When Did Whole Life Insurance Start?
Life insurance has been around for more than 2,000 years. The ancient Romans established the concept of life insurance by creating a “Casket Kitty” where everyone in the group contributed a few coppers every week to cover the cost of proper burials. Soon after, someone suggested raising the ante to provide for widows and children as well. In the 1600s, John Graunt, the world’s first actuary, figured out how much to charge for a life insurance policy so that it wouldn’t go broke. The modern concept of an insurance company was born in Edward Lloyd’s Coffee House on London’s Tower Street, which later became Lloyd’s of London. The first recorded life insurance policy was in 1583, which was a one-year term policy on the life of William Gybbons. The policy owner, Richard Martin, paid a one-time “premium” of 30 pounds sterling and received a death benefit of 400 pounds if Gybbons died within one year. The concept of life insurance caught on all over the world, and today, all life insurance policies have one thing in common: If the insured person dies while the policy is in force, the insurer will give the beneficiary a sum of money, called the death benefit.
|100 BC||Life insurance existed in ancient Rome|
|1583||First recorded life insurance policy was issued in London, England|
|1600s||John Graunt calculated average lifespans from church records and constructed the world’s first mortality tables|
|17th century||The modern concept of an insurance company was born in Edward Lloyd’s Coffee House on London’s Tower Street|
|1759||The Widows and Orphans Friendly Society became the first US company to make life insurance available to the working class|
|21st century||Life insurance is widely owned in the US, and claims are paid out for the terrorist attacks in DC, New York, and Pennsylvania|
Life insurance has come a long way since its inception, but its fundamental purpose remains the same. Life insurance policies provide a death benefit to the beneficiaries if the insured person dies while the policy is in force. It is a vital tool to help families maintain financial stability and provide for their loved ones in case of an unexpected tragedy.
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