HISTORY OF THE KNIGHTS OF THE MACCABEES
Dubsar House has returned the Order of the Knights of the Maccabees to its place in the forefront of Fraternal Orders.
The Order has been modernized and redesigned for the 21st century with a new focus on the fraternal character of the Order without loosing touch with the Order's rich history.
The Knights of the Maccabees began as a fraternal benefit association of a type extremely popular in the United States in the late 1800s. A related but separate organization, Maccabees of the World was also established, the two merging under the title The Knights of the Maccabees of the World (KOTMOTW) later shortened to the Maccabees in 1914.
SOCIAL SAFETY NET
Fraternal Benefit groups were quite prevalent in the late 19th century. Many insurance companies were not interested in sales to ordinary people, and there was little in the way of safety nets. Groups like the Maccabees provided a margin of protection against catastrophic events along with opportunities for pleasant social meetings and other gatherings.
Originally it operated on an assessment basis: whenever a member died, each living member was assessed 10 cents to go into a pot to provide the widow $1000. After reorganization in 1881, it became much more sophisticated, collecting monthly assessments based on payouts. By the 1890s it provided not only death benefits but also sick benefits, disability benefits, and funeral benefits.
Most active in Michigan, the group's fraternal aspects took a backseat to providing low-cost insurance to members.
In the society's early years, it also provided other final-expense related benefits such as society cemeteries.
• 2008 marked the return of the Knights of the Maccabees to its place in the forefront of Fraternal Orders. The Order has been modernized and redesigned for the 21st century with a new focus on the fraternal character of the Order.
• In the 1990s the organization was demutualized, sold to the Royal Insurance Group, and operated under the name Royal Maccabees Life Insurance Company. It no longer exists as an insurance company.
• In 1962, the group changed its name to the Maccabees Mutual Life Insurance Company.
• In 1941 the group gained control of the Michigan Union Life Association, furthering its transformation from a benefit society into a modern, legal-reserve insurance company.
• In 1926, they established their headquarters at the Maccabees Building in downtown Detroit. In 1960, the Maccabees relocated to Southfield, Michigan. In 1986, they built new 251,000-square-foot building in Southfield.