Insurance a look back


Insurance – Where did it come from?

You may have noticed that in recent years, insurance premiums have continued to rise exponentially. In 2008, global insurance premiums grew by 3.4% to reach $4.3 trillion. Japan and the United States accounted for 40% of the world’s insurance, a much larger figure than their 7% share of global populace. However, this is not strictly a U.S, or Japanese issue. Contact us here

Currently, in almost every corner of the globe, citizens are subject to extortionate insurance hikes and really are paying through the nose. Across the pond in Ireland, car insurance is set to take a double-digit jump, similar to the rise in 2014. The emerald isle is a small, open market place, but it is subject to changes that stem from a global issue. In the UK, home insurance premiums are growing based on the biblical storms and arctic winters they have endured over the past number of years. But where did all of this really begin?

Insurance is as old as time itself and goes back as far as the Babylonians and the Chinese merchants of the 3rd Millennium BC. In 1750 BC, the Babylonian people developed a system whereby a merchant would pay a lender an additional sum, in exchange for the lender’s guarantee to cancel the loan should the ship be lost at sea. Interestingly, the ancient Persians were the first civilization to insure people. The monarchs of the age would pay a sum to insure their subjects. This would be then be registered in a governmental notary office.
Insurance became a common exchange and is seen in civilizations all though the ages – Jewish people in 500 BC and the inhabitants of Rhodes in 408 BC.

Jumping forward to the great Fire of London and modern day insurance is born after the devastating incident destroys more than 13,000 homes. Following the fire, Sir Christopher Wren included a site for ‘the insurance office’ in his plans for London in 1667, citing how insurance must change from “a matter of convenience into one of urgency.”

In 1787, back in the US, the first fire insurance firm is established in NYC with over 24 life insurance companies opening their doors, and 770 miles away in the deep south, slaves are insured by their owners. Following this, between 1905 and 1944 social insurance comes into operation.

The next step on the insurance landscape is uncertain, but continued rises seem to be the status-quo. Social, political, environmental, economic, and technological factors will all be determining factors in the future of insurance premiums.

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