Friday, October 31, 2008

History of Fire Fighting (part 2)

After this incident, stronger measures were enforced to ascertain that the insurance companies covering losses due to fire were not overdoing insurance to more than they were capable of covering in the near future. Laws were also enforced and put into practice pertaining to this topic.

Uniformity in the practices being followed by the firefighters and to establish a congruency between fire prevention and fire insurance was felt. This led to the formation of National Board of Fire Underwrites which was founded in 1866, and was responsible for looking into matters pertaining to fire losses, how insurance companies covered them and to catch defaulters, if any.

This led to a win-win situation for the firefighters, the insurance companies and the general public wherein, none of the three parties involved in arson, conflagration or a natural fire could be duped by any of them. Later, this union, which was composed of many companies and dealers joined hands together and formed what is known as the Insurance Service Office today. The ISO is headquartered at Jersey City, New Jersey and contain more than 11 billion insurance records as of today.

Fire and firefighters have been put to test time and again and the Great Chicago fire in 1871 and the forest fire at Wisconsin the following year were two such situations. These two incidents led to 1/4th of the insurance companies and firefighting houses to become defunct and was a huge blow to the morals of the firefighting administration as a whole in the US.

One incident which led to the modification of existing rules on how to prevent fires and what kind of signs and preventive measures to be used was the Iroquois Theatre Fire in Chicago, Illinois in December 1903, which killed more than 600 people. Supposedly, the building was totally fireproof according to the existing preventive measures of that time. When investigated, it was revealed that although the building was carved out of totally fire-proof material, there were some flaws in the construction which led to the outburst of the inferno. Moreover, confusing signs showing fire end emergency exists and incapability of the security to combat stampede and fire were the main reasons for such catastrophic outcomes. This led to some basic modifications in the existing laws of that time, including some obvious things like doors that open outwards and not inwards, compulsory fitting of fire alarm systems and a mandatory fire exit drill which was to be carried out weekly for security employees to make them capable of fighting such situations.

Firefighting, as we know today, is not only limited to fighting and preventing fires, rather, firefighters are looked upon as those heroes who have come to the rescue of many lives caught in dangerous situations, be it a child caught on a high rise building or an old woman stuck in a manhole. The role of firefighters has changed over the years, and one major incident in history, which led to this metamorphosis, was the earthquake in 1906 at San Francisco. This earthquake had lasted for more than 90 minutes and had destroyed more than 500 city blocks, killing over 600 people. Firefighters were responsible for saving lives of people caught in the rubble, under the debris or caught in a fire. Traditional roles changed from here on, and led to the new roles of the firefighters, evolving from firefighters to heroes for many.

Even after so many drills were carried out, preventive measures were taken and so many rules were established, devastating fires kept striking from time to time, reminding us of the importance to involve latest technology and ideas in firefighting. One such incident, which happened in the modern times, was the Boston nightclub fire, which struck the Coconut Grove Nightclub, leaving 500 dead, and registering itself as the worst nightclub fire ever in the history.
Things changed with times, and after the Boston Nightclub incident, the use of technology and the sedate use of modernity in firefighting equipment led to the phasing out of traditional equipments. Gasoline driven firefighting engines were introduced in 1900 and the last steam engine had retired in 1932 at New York. The concept of paid fire fighters was also introduced, and caught up with the department really fast. Wes Barnes, was the first paid firefighting chief for the city of Jefferson, and was paid a salary of $45 a year.

In the series of fresh changes pertaining to firefighting and fire prevention, 'Sparkey', the fire dog was introduced as the mascot of NFPA as the symbol of national safety in 1950. The story behind Sparkey is an interesting one. Sparkey was a shy puppy, who sat outside the fence of a school and wanted to play with the children, but being shy, this Dalmatian kept away. One day, while following these children to their homes, he saw that the children's house was on fire. The dog went barking to the firefighting station to call the fire fighters, and this led Sparkey into being the symbol of national safety.

It has not been a comfortable ride for the firefighters and their respective departments. During the September 11 attack on the WTC twin towers and on the days following it, there have been some tragic days for the firemen. During the incident, many firefighters, most of who were voluntary fire fighters, had either gone missing or had lost their lives. There were skeptical views about the then Mayor of New York - Rudy Giuliani regarding the unprepared-ness of the firefighters he had sent on duty, because of which so many of them had to loose their lives. Whatever the end result, firefighters fought the circumstances with full vigor in that situation also, and were the silent heroes of so many lives they had saved.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

History of Fire Fighting (part 1)

The history of fire and fire fighting dates back to thousands of years. Right from the time man gained knowledge of how to start a fire, accidents related to fire have occurred time and again. With time, we have established many agencies, forces and groups to fight fire and to help people recover form the loss of lives and monetary losses that a conflagration brings about. Right through this paper, we would be focusing on those moments in history that have led us to change the way we have perceived fire and firefighting. We will showcase the manner in which we have established different units to combat different inflictions caused due to fires, and how we have improved in our endeavor over these years.

Man had learnt to control fire thousands of years back, and archeological evidences found in Egypt and China are a testimony to this fact. According to sources in the history, the first ever fire fighting crew was formed by Caesar to protect Rome against fires.

Through the history of the United States, there have been massive fires; the first one being at Jamestown in 1608, just one year after it was founded. This was a mass conflagration and led to huge losses of life, property and money. This left the people with only two options, either to move back to England or to face the brunt of the angry Indians and the belligerent winter chill. This was the first major fire in the history of the United States, and many more were to follow.

In 1630, Boston was founded, and this city has probably been a witness to the most conflagrations in the United States. Fires in 1631, 1654 and 1676 hit Boston time and again. These fires accounted for losses unaccounted for even today. The fires were so harsh that it led the administration to give firefighting and fire prevention and serious thought. All this led to the formation of new codes and rules regarding fire fighting, including laws pertaining to the usage of open spaces, fire resistant building material and formation of fire fighting departments. These were the first 'written' rules pertaining to fire fighting and prevention.

Again, it was after the first great conflagration of Boston in 1631, that a law banning smoking at public places was passed at Massachusetts in 1638 in order to curtail the devastation caused due to fire and to ban public display of fire-causing elements. Peter Stuyvesant was the first American Governor to form a fire fighting association in the form of the "Fire Wardens" in 1648, who were supposed to protect the new establishments being set up at New Amsterdam (now New York). The 'Fire Wardens' was the first fire fighting group in America. Some of the responsibilities of the fire wardens include assuring the safe exit of everyone caught in the inferno, to specially escort persons with disabilities to the pre-defined safe exit, to ensure that all the doors, windows and all equipments that may cause fire in the future should be turned off provided there is no danger to the personal safety of the firefighters. Most of the rules and responsibilities laid down for the fire wardens have served as the base for most of the existing rules and guidelines, especially in the US.
Because Boston had been witness to some of the most devastating conflagrations of the 17th century, the first fire department, engine, and paid firefighters were established here in the later part of the same century.

Following in the footsteps of Boston's administration, administration of New York also established the Volunteer Fire Department in 1737. According to America's internal government records, about 73% of all the fire fighters in America have entered via VFDs or Volunteer Fire Departments. The main difference between voluntary fire fighters and regular firefighters lies in the fact that voluntary firefighters do not actually work on fixed shifts and do not reside in firehouses; rather they are called as and when they are needed. Right from the inception of Voluntary Fire Department in New York, firefighters have been coming to the service of the nation time and again through this medium.

From here on, awareness about fire, firefighting and the need to suppress the possible dangers of fire grew, and Benjamin Franklin established an insurance company covering losses due to fire, and was known as the American Fire Insurance Company.

This was the starting point of the long tussle between insurance companies and their customers in America. The first big incident that happened after scores of fire insurance companies- claiming to cover all losses incurred due to fire- came up in abundance, was in December 1835 at New York, when the Great Fire of New York left thousands homeless and jobless and most of the insurance companies who had covered the buildings involved were rendered bankrupt due to the Great Fire.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Principles of Insurance

The exact time or occurrence of the loss need to be uncertain. The value of losses ought to be relatively unsurprising. In order to determine premiums or in other words to calculate price levels, insurers must be able to estimate them. Insurers require to know the price it would be called upon to pay once the insured event occurs. Most types of insurance have maximal levels of payouts, with several exceptions such as health insurance.

The loss should be significant: The legal principle of De minimis (From Latin:about minimal things) dictates that negligible matters are not covered.The payment paid by the insured to the insurer for assuming the risk is known as the 'premium'.

Potential causes of chance that may give rise to insurance claims are named "perils". Examples of perils might be fire, theft, earthquake, hurricane and numbers of additional possible risks. An insurance policy will set out in details which perils are covered by the policy and which are not. The damage must not be a catastrophic in scale, If the insurer is insolvent, it will be unable to pay the insured. In the United States, there are Guaranty Funds to reimburse insured victims whose insurance companies are bankrupt. This program is managed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Indemnification (compensation)

Anyone wishing to transport risk (an individual, corporation, or organization of any type) becomes the 'insured' party once risk is assumed by an 'insurer', the insuring party, by means of a contract, defined as an insurance 'policy'. This legal agreement sets out terms specifying the total of coverage (reimbursement) to be rendered to the insured, by the insurer upon assumption of risk, in the event of a loss, and 100% the specific perils covered against (indemnified), for the duration of the contract.

When insured parties experience a loss, for a specified peril, the coverage allows the policyholder to produce a 'claim' against the insurer for the amount of damage when specified by the policy contract.

Financial viability of insurance companies

Financial stability and posture of the insurance company need to be a major factor When purchasing an insurance contract. An insurance premium paid currently provides coverage for damges which can arise few years in the future. Due to that, the financial strength of the insurance carrier is most significant. In the past few years, a few of insurance companies became unable to pay, neglecting their policyholders with out coverage (or coverage merely from a government backed insurance pool with less the Priciples and History of InsuranceS-favorable payouts for losses). A number of independent rating agencies, like Best's, provide facts and rate the financial strength of insurance firms.

Risks Assessment

The insurer uses actuarial science to quantify the risk they are prepared to consider. Information is gathered to approximate future insurance claims, ordinarily with reasonable accuracy. Actuarial science employs statistics and probability to analyze the risks associated with the range of perils covered, and these scientific principles are utilized by insurers, in combination with other factors, to decide rate composition.

The Gambling Analogy

Certain people erroneously assume insurance a type of wager (particularly as associated with moral hazard) which executes over the policy period of time. The insurance company bets that you or your property will not suffer a damage while you put money on the opposite outcome. Virtually all house owner's insurance does not cover floods. Using insurance, you are managing risk that you may not otherwise prevent, and that does not lend itself the chance of benefit (pure risk). In other words, gambling isn't an insurable risk.

The "insurance" of Social Solidarity

A few of religious groups among them the Amish and Muslims refrain from insurance and instead depend on support provided by their society when disasters strike. This could be thought of as "social insurance", as the risk of any given person is assumed collectively by the community who will completely bear the cost of reconstruction. In closed, mutual help communities in which other people might actually step in to rebuild total lost property, this arrangement could function. The majority of societies could not effectively support this type of models and it will not function for catastrophic risks.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

History of Title Insurance

The need for title insurance arose historically from the fact that traditional methods of conveying real property did not provide adequate safety to the parties involved. Until a century ago, transferring title to real property was handled primarily by conveyancers, who were responsible for all aspects of the transaction. The conveyancer conducted a title search to determine the ownership rights of the seller and any other rights, interests, liens or encumbrances that might exist with respect to the property, and, based on its search, provide a signed abstract (or description) of the status of the title. Although the conveyancer was generally not a lawyer, that individual was recognized as an authority on real estate law. The origin of title insurance is directly traceable to the limited protection that the work of such a conveyancer provided to the purchaser of real property.

In 1868, the celebrated case of Watson v. Muirhead (57 Pa. 161) was filed in Pennsylvania. In that case, Muirhead, a conveyancer, had searched and abstracted a title for Watson, the purchaser of a parcel of real property. In good faith and after consulting an attorney, Muirhead chose to ignore certain recorded judgments and to report the title as good and unencumbered. On the basis of Muirhead's abstract, Watson went ahead with the purchase, but was subsequently presented with, and require to satisfy, the liens that Muirhead had concluded were not impairments to title. Watson sued Muirhead to recover his losses, but the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that there was no negligence on the conveyancer's part and dismissed the case. Watson, an innocent purchaser who had suffered financial damages because of the encumbrances on his title, had no recourse.

The decision of Watson v. Muirhead demonstrated clearly that the existing conveyancing system could not provide total assurance to purchasers of real property that they would be safe and secure in their ownership. As a result of that decision, the Pennsylvania legislature shortly thereafter passed an act "to provide for the incorporation and regulation of title insurance companies." The first title company was founded in Philadelphia in 1876.

This new type of insurance (called "title insurance"), addressed the concerns raised in Watson v. Muirhead by providing:

1. Responsibility without proof of negligence;

2. Financial protection through a reduction of the risk of insolvency; and

3. The assumption of risks beyond those disclosed in the public records (for which the abstractor was not liable).

Since the late 1800s, the title insurance industry has grown to where it now is an essential component in an overwhelming majority of real estate transactions in this country. The services provided by the title insurers may vary somewhat from one area of the country to the other, reflecting the different laws, customs and procedures of the various states and counties throughout the nation. But the essential purpose of these services is the same - to assist all of the parties in real estate transactions by ensuring that the acquisition or transfer of an interest in real estate can be effected with a maximum degree of efficiency, security and safety.

Monday, October 27, 2008

History of Auto Insurance

This new type of insurance was created at the end of the 19th century. As soon as the first car owners started driving their quite mysterious at that time and newly-invented means of transportation a problem arose - it was absolutely necessary to provide peace of mind both to drivers and pedestrians. Thus car insurance was meant to protect them against any harm caused by car accidents which could put people's lives, health or property in danger. However at that time there were many insurance companies and such notions as health, life and property insurances had already been long in existence. So no one had to "reinvent a wheel" - they just had to apply those old principles to the new framework.

That's what TIC (Travelers Insurance Company) did in 1898 when it insured Truman Martin's car providing him with a coverage in the value of $500 and initiating the era of auto insurance.

Even though the first car insurance was actually meant to secure Truman's car from damage caused by horses rather than cars, twenty years later when transport facilities flooded big cities and required the invention of highway regulations, auto insurance was finally supposed to compensate losses caused by collision with other vehicles. That's when car owners were required to buy mandatory insurance coverage for the first time which little by little brought about some considerable changes in legal, economical and political systems in all the states of the U.S.

Auto insurance companies started spreading fast all over the United States and European countries as that new kind of business kept on growing at a blinding performance pace in the first half of the century. However car insurance was developing by fits and starts during all 20th century because in those days, as today, it was quite dependent of the condition and development of the car market itself in each country. Thus, every stationary period in automobile industry was followed by a material setback in auto insurance business. As soon as the car market experienced another sales slump, there were no clients to buy car insurance policies.

In fact that mechanism proved to be true not so long ago when high gas prices affected car industry and auto insurance business at the same time. However the relative stabilization of gas prices which we've witnessed recently is favorable for most auto insurance companies. This makes us believe that the period of decline in auto insurance development should be over by now.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

History of Life Insurance

The history of Life Insurance is not a very hard one to understand. Today, Life insurance is simply the contract between a single individual and an insurance company dictating that the company is to pay the policy holder's beneficiary if the insured dies. But where did the idea of being insured at death come from? Who were the first people that implemented this idea? What did they do when the amounts of money were not as high as those of the companies in the life insurance industry today? When did the actual life insurance industry started? All these are pretty interesting questions and the fact of the matter is that some of them cannot be answered to a high extent; however we do know a lot about the history of this wonderful thing that today covers people from all around the globe.

The First Few Signs in Life Insurance History

Historians have been searching for the true start of life insurance as we know it, but they have first deciphered the baby steps that finally ended in the actual death benefit payment. According to the Financial Shopper Network in Ancient China sailors would prevent pirates from stealing all their goods by carrying portions of other ships cargos, this way if a pirate stole the cargo of one ship, the entire load would not be lost. A little bit later in Babylon traders simply gave loans that had to be repaid when the contents of the trade were delivered safely.

So what does this have to do with life insurance? Well both of those civilizations were preventing losing it all. They were doing little baby steps that would help in the long run. Life insurance as we know it however; started in the city of Rome. The people of this highly advanced civilization decided to form what they called "burial clubs". These clubs were designed with one sole purpose, in case of an unexpected death of a club member; everyone else would be willing to pay for their funerary expenses and help the family of the survivor with some money. The concept of life insurance as they knew it ended dramatically in the year 450 A.D. when the Roman Empire fell and its practices were abandoned for a long period of time. It is also important to highlight that many historians agree that about at the same time of Rome, the Indian Empire and its citizens also formed "burial clubs" in order to pay for funerals and help people with expenses. A clue of this according to the Financial Shopper Network is that the "yogakshema, the name of Life Insurance Corporation of Indian's Corporate Headquarters" refers to the Vedas.

Britain and It's Footstep in Life Insurance History

Modern life insurance however did not start until the British decided to try and make it work. The practice of life insurance was banded in the entire continent of Europe except for England and it was exactly the British that started the most prominent life insurance companies known to the European countries today. It was in the middle of the 17th century that in the streets of London, England a group of people met together at Lloyd's Coffee house and decided to come about with life insurance ideas. The coffee house was a famous place for merchants, ship owners and traders and therefore it would be the perfect place to discuss life insurance knowing that most of those people had money.

Life Insurance History in the United States

With the British knowing the basics of life insurance and the things that could help people like the life insurance industry, they decided to give it a try in the United States of America. After talking about how they would decide on coming about with the first life insurance company, they decided to base it on the well known British model at the time. The first life insurance company in American soil was founded in the Southern Colony of Charleston, South Carolina in the year 1735.

About 20 years later the entire colonies saw that this 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 bad thing about life insurance at that time was that many religious groups opposed it because it would be like anticipating one's own death and with the religious fervor in the North American Colonies at the time; it proved to be quite a challenge to get the whole thing started.

The actual life insurance industry as we know it really took off in the year 1840 because those religious groups calmed down and didn't interfere with governmental affairs anymore. Another big reason that life insurance companies came about proved to be the New York and Chicago Fire's that killed a whole bunch of people in each of the two cities. After this more and more life insurance companies started coming about and in the 1900's business really grew. People wanted to be protected in case of an accidental death.

The 1900's proved to be an era of growth for the life insurance industry. Two wars went on and many people decided to insure themselves to establish a secure monetary future for their families. It is also said that after an attack on the country more people buy life insurance policies. Nobody can contest that simply because after Pearl Harbor a bunch of people panicked and decided to open policies in fear for their lives. The same is true after the turn of this century when the attacks on the World Trade Center took place. People decided that not having protection was not worth it and that a little premium each month was better than leaving their families in economic burden.

Life Insurance Today

As you can see life insurance has moved quite a lot from when it first started in Rome and India. Major corporations with great world interaction and power have surfaced. Companies that have a lot to say in both the economic and political world have come to exist. As you can see the market right now is in a boom and there are many life insurance companies coming to life. Who knows what will happen in the future, but as of now customer should be happy with their options and the thousands of companies that they can choose from!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why We Need Wedding Insurance?

Did you know that you can get wedding Insurance? There are companies that will cover your losses, if a major catastrophe should occur. A wedding can cost more than a new car. You insure your car, why not your wedding? If a hurricane prevents your groom from flying in for the wedding, or the caterer goes out of business, and any number of other nightmarish events occur, you can recover the money you have paid out.

What is Wedding Insurance? Insuring your wedding is just like insuring your car, home or business. If the Reception hall burns to the ground the night before the wedding, insurance may help you to recover all of the money you have spent.

What is Covered? Insurance covers a number of things important to having the wedding of your dreams, such as weather, the key people, gowns, rings, gifts and any number of other items. Here are some things and situations that may be covered.

Cancellation costs - Any unforeseen event that forces you to cancel the wedding. A tornado destroys the church, or the photographer doesn’t show the bridal salon closes down before your dress is finished, all are situations, which can be covered by wedding insurance for having the wedding on another day, and for such expenses as flowers, the cake and invitations.

Vendors If vendors like the caterer don’t show up on the big day, insurance will cover the cost of changing the wedding date.

Illness or Injury You may be covered if the bride, groom, or anyone essential to the wedding is ill or injured and can not attend.

Wedding pictures and videos may be covered if your film is ruined or the photographer never arrives you may be reimbursed if you find another photographer or reschedule the wedding.

Clothes If the Tuxedo or wedding gown are inadvertently damaged beyond repair before the wedding, you can get replacements and your insurance will pay.

Gifts If any of your gifts are damaged or stolen you maybe covered,. Check your policy carefully. There may be a limit for making a claim, such as 7 days after the wedding.

Special Jewelry If your wedding rings are lost, damaged or stolen most companies will cover the insured values of the rings

Military Deployment if either the bride or groom are in the military and are on leave for the wedding and have their leave revoked, insurance may cover the the cost of postponing the wedding. However, if either of them are in the military and not on leave, and are deployed that is not covered.

The average cost of a wedding insurance policy is between $200.00 and $300.00. A real bargain when you consider that most weddings today cost upwards of $12,000. Before you buy insurance, gather all of your receipts, make copies, one for the insurance company so they have figures to work with. Give a copy to your parents to hold and if you have a safe deposit box, store the originals there, .in case you need to file a claim. Read the policy, and make sure you fully understand everything before you sign anything.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pet Health Insurance

As a animal lover, no problem is too ordinary when it comes to keeping your dog or cat secure and well. Pet health problem diagnosis is what to try for, hopefully you will never have to meet with any risky situations. Learn how pet health insurance can reduce the expense of your next veterinary bill. Pet health insurance helps reimburse the cost of medical and veterinary expenditures and are part of promoting a natural pet health. Quotes for pet insurance are easy to acquire, and the policies are diversified and affordable.

What is pet health insurance?

Pet insurance is medical insurance that's designed specifically for dogs or cats. Generally, it works like other types of medical insurance, with premiums and deductibles. Some plans also have co-pays and cap limits on how much can be paid out annually. Coverage can be tailored for diverse types of dogs and cats, depending on their age (puppies, kittens or senior pets) and whether they live indoors or outdoors. Some policies cover all types of veterinary care, including checkups, immunizations, and flea control. Others, cover only accidents and illnesses, requiring x-rays, medications, surgeries, hospitalization, MRI/CAT scans, chemotherapy, and more.

Why should I consider pet health insurance?

As veterinary fees keep increasing, dog insurance or cat insurance can reduce the financial danger of caring for your canine, especially if a greater problem or illness occurs. You can avoid costly out-of-pocket medical expenses and perhaps having to euthanize your pet. It's also very affordable. Although plans differ in expense and magnitude of coverage, they generally run about $25 per month or less. Obtain coverage for a broad variety of accidents (burns, cuts, bone fractures, car accidents) and illnesses such as hip dysplasia, diabetes, and cancer.

What are the benefits of pet health insurance?

Dog insurance policies from independent providers are often more affordable than veterinarian investment programs, which charge high-interest rates. Frequently cat insurance coverage will reimburse for preventative and emergency care, including shots, spaying, dental cleaning, lab tests, X-rays, surgery, and hospitalization. Most pet insurance companies insure for the life of your pet, and promote natural pet health.

How pet health insurance works...

Policyholders usually settle their vet bill and then file claims for reimbursement. Most pet insurance coverage provides for accidents and sudden illness, but somtimes wellness care, such as tick and flea control and heartworm immunizations may not be covered. Most plans have coverage maximums for particular procedures, typically between $1,500 and $4,000 per incident. Though pets of any age usually can be covered, insurance premiums are often adjusted and can be more for senior pets.

Having pet health insurance opens quite a few more treatment options for quality pet care. Learn more about pet insurance providers at Discover the benefits of health insurance for dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and senior pets today!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Purchasing Life Insurance Online

These days, you can buy virtually any product or service online. Now, the life insurance industry has entered the fast lane. Potential buyers are encouraged to visit websites and apply for policies online. It takes only a few minutes to choose a policy, enter your personal details and get a quote. No longer must potential customers spend time shuffling paperwork with insurance sellers.

Purchasing insurance online is not only convenient, but simple too. More and more people, once put off by the life insurance purchase, are choosing to apply and buy policies over the Internet. Busy young families, business professionals and single men and women are buying online to save time and reduce hassle.

The first company to bring about the wave of change by setting up a do-it-yourself site was the Liberty Life Insurance Company, a subsidiary of RBC Insurance. Users are able to visit the site to get life insurance quotes, and to purchase their new policies. Online applications are processed instantly and if found acceptable, a policy will be issued within fifteen minutes. This quick turnaround is possible because application information is forwarded for automated underwriting, and reviewed in a secure electronic environment. There is no passing of files, and no human interaction at play.

As soon as the applicant is issued a policy, he or she will receive a secure ‘i-folder’ containing file details, documents and correspondence. Policyholders can perform a wide range of functions online using this folder, including changing nominees and updating payment methods. There is no insurance office to visit, no officer to meet and no paperwork to clear.

Online sites make the entire process of purchasing life insurance simple, safe and appealing to potential buyers. Since the process is virtually instant and very transparent, the customer feels in control of the situation.

There is a limit to the amount of life insurance that can be purchased online. Generally the available range is between $50,000 to $1,500,000. Policies are available in ten, fifteen or twenty year options at competitive rates.

If you’re still a little hesitant about buying life insurance online, it’s important to know that purchasers have the option of returning their policies within 31 days to receive a full refund if they are not satisfied.

Life insurance is an important part of planning for the future. If you’ve been putting off the task because of bureaucracy and paperwork, consider purchasing your life insurance online. It’s quick and easy to review insurance company information, compare quotes and get the information you need to make a smart decision.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Factors for Determine Truck Insurance Premium

Truck Insurance premiums are calculated according to a variety of factors. These factors are used to determine the financial risk, or probability of an accident. Many of the factors that are taken into consideration are things that the driver can have an influence on in order to decrease rates, such as accident history, while others are factors that the insured person has no control over, such as age.

Age of Driver

Statistically, younger drivers and very old drivers are more accident-prone. For this reason, drivers in higher risk age groups will have higher premiums. The preferred drivers are typically between the ages of 30 and 65.

Driving Experience

The more truck driving experience an operator has, the less their risk assessment will be. Experience with various equipment and weather conditions is inherent in the number of years that an operator has been driving similar types of trucks.

Employment History

The number of years that an operator has worked for different companies will be taken into consideration as an experience factor. The more familiar a particular driver is with specific routes and equipment, the less chance there is that an accident will occur.

Accident History

A driver who has been responsible for accidents in the past is prone to accidents in the future. For this reason, the fewer accidents and violations a driver has, the less their truck insurance premium will be.

Previous Coverage

Truck insurance providers may ask if you previously had insurance coverage. If you have been previously canceled for non-payment of premium or for underwriting reasons, the potential provider will want to know. If you have had truck insurance, the previous carrier can inform the new insurer of your loss history.

Years Operating in Name

As with newly employed drivers, a company newly operating in its name is more likely to have the added burdens of management development. As a company becomes more experienced managing its operation, including safety programs, drivers, adherence to regulations, the frequency of losses, etc. is also likely to decrease.

Driving Area

The routes a driver has can have an effect on premiums. This is determined by average road conditions and infrastructure, weather during different seasons, and so on.


The type of cargo a driver carries will also affect their truck insurance premium. Cargo Insurance is based almost entirely on: cargo value, time sensitivity for delivery, potential for theft, etc.

Equipment Operated

The value, age, and condition of equipment operated are a determinant in truck insurance premiums. However, the age of a truck is often irrelevant as the condition of the truck is dependent on upkeep, as well as recently installed equipment.


The deductible is the amount of damage or loss that the insured party is responsible for Typically, the greater the deductible the less the insurance premium will be.

DOT Safety Record

A record of an owner operators or companys DOT safety rating, violations, Safestat and Inspection and Selection (ISS-2) scores, etc. is routinely used to assist in determining the truck insurance rate.

Safety Features and Programs

Safety features for an insured truck, such as warning stickers, are beneficial for risk assessment. Safety programs for companies and safety trainings for drivers are also helpful.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

6 Secrets for Cheap Car Insurance

I learned a lesson about inexpensive car insurance when I was younger: Insurance agents lie. I would love to be able to say this is rare, but my experience tells me it is depressingly common. Apart from lying, they just won't tell you some things you need to know to save money.

Car insurance was just a legal requirement as far as I was concerned. I didn't have valuable cars when I was young, and I had no assets to protect from lawsuits. All I wanted was the minimum legal coverage needed to be on the road. I always made this very clear to my insurance agents, using many rephrasings, like "Just what the law requires, and nothing more," just to be sure they understood.

I assumed that this minimum was what my insurance company was giving me. Only after paying the premiums for many years did I learn that they had lied. I didn't have the most inexpensive car insurance policy, as they claimed. They gave me not the minimum coverage required by law, but their own "company minimum." I was pissed off.

I went to other insurance companies and they tried to do the same thing, passing off their own normal liability policies as the state-mandated minimum requirements. Only when I pushed would they provide the policy that I wanted - as long as I signed more paperwork, acknowledging that I was "under-insured." That was fine. I had no assets to protect at the time (Having few assets means you're less of a target for a lawsuit).

The bottom line is that by commission and omission, you will likely be lied to by insurance agents. I overpaid by hundreds of dollars over those years, because of one such lie. Now you know what to watch for if you just want a basic liability policy. Here are some other things you should know about getting inexpensive car insurance.

Secrets Of Inexpensive Car Insurance

- Get several quotes, of course. The important part here, though, is to be sure that each quote is for the same thing. Write down and compare the specific policy limits, deductible and a other parts of the policy.

- Review your policies annually. Ask for a policy review and get new quotes every year or so. Suppose that speeding ticket you had is past the three year mark (or whatever the company guideline is). They will often "forget" to drop the rate, so you may need to remind them.

- Take the kids off your policy. If your kids are at a college that's more than 100 miles away, you can have them taken off the insurance policy and save a lot of money. You can't let them drive the car when they come home to visit though.

- Raise your deductible. You will always get more inexpensive car insurance with higher deductibles. Plan to pay the first $1,000 of that accident if it happens someday. In the meantime, you may save far more in premiums over those years.

- Drop collision coverage. Once the value of your car is below a certain amount (an amount you can afford to lose), drop the collision coverage. It doesn't make sense to pay out thousands over a few years to insure a car that is worth just a few thousand.

- Ask about special discounts you might be eligible for. Non-smoker discounts, car/home policy discounts, and others are a possibility. Ask what discounts you may be eligible for in the future, too, and remind your agent when the time comes.

-Look at every part of the policy, and don't pay for things you don't need. Ask about anything you don't fully understand. Asking a lot of questions and really understanding the policy is one of the surest ways to get inexpensive car insurance.

Monday, October 20, 2008

When Is The Right Time To Get Life Insurance?

Life insurance is one of the most important types of insurance you can get, although many people don’t get it early enough or have inadequate cover. If you don’t have life insurance yet or you are not sure if your policy is good enough, then there useful tips will help you to decide when and what type of life insurance to get:

Get insurance now

Right now life insurance is at an all time low, so whatever age you are the time to get insurance is now. In fact, the younger you are then the cheaper the insurance is likely to be, because you are less of a risk to the lender. By getting insurance now you will have the peace of mind that should the worst happen, you will be covered.

How much insurance?

Although life insurance is relatively cheap, most people don’t have an adequate level of cover. You might think that £100,000 of cover for a few pounds a month seems good, but £100,000 is not that much. Although a payout of £100,000 might seem like a lot of money, that money might have to support your family for the next 15 or 20 years. Many people simply do not have an adequate level of cover to support their families after their death.

Working out how much you need

If you are looking for life insurance, then the best way to work out how much cover you need is to work out the amount your family needs to support them each year, and then multiply this by 25 to allow for tax over 15 or 20 years. This is the amount of cover your family would need to support their current lifestyle for a significant period of time. Obviously, the amount you need also depends on how much you can afford. Generally, the more you can pay the better.

Term insurance

The most common form of life insurance is term life insurance. This form of life insurance is cheap, and you pay a set amount each month for the term of the agreement. You work out how much you want your family to receive in the event of your death. If you stop paying the monthly payments you lose all the money you have put in, and if you are still alive at the end of the term then there is no payout. This form of life insurance is cheap but does not guarantee payout.

Whole life insurance

The other most common form of life insurance is whole life insurance. Basically, you are insured for your entire life. The amount you pay is put into an investment fund, with your premiums usually remaining the same for the first few years before going up. This type of insurance is more expensive but has the advantage that payout is guaranteed.

Other factors

Before you get life insurance, make sure that you work out exactly what sort of cover you need, and look at any other factors that will affect the price. If you smoke or have poor health then some insurance policies will charge more. Whatever type of life insurance you get, it pays to get insurance as soon as you can and for as much as you can afford.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Significance Of Cat Pet Insurance

Cats or felines as they are referred to in the scientific nomenclature are one of the popular species to have won the love of the humans as their pets. Cats being small and indoor type pet who loves to be around its owner than be in the outer expanse where they might fall prey to more strong animals around. The owners seem reluctant to buy an insurance cover for these beloved pet of theirs but they sometimes fail to understand that the sickness or any ailment might strike the feline even in the secured environment of the house.

The Risks to Cats and From Cats

The cats are prone to various diseases and their treatment thus could burn a hole in your pocket. It is thus advisable that you opt for an insurance cover. The cats are generally seen to suffer from mouth related diseases which might call for a extensive treatment. The consultation fee of the vet is high enough and above that the treatment cost and medication can become a real worrisome equation. To stop these issues from eating into your savings you should opt for a cat pet insurance cover.

Cats come into contact with various other felines as well and hence are prone to carry germs from other infected cats. Its co-habitation with the pet owner on the same premises may make pet owner prone to the diseases. The vets thus advise proper vaccinations to the home reared cats for your own safety. The cat becomes a part of the family for the pet owner making more emotional bonding to the pet, thus any untoward incident where in the cat attacks others could lead to severe lawsuits and thousands of dollars in damages. These issues can be acknowledged to a limit by buying an appropriate insurance cover for the pet cat.

Emotional Value is Greater than Financial value....Get your Cat Insured

The insurance policies or the insurance covers these days are affordable. The pet insurance is rated as per their utility and thus can be researched according to your needs. The cat pet insurance needs to satisfy main concerns of the pet owner about the inclusions or covered provisions, the exclusions from the policy, those things or medical ailments whose treatment is not covered and finally the costing. Though competition in the insurance segment have encouraged the insurance companies to pitch their products at a very competitive prices, the customized plans for the pet insurance are also on offer. You can hand pick the policy provisions and risks that you feel are real in the present living standards of your cat and the immediate habitat of it. Others could be ticked out thus bringing down the costs to an affordable value.

Pet insurance will also help if some people are not satisfied with the health of the puppy and want to seek veterinary care. You can consult your vet for his advice on which insurance cover to buy. Lastly you can search internet for more detailed information. Selecting the right insurance cover by comparing the ratings of the different policies is a dependable method.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why Pet Insurance Should be Considered?

Pets today need insurance as the cost of medical treatments are very high and in breeding and other problems have made pets more susceptible to diseases and other problems. Pet insurance can cost anywhere between USD 2000-6000 over the life of a pet and the amount of premium to be paid would depend on many variables like breed, age, and more.

Pet insurance can be bought online or offline from leaders like: Pet care Insurance Companies; Veterinary Pet Insurance Company; Pets Best Insurance; and Vet Insurance. The best way to insure a pet is to ask your vet for advice. Pet insurance at affordable rates can be purchased online from websites devoted to pet insurance and pet care. The premium to be paid depends on age of pet, general health of pet, breed of pet, potential risks for susceptible diseases and so on.

Before investing in insurance you must do your homework and find out all you can about polices, how to keep premiums low, and how to buy the best pet insurance at the most affordable rate. The internet is a knowledge highway and has great information on pets, insurance options, and more. Make the effort to educate yourself.

Medical treatment can cost thousands of dollars. And treatments for hip diseases, cancers, kidney failure and more can cost between USD 1000- 5000. In case of disease or accidents pets can be treated and nursed back to health instead of “put down.”

Here are a few reasons why pet insurance is to be considered:

1. A pet is a family member and death due to accident or illness can upset children. Insurance coverage could save the life of the pet.

2. Pet insurance gives peace of mind and owners can stop worrying about unpaid bills or pets crossing roads.

3. Pet insurance ensures longer life spans of pets.

4. Insurance offers preventive health care, which means diseases can be detected in pets at early stages when treatments can offer cures.

5. Pet insurance covers expensive diagnostics and hospitalization expenses for pets.

6. Pet insurance can save the life of the pet as it covers treatments like radiation therapy and kidney replacements.

7. Pet insurance releases the burden of having to pay when the family is going through lean times such as being “laid off” or having a personal illness to deal with.

8. Pet insurance can help you get a deductible which is cost saving and the insurance will protect the pet.

9. Pet insurance offers regular health checks, shots, elective and non elective surgeries, and sometimes extended stays at a pet boarding house.

10. In general pet insurance can cost as little as USD 20-40 a month and this brings good health and cheer to the pet, very much a family member.

Pet insurance could save the life of a dear one without straining your wallet.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Say YES to Wedding Insurance

Many brides ask whether or not they should purchase wedding insurance. In my opinion the answer should be an unequivocal "Yes." According to the average cost of a wedding today is more than $26,000. That's more than some people pay for a car, and you wouldn't think of not insuring your brand new car, would you? It just makes sense, then, to purchase a wedding insurance policy that will cover many of your wedding costs if you need to postpone or cancel the ceremony and reception. This type of wedding insurance is crucial especially if your cost of rescheduling the wedding will be very high.

Many couples overlook wedding insurance when planning a wedding because they don't believe they will need it. After all, there is nothing romantic or exciting about wedding insurance and what could possibly go wrong. If you were to ask couples who had their wedding and reception planned in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina hit, what advice do you think they would give you. Now a hurricane is an extreme weather condition, but wedding insurance provides coverage for just such a weather event. Wedding insurance, however, will not cover postponement of your wedding due to a rainy day.

Once you've selected your vendors and submitted your deposits, you have made a serious investment. Wedding insurance protects your investment throughtout the planning process, and the event itself. Consider these events that are covered in your wedding insurance policy.

*the caterer or your reception venue closes down unexpectedly before your wedding
*your wedding photographs are damaged or lost
*a family or wedding party member is injured or becomes ill or dies
*lost or stolen wedding rings*
*your wedding attire (if your dress is damaged or fails to arrive)

Sorry kids, you're out of luck if either of you gets cold feet. Changing your mind at the last minute is not covered by wedding insurance.

Just like any other type of insurance, you can purchase wedding insurance in a number of different policies. When compared to the cost of the event itself, wedding insurance is relatively inexpensive and as important to your special day as your bridal gown, cake and flowers. Whether you are having a destination wedding or a large wedding in your home town it is a good idea to purchase insurance for your wedding and a small price to pay for peace of mind.

Monday, October 13, 2008

China's Insurance Industry Before 1949 (part 2)

Although domestic insurers began to develop their market share, they were at a disadvantage in competing with the foreign insurance companies. China's foreign trade was controlled by foreign firms and consequently, it was very difficult for domestic insurers to expand their business. Furthermore, they had to rely on their foreign rivals for reinsurance because of their weak financial strength. As a result, foreign companies continued to dominate China's insurance market and earn substantive profits. For example, the return on equity of the Hong Kong Fire Insurance Company, established in Hong Kong in 1868 by British businessmen, was about fifty percent (Ye, et al. 1998, p. 27).

The Revolution of 1911 not only ended the Qing Dynasty, but also stimulated the development of industry and commerce in China. Consequently, insurers began to expand their business to other trade ports and inland trade cities. Again, foreign insurers maintained their dominant position due to their predominance in capital, technology, experience, and ability to accept ceding business.

It should be noted that American businessmen became heavily involved in China's insurance industry after World War I (WWI). Cornelius Vander Starr, an American entrepreneur, founded an insurance agency called American Asiatic Underwriters in Shanghai in 1919 and then Asia Life Insurance Company in 1921. In the 1930s, American insurers gained an equal position to their British associates and foreign insurance companies thus had about seventy-five percent of China's insurance market (Ye, et al. 1998, p. 120).

Following the War against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945), the Chinese People's Revolutionary War (1945-1949), and the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, China's insurance industry was quite volatile as China's economy fluctuated greatly in time of the war. In turn, foreign insurers began to exit the market. Furthermore, people, unable to anticipate the unstable economy and in need of economic security, did not purchase life insurance coverage. Therefore, insurance premiums were mainly collected from trade-related businesses and operations subsequently became concentrated in the trade centers.

To sum up, modem insurance was introduced to China by the West, which controlled China's insurance market profitably for a long period of time. This may have contributed to the concern that China's insurance industry might again be controlled by foreign capital and the prudence in granting foreign insurers licenses to operate in China, which was shared by many people even at the end of the 20 century.

Also read: China's Insurance Industry Before 1949 (part 1)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

China's Insurance Industry Before 1949 (part 1)

As a country with a history of more than five thousand years, ancient people of China developed various measures by which people with similar conditions could share risks and help each other. These measures can be considered the most primitive forms of insurance. According to the Book of Yizhou, an ancient Chinese literary history book, Chinese people realized the uncertain nature of natural catastrophes and began to make efforts to store grain in abundant years for famine approximately three thousand years ago. Years later, merchants conducting freight on the Yangtze River invented a clever method to diversify risks. Each merchant would place his goods on several different boats, consequently sharing the losses incurred from the sinking of one boat with other merchants.

The modem insurance industry did not emerge until the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), China's last feudal dynasty. Initially, the Qing Dynasty saw China as the center of the world and pursued a closed door policy resulting in serious trouble both at home and abroad. The western powers, which had already completed the industrial revolution, later compelled the weak and corrupted Qing government to accept trade, thus introducing modem insurance to China in conjunction with westem commodities to China.

Guangzhou used to be the only trade port in China before the Opium War (1839-1842) between China and England. Usually, foreign insurance companies entmsted their Chinese business to foreign trade firms established in China, the socalled Yang Hang. In 1805, British merchants established the first foreign insurance institution in Guangzhou, China, the Canton Insurance Society. This kind of effort did not gain popularity until the Qing government was defeated in the Opium War and was forced to open more trade ports. Then, the sharp increase of foreign trade resulted in a tremendous demand for insurance. Many foreign firms divested their insurance business and established separate insurance companies in China, which monopolized China's insurance market for a period of time.

In May 1865, the Shanghai Yihe Insurance Society, a freight insurer, was established. It was the first domestic insurer in China and introduced insurance policies written in both English and Chinese for the first time. Previously, policies were written only in English in China. In December 1875, the Insurance Promotion Bureau was founded and it ended the monopoly of foreign insurers for hull insurance. The emergence of domestic insurers was welcomed and supported by the domestic business community. Subsequently, the Renhe Marine Insurance Company, Jihe Fire and Marine Insurance Company, and other domestic insurance companies were set up. Until 1911, there were approximately forty-five domestic insurers operating in China which were highly concentrated in trade ports in Shanghai. Infact, thirty-seven out of forty-five insurers were in Shanghai (Ye, et al. 1998, p. 54).

Also read: China's Insurance Industry Before 1949 (part 2)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

History of the US Insurance Market (In the Beginning)

Like many of its first institutions, the early insurance establishments of the United States reflected the influences of 18th century England. In 1720, the English Crown granted monopoly status among the colonies (and in Great Britain itself) to two British stock insurance companies: The Royal Exchange and The London. Perhaps as a consequence of this impervious barrier to entry and the joint lack of expertise and capital necessary for successful stock company operation, the first insurance organizations in North America championed the mutual principle embodied in the friendly societies of Great Britain rather than the profit motive of stock companies." Mutual insurance companies have the distinguishing characteristic that they are
owned and operated by and on behalf of their policyholders, in contrast to stock organizations which operate primarily for the benefit of shareholders.

The first insurance company established in the American colonies was a mutual insurance company called the Friendly Society. Founded in Charleston, South Carolina in 1735 while the country was still under British colonial rule, this organization survived for only five years (Baranoff 2004). Seven years later, Benjamin Franklin and other prominent Philadelphians established a mutual insurance organization called the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire, the oldest continuously operating insurance company in
the country. In 1759, the Presbyterian Ministers Fund, an organization financed initially by donor contributions and later by policy premiums—became the first life insurance company in the colonies by providing a form of life insurance for Presbyterian ministers.

Not until 1792, over a decade after the American Revolution, was a stock insurance company established in the country: the Insurance Company of North America. This first and earliest venture was short-lived and largely unsuccessfiil, selling only six policies in the first five years of operation (Black and Skipper 2000,p. 52). In 1812, a stock company, the Pennsylvania Company for Insurance on Lives and Granting Annuities was chartered, becoming the first company to sell annuities and life insurance policies to the general public in significant amounts. Prior to 1810, the focus in the nascent American insurance industry had been primarily on marine insurance, though many companies were chartered to deal in other lines like fire and life insurance as well (Baranoff 2004). The first known reinsurance arrangement on record occurred in 1813, when the Union Insurance Company ceded some of its fire risk exposure to the Eagle Fire Insurance Company of New York (III 2005b, p. 137).

Friday, October 10, 2008

Flying vs Driving

All this talk about auto insurance and the risks related to driving may make you think it’s the most dangerous way to travel. Well…it is more dangerous than most people realize.

One classic misperception about travel is that driving a car is safer than flying in an airplane. In the months after the September 2001 attacks—and particularly during the following summer—many Americans chose to drive to vacation destinations. But, on mediumlength trips, commercial flights—even factoring in the attacks of September2001—are as safe as driving a car. Over longer distances, commercial flights are safer. Some additional statistics:
  • For a trip of more than 1,000 miles, flying on a commercial airplane is generally safer than driving a car.
  • Since most plane accidents occur on takeoff or landing, the shorter the trip, the greater the risk per mile.
  • On a trip of up to 1,000 miles, you’re probably as safe in your car as in a jetliner.
  • On a per-mile-travelled basis, U.S. commercial airlines are the world’s safest form of mass transportation.
  • Depending on where you live, the drive home from the airport may be more dangerous than the commercial flight.
The terrorist attacks of September 2001 did cause an upward spike in the total number of deaths caused by airline crashes. But not that many people die each year in plane crashes. When you’re dealing with small base numbers, it doesn’t take much to increase odds ratios sharply. Any risk assessment you do is going to be volatile.

Nearly 600 people died in the four jet crashes related to the September 2001 terrorist attacks. By comparison, an extra 100,000 Americans would have to die in car wrecks to have the same impact on auto safety numbers.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Term Life vs Whole Life

The two most common forms of life insurance policies are term life and whole life. The names are remarkably apt, in that:
  • A term life policy lasts for a set period, say 10 years. If you die during that 10-year term, the policy will pay. If you don’t, it expires and that’s that; and
  • A whole life policy lasts for your whole life. You absolutely will die during the policy period for a whole life insurance policy (although most will pay you the benefit before you die, if you live to be 100).
Typically, a term life policy provides protection for a period of one to 20 years. The best way to think of term life is as temporary insurance. A whole life policy, on the other hand, is permanent insurance. Term policies usually are used when you have a temporary need, such as:
  • a mortgage;
  • business obligations; or
  • a particular need for income when your children are young.
Whole life products are effective when you have a permanent need, such as to:
  • supplement your surviving spouse’s income;
  • cover funeral costs, pay capital gains taxes;
  • make charitable donations; or
  • pass a family business from one generation to the next.
A term policy does not build any cash, loan or surrender values. It essentially provides a death benefit only. For this reason, it is usually the least expensive form of life insurance. Its low cost allows you to buy higher levels of coverage at a younger age, when your need for protection is often greatest. Of course, it would be simple if there were only one kind of term life policy to consider. Instead, there are three:
1) Level term. Provides a consistent amount of insurance throughout the policy period.
2) Decreasing term. Good for shrinking debt obligations (such as a mortgage), and starts with a specified face amount, which decreases annually until it reaches zero when the policy expires.
3) Increasing term. Provides a growing amount of insurance,but the need for this type of protection is rare.

Many term policies are also convertible, which means they may be exchanged for another type of life insurance. Choosing a convertible term life policy is one way to make sure you will be able to get permanent coverage at a later time, without having to prove that you are still insurable.

You won’t want to stick with term life insurance for your entire life (assuming that you live a long time). By the time you reach 70 or 80 years of age, the premiums for a term policy usually approach the face amount of the insurance, because the insurance company figures you’re going to die soon.

A History of Insurance (part 2)

The Phoenicians, Greeks and Indians took another major step in laying the foundations for today’s insurance industry when they developed insurance against a ship’s sinking. When a group of shipowners financed a commercial voyage, they borrowed money from a lender, using the ship as collateral. If the voyage was successful, the shipowner repaid the loan at a high rate of interest. If the ship was lost, the shipowner was free of the debt (Al-Hanis 1979: 66).

Ancient Romans had both life and health insurance. The Collegia, Roman benevolent societies, provided burial insurance and financial help for the sick and aged. Roman guilds issued life insurance contracts for members and by AD 200, the Romans had a rough mortality table. The Roman military also had health and disability plans (ibid.).

When guilds arose in Flanders and Holland, among the services they provided were sickness benefits and burial fees. Some guilds made efforts to reimburse members for fire losses. Although their methods of operation were unsophisticated by today’s standards, they popularized insurance (ibid.). During this period, insurance was underwritten mainly by individuals and guilds. Benefits were relatively low; one person or a small group could have enough capital to conduct insurance business. The person selling insurance was called
an underwriter, signing his name and the amounts of liability at the bottom of the page (Rahman and Gad 1978: 35).

Ibn-Khaldon, in his Muqaddimma (Preface) has written about Arab business ventures which were then known as Winter and Summer Voyages. The voyagemembers indemnified any member of the group against loss of either their stock or their profit. All members of the voyage paid a percentage either of their profit or capital as compensation for the loss or damage sustained by any member of the voyage.

Also read: A History of Insurance (part 1)

A History of Insurance (part 1)

Although the insurance policy as we know it is a relatively recent development, the concept is by no means new. The idea of transferring the risk of loss from an individual to his group began thousands of years ago. When a family’s hut burned down, for instance, the entire tribe would rebuild it. Traces of rudimentary insurance practices are still seen among the few primitive tribes that exist today (Raynes 1948: 71).

About 2500 BC, Chinese merchants were using primitive forms of marine insurance (Ibid.: 32). When boat operators reached river rapids they waited for other boats to arrive, before redistributing the cargo so that each boat carried some of the contents of the others. If one boat was lost navigating the rapids, all the operators shared a small loss but nobody had their entire cargo wiped out (Rahman and Gad 1978: 32).

Benevolent societies were developed in Egypt as early as 2500 BC. There is evidence that the ancient Egyptians had writings on the walls of some of the temples in Luxor (Upper Egypt) and that they formed committees for burying the dead. They believed that life after death was inevitable and therefore the body should be preserved for the spirit when they were reunited at the time of reincarnation. That led them to spend prodigiously when death occurred and
even before that to build tombs suitable for the preservation of the body. Therefore the committee spent the money needed to preserve the body after death for as long as that person or his relatives paid an annual fee. This annual fee could either be in the form of agricultural produce or manufactured goods and clothes, sufficient to ensure that the body would be preserved in a wellsealed tomb (organized primarily for religious and social purposes in the
hereafter). However, members contributed to funds that paid burial expenses and gave aid for those seriously ill or injured by accident (ibid.: 32).

the dead. They believed that life after death was inevitable and therefore the body should be preserved for the spirit when they were reunited at the time of reincarnation. That led them to spend prodigiously when death occurred and even before that to build tombs suitable for the preservation of the body. Therefore the committee spent the money needed to preserve the body after death for as long as that person or his relatives paid an annual fee. This annual
fee could either be in the form of agricultural produce or manufactured goods and clothes, sufficient to ensure that the body would be preserved in a wellsealed tomb (organized primarily for religious and social purposes in the hereafter). However, members contributed to funds that paid burial expenses and gave aid for those seriously ill or injured by accident (ibid.: 32).

Also read: A History of Insurance (part 2)

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