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7 interesting facts from the history of insurance

7 interesting facts from the history of insurance

1. Insurance was first mentioned in the Old Testament - it was the parable of Joseph and Pharaoh’s prophetic dream. The Egyptian ruler saw a dream about a long period of famine coming to his country. Joseph who considered this dream to be prophetic came up with a kind of food insurance fund to cope with consequences of the disaster. The fund reserves were to be replenished during periods of prosperity, and the "insurance payments" were to be received in the form of food during the periods of drought and crop failure.

2. Mutual insurance emerged and developed at the early stages of human society development being based on the idea of ​​collective mutual assistance. Examples of such insurance can be found in Babylonia (in the laws by King Hammurabi - about 1760 BC), in Ancient Greece and Roman Empire. For example, in ancient Rome, according to the statute of the Lanuvius collegium, its members paid monthly fees, and in case of death a certain amount was provided by the collegium fund for a proper funeral. Only the heir mentioned in the will was entitled to apply for it. If the will was absent, the funeral was organized by the collegium itself. This amount was immune to creditor claims, it could not be used to pay the debts of the deceased. Also, there were grounds for the loss of the right to receive the "insurance" amount – these were suicide and delay in monthly contributions.

3. In the Middle Ages, the first ever "Insurance Chamber" was founded in the Belgian city of Bruges. The organization was established in 1310 to raise funds for protecting financial interests of artisans and merchants in the event of looting or robbery.

 4. In 1369, the Doge of Venice issued a decree fixing the customs of international maritime trade. Since then, a merchant sailing away took a loan at a rate much higher than usual, and if the ship sank he was free from returning the amount borrowed. By the way, Italian words "assurazioni", "risigo", "praemia" "polizza" later became international insurance terms.

 5. During the period of great discoveries and rapid development of the world trade, merchants and usurers used insurance tools more actively, and the number of insurance services increased significantly. For example, the end of the 16th century is considered to be a starting point for the development of the nowadays most popular type of insurance - life insurance. The subject of the contract was the life of William Gibbons. Interestingly, William Gibbons died just eleven months after the sale of the policy, but the group of merchants insuring his life refused to pay the compensation. The case came to a court, which obliged the insurers to pay the compensation in full (over 383 pounds).

 6. England is considered to be the homeland of life insurance. In 1699, a professional organization appeared here for the first time, which dealt with the life insurance of widows and orphans, and later Eckvatedl insurance company was established for the personal insurance of citizens.

 7. The first car insurance policy was sold in the US by the Travelers Insurance Company. In 1898, the cars were rare, so the idea of ​​car insurance was extremely exotic at that time. Mr. Martin (insurant) insured his car for $ 500 having paid 12 dollars 25 cents, which is quite cheap according to today’s standards (only 2.45% of the car’s price). Especially if we take into consideration that the average size of the insurance premium when calculating today is 8-12% of the car cost, and the insurance only from the risk of stealing usually exceeds 2%.

By the way, the Travelers Insurance Company still exists. Thus, the history of the American insurer is more than 150 years.

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