How Life Insurance has Played a big Role in USA
When we look back into history, there are always problems of definition. The products and services we take for granted today did not appear in this form hundreds of years ago. We have to be slightly flexible in our definitions to see how a product evolves over time. As a concept, life insurance pays out a sum of money when the nominated person dies. Back in Ancient Rome, before Christ was born, the families of military leaders were expected to pay for impressive funerals whenever their general died. This was a big financial burden so the generals all paid into a fund which would pay out to their families as and when the inevitable occurred. Sadly not all Roman generals managed to die in their beds at the end of long and happy lives.
Moving to Britain, the work on compiling mortality tables was concluded by Edmond Halley, he of comet fame, who crunched the numbers to calculate how much the annual premium rates should be. So it’s all his fault!
Recommended: A to Z Guide on Life Insurance
When the idea of insurance moved over to America in 1732, the first steps only covered property damage. It took the insurers thirty years to build up the statistical database for predicting life expectancy in different parts of the country where people could die in different forms of accidents or with a bullet or arrow hitting something vital. The modern form of life insurance finally takes shape in 1904 when women were allowed to buy cover. Equality at last!