Sterling’s History

On the 27th day of August 1895, Alonzo Ferguson, a retired Civil War colonel, and a group of concerned citizens gathered at the Hotel Augustan on Main Street in Cobleskill, New York to discuss a solution for rural property owners in the event of a disaster.

As a result of this meeting on October 17, 1895 the Schoharie and Otsego Mutual Fire Insurance Company was established. The company began doing business in January 1896.

In 1910, the corporate name was changed to Sterling Fire Insurance Company in recognition of the geographic expansion of operations. The present title, Sterling Insurance Company was adopted in 1959, to reflect the company’s expansion into other lines of business, particularly casualty. In 1989, the company began writing personal automobile policies.

The company offices have always been located in Cobleskill and were originally located in the Ryder, LeFevre and Company building. Today the company operates from its facility on Barnerville Road. The facility was constructed in 1978 and encompasses 30,000 square feet on nine acres within the Village of Cobleskill.

A wholly-owned subsidiary, Sterling Marketing Services, Inc., was established in 1993. Sterling Marketing Services was created to provide alternative insurance protection solutions to our independent agents which is offered through companies like Chubb Insurance Company.

On January 1, 2019, Sterling Insurance Cooperative, Inc. became fully automated and started accepting new business. Sterling Insurance Cooperative, Inc. is part of Sterling Insurance Group and writes risks that are generally not written in a standard market.

Today Sterling Insurance Company is a highly respected, technologically advanced insurer providing protection to policyholders throughout New York State. The company is financially strong, rated A (Excellent) by AM Best Company and ranked as one of the top carriers to do business with in New York State by independent agents.