role of insurance

Topics: Insurance, Underwriting, Society Pages: 3 (911 words) Published: June 11, 2014

You will all appreciate that the subject of this talk is so wide so I will make a brief summary of some of the main salient points that personally strike me as important. For those listening who are not so well versed in insurance I hope that this will open your eyes to our industry and for my colleagues who have been practicing our profession for many years please consider it as an “ aide memoire “.

As our lives progress faster and faster and technology continues to improve there are so many things that we now take for granted and cannot do without; Insurance is one of these necessities. How did we ever survive without electricity, airline travel, cars, television, telephone, fax and Internet services to name but a few of what we consider our current daily necessities?

Insurance has come a long way but where did it’s role in society begin? We have to look back before we come to the present day and then to the future.

From earliest times society sought ways to soften the shocks of existence. Our ancestors quickly learned that no individual could go it alone. That only by pooling the resources of the many could the unfortunate few be helped.

This simple notion of mutuality persists like a welcome footpath through the tangle of human history. While empires have risen and collapsed, through wars, famines and pestilence, the concept of insurance lasted and even flourished.

Examples abound. Even as human society emerged from the darkness of unrecorded time, we can see it. In ancient Babylonia, where from the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, enterprising merchants sent caravans and ships to trade with all parts of the known world principally with Egypt, Phoenicia, India and China.

To reduce the risk of robbery, plunder and capture for ransom, the Babylonians devised a system of contracts in which the supplier of capital for a venture agreed to cancel the loan...
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