History of Insurance

Topics: Insurance, Lloyd's of London, Underwriting Pages: 1 (320 words) Published: April 13, 2011
A Brief History of Insurance

From the early days of civilisation men have formed societies whose members promised to help each other in the event of a misfortune. As early as 900 BC, the merchants of the Rhodes Island in the Mediterranean agreed to share certain risks among themselves.

The modern concept of insurance — where insurers collect small premiums from their policy holders, pay claims to those of them who had incurred losses and make a profit for taking the risks after deducting business expenses — dates back to as early as thirteenth century.

Life insurance dates back to as early as 1500s while fire insurance as early as second half of 1600s while the concept of Accident insurance was developed in Britain when in 1840, the Guarantee Society was formed to insure employers against embezzlement by their employees. The British became the principal marine insurers when Sir Thomas Gresham established the Royal Exchange in London in 1570 to transact the marine insurance. With the invention of automobile early this century a new clause 'Motor' was developed by the insurance industry to provide insurance cover for automobiles which included such other clauses as accidental insurance.

From its modest beginning in a 17th century coffee-house in London Lloyd's today is the world's leading insurance market. Although an insurance market, Lloyd's is not an insurance company which produce global results and an annual report. Lloyd's also operates under certain conditions in the USA.

Lloyd's market is a unique service provider — though not a company it offers a competitive insurance market in which over 130 businesses both compete and cooperate. This combination of choice, information, experience and expertise under one roof enables Lloyd's to provide expert opinion of leading underwriters for many speciality classes of business including such diverse coverages as marine, aviation, catastrophy cover and professional indemnity....
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