Insurance At Its Roots

January 24, 2017 · Posted in General Articles on Car Insurance 

When you look around at our world today, you would tend to think that insurance is a fairly new way to make money that was designed by capitalist to squeeze every penny out of you. In fact, insurance has been around for a very long time. In its beginning, it was slightly different from what we know now, however, not that much different. The main difference is the classification we put insurance in. It is more specialized offering insurance for health, property, vehicles and life.

Insurance has been around since society began. The earliest form of insurance was the old protection rackets that organized crime families still use even today. Criminals or rulers of a country would ?guarantee? that a business or home would not be damaged or destroyed by criminal activities for a weekly cut of said earnings of the business. This form of blackmail and extortion quickly led to merchants and shopkeepers living in their businesses. So that when the criminals came they would be greeted by sword and spear. These actions, taken by these early businessmen, led to the old saying, ?The greatest protection comes by the sword.?

About 2-3 millennia ago, the first contract was formed that displayed what we know now as property insurance. If any carrier or transporter was attempting to carry goods from one point to another, they would guarantee the property, or cargo. They guaranteed it from the shipper and receivers side. This made transporters more confident in their deliveries and they took more chances which increased the trading and transporting of goods. They often etched these contracts in stone or papyrus after they decided verbal agreements did not hold up well in most cases.

As human society became more modern, many traders would hire retired soldiers, i.e. mercenaries, to help shepherd their goods from place to place. These men could in some ways be called the first security guards of human society. But it was hazardous and difficult work, but for the soldiers of fortune of that time it was some of the best work one could get.

Now in the modern age, insurance is a necessity for a normal life in every nation on Earth. Insurance now covers Life, property, wellbeing, and even accountability from lawsuits. The insurance business is now a multi-billion dollar industry. The first known insurance business was started after the Great London Fire in 1666. The fire destroyed-,200 houses. After this tragedy, Nicholas Barbon opened an office to insure buildings. In 1680, he established England’s first fire insurance company, “The Fire Office,” to insure brick and frame homes.

The first insurance company in the United States was founded in Charleston, South Carolina in 1732. The company insured against fire damage and Benjamin Franklin assisted in popularizing the concept of insurance in the country at the time. In 1752, Benjamin Franklin founded the Philadelphia Contributorship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire. Franklin’s company was the first to make contributions toward fire deterrence. His company also tried to warn against certain fire hazards, but it refused to cover structures that were at considerable risk of fire, such as wooden houses or warehouses.

Today, the insurance company is a multi-billion dollar asset to the United States alone. People have incorporated insurance into every aspect of their daily lives and it would be hard to think of it not there.

Graham McKenzie is the syndication coordinator a leading South African Insurance information portal, which amongst others specialises in Household Insurance .

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