Insurance has a more significant effect on humankind than we think. It started very early on when we can build civilizations and has continued to improve since then. Insurance plays a pivotal role in building the cities we know of today and ensuring human life gets the best treatment it can get. Here is a brief look into the history of insurance and how it affected our lives as human beings.
The Beginning of Insurance
Historians speculate the insurance started way back, during the very start of human civilization. Babylonians had given merchants Bottomry contracts to their ships. These contracts can provide credit to these merchants to repair their ships and protect their boats during their travels. So essentially, if the vessel is lost, the lender has the chance of losing the money from the insurance policy as well.
The Start of Formal Insurance
Bottomry contracts have been known to last until the time of the Romans and the early ages of English society. However, in the great fire of 1666 in England, fire and accident insurance has become ever more prevalent. This is considered to be the start of formal and modern insurance, despite its fraudulent start.
Many Englishmen at the start utilized the great fire of 1666 to create fraudulent insurance schemes. These were meant to make them rich fast. That’s all about selling all sorts of fake securities to the public. However, this was also when the two prominent insurance companies, known as the London Assurance Corporation and the Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation, were built.
This was also a time when maritime insurance was established, a more formal version of Bottomry contracts. It was formal in the way that the Society of Lloyd’s (founded by Edward Lloyd) has a list of maritime risks that can be covered at a premium. So unlike Bottomry contracts that only cover the repairs and supplies, marine insurance covered all sorts of dangers that merchant ships may encounter during their travels. This is very similar to the insurance we have nowadays.
US Life Insurance
Life insurance has been around way before its formal period, during 1759. However, it was only this year that it was formally established under the Presbyterian Ministers’ Fund. More life insurance companies developed throughout the years, but they eventually faded away due to the historical changes that the country experienced throughout the years. But the practice largely remained the same.
When did Americans Start Getting Insurance?
Back during the 1800s, only the richest of Americans can afford insurance. However, because of the changes in insurance policies and premium costs during the 1900s, more Americans can afford insurance. In 1910, life insurance received a surge of members and received an increased growth rate of about 9% for the years to come. This was considered a time of modern insurance, where almost everyone can afford all sorts of insurance policies for their families.
Modern Insurance (2000’s)
Now, we came to a time when insurance is widely available and affordable for the general public. This is the era of modern insurance and is marked by multiple changes to insurance.
Integration With Government Systems
Insurance nowadays is integrated with government systems. This is because some insurance programs are part of government policies such as ObamaCare, Medicare, and Medicaid. However, some need government proof of claim, such as an SR22 insurance plan integrated with people’s car accidents. This integration with government systems made it possible for insurance to perform more efficiently, especially when filing accident claims. Furthermore, it created a more holistic approach to insurance.
When it comes to health insurance, no one can deny how Telehealth has changed how it is being implemented. People nowadays can utilize their health insurance to get the medical help they need no matter where they go. This is through the use of the internet and other online communication systems. It is argued that telehealth became a big deal when smartphones became more available to the public. Regardless of how it became popular, no one can deny that it has saved people’s lives during this pandemic.
Security and Privacy
Lastly, security and privacy play a significant role in insurance, especially when one files for claims. This is why online systems are becoming more complex and diverse than ever. In addition, through the utilization of Big Data and Blockchain systems, it has become so much harder for hackers and other people to get private information from others. This security and privacy are appreciated by many policy members, which have contributed to the increased growth rate of insurance policies worldwide.
The history of insurance is an interesting one, and this article only covered the essential parts of it. Insurance is still evolving during this time, as policies become more diverse than ever. However, regardless of its changes, one thing’s for sure: insurance has made us live a much comfortable life in society.