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The History of Life Insurance
The history of Life Insurance is not that difficult to understand. Today, Life insurance is simply a contract between an individual and an insurance company that dictates that the company will pay the beneficiary of the policy holder when the insured dies. But where did the idea of death insurance come from? Who were the first people to implement this idea? What did they do when the amount of money was not as high as the companies in the life insurance industry today? When did the actual life insurance industry begin? These are all quite interesting questions and the truth of the matter is that some of them cannot be answered to any great extent; however, we know a lot about the history of this amazing thing that now includes people from all over the world.
The First Few Signs in the History of Life Insurance
Historians have traced the true beginnings of life insurance as we know it, but they first interpreted the baby steps that ultimately culminated in actual death benefit payments. According to the Financial Shopper Network in Ancient China sailors would prevent pirates from stealing all their goods by carrying parts of other ships’ cargo, this way if a pirate steals a ship’s cargo, the entire load is not lost. Soon in Babylon the merchants simply gave out loans that had to be repaid when the contents of the trade were safe for delivery.
So what does this have to do with life insurance? Well both of those civilizations prevent losing everything. They take small baby steps that will help in the long run. Life insurance as we know it though; began in the city of Rome. The people of this very high civilization decided to form what they called “burial clubs”. These clubs are designed with only one purpose, if there is an unexpected death of a club member; others are willing to pay their funeral expenses and help the survivor’s family with money. The concept of life insurance as they know it ended in the year 450 AD when the Roman Empire fell and its practices were abandoned for a long time. It is also important to emphasize that many historians agree that at the same time as Rome, the Indian Empire and its citizens also formed “burial clubs” to pay for funerals and help people with expenses. A clue to this according to the Financial Shopper Network is that “yogakshema, the name of the Life Insurance Corporation of India’s Corporate Headquarters” refers to the Vedas.
Britain and It’s Foot in Life Insurance History
However, modern life insurance did not begin until the British decided to try and make it happen. The practice of life insurance is banded throughout the continent of Europe except for England and it was the British who started the most famous life insurance companies known in European countries today. In the middle of the 17th century in the streets of London, England a group of people met at Lloyd’s Coffee house and decided to come up with life insurance ideas. The coffee house is a popular place for businessmen, ship owners and businessmen and therefore it is the perfect place to discuss life insurance knowing that most people have money.
History of Life Insurance in the United States
When the British knew the basics of life insurance and the things that help people like the life insurance industry, they decided to try it in the United States of America. After discussing how they decided to come up with the first life insurance company, they decided to base it on the famous British model of the time. The first life insurance company in America was established in the Southern Colony of Charleston, South Carolina in 1735.
About 20 years later the whole colony saw that it was a good idea, so the Presbyterian Synod of Philadelphia decided to sponsor the first life insurance corporation in the United States, which wrote its first policy in the year 1761. The the bad thing about life insurance at that time was that many religious groups opposed it because it was like anticipating one’s own death and with the religious fervor of the North American Colonies at that time; it proved to be a challenge to start all over.
The actual life insurance industry as we know it began in the year 1840 because religious groups calmed down and stopped interfering in government affairs. Another big reason that life insurance companies happened proved that the New York and Chicago Fire’s killed a bunch of people in each of the two cities. After this more and more life insurance companies started and in 1900 the business really grew. People want to be protected in case of accidental death.
The 1900’s proved to be a time of growth in the life insurance industry. Two wars are going on and many people have decided to secure themselves to build a secure financial future for their families. It is also said that after the attack in the country more people are buying life insurance policies. No one could resist that because after Pearl Harbor a bunch of people panicked and decided to open policies in fear for their lives. The same was true after the turn of the century when the attacks on the World Trade Center took place. People decide that no protection is not worth it and that a small premium every month is better than leaving their families with the economic burden.
Life Insurance Today
As you can see life insurance has moved on a lot from its early beginnings in Rome and India. Large corporations with great global interaction and power emerged. Companies that have a lot to say in the world of economics and politics already exist. As you can see the market is now booming and there are many life insurance companies coming into existence. Who knows what the future holds, but for now the customer should be happy with their options and the thousands of companies they can choose from!
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