Interesting Facts From Insurance History

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There are many interesting facts from insurance history that hardly anyone knows. For example, in 3000 B.C., possibly the first insurance example was documented.

On that date in China, merchants who shipped produce and goods by boat began spreading their cargoes out among several ships rather than all on one ship. This kept any one of them from experiencing severe losses if the ship went down.

The main object of insurance is to spread the risk of something bad happening among many people. This makes no one liable for a great loss, and it makes insurance affordable for most people.

This principle has been around for as long as people have been around. Ancient people went hunting large animals in groups to reduce the chances of any one of them being severely injured less. Same principle now as in insurance history.

Another fact from insurance history is the first written insurance policy. It was found on a Babylonian obelisk dating from the time of King Hammurabi. This basic insurance policy said a debtor didn’t have to repay whatever he owed if a catastrophe occurred which made it impossible for his to do so.

Yet another fact from insurance history has to do with trade guilds in the dark ages. These guilds charged dues from the masters of the trade that belonged to them. This built up large amounts of money that then could be used to help out one of the masters if some catastrophe hit. So, if a master’s business burned, this money could be used by the guild to rebuild it. Or, if a master was robbed of a great deal of his product, the guild would pay the obligations until his business was up and running well again.

This money could also be used to support a master’s widow and children if he was killed or died.

Another fact from insurance history is from the late 1600s. Shipping was beginning between England and the colonies. Lloyd’s of London, one of the largest insurance providers in the world, began in a coffee house during this time. Shippers would bring a copy of their ship’s cargo for underwriters who would be interested in taking on part of the risk of a share of the cargo. This began the use of underwriters in the insurance industry.

In the U.S., a fact from insurance history is that Benjamin Franklin founded the first insurance company here in 1752. Known as the Philadelphia Contributorship for the Insurance of Houses for Loss by Fire, it required participating buyers to have houses that conformed to a strict building standard.

These interesting facts from insurance history have been brought to you by Corriveau Insurance Agency. We’re an independent insurance agency in Nashua, NH. We’re a family owned business since 1912. Call us for a review of your insurance needs. Call 603-883-5528 today!