In the era before state regulation of insurance rates, the American fire insurance industry succeeded in regulating itself. The final quarter of the nineteenth century witnessed a sustained movement towards organisation in the fire insurance industry. Through the establishment of local rate-setting boards fire insurers were able to manage the risks that had plagued their industry since its inception. The local insurance cartels of the late nineteenth century differed from their mid-century predecessors in their longevity. As the organisations became stronger, they were able to stabilise prices throughout the industry and enhance diversification. As a result, economic downturns no longer routinely resulted in destructive competition, and major fires no longer led to waves of bankruptcies.