed — startling news arrived at the company's branch office in San Francisco.

The news started as a rumor: another insurance man called the office, said: "I hear you people are on the bridge for $800.000." Soon an envelope arrived, turned the...

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