A short history of insurance

Claud Mccoid

Although insurance is a familiar part of life for many people, most of us take it for granted. Cave dwellers did not have insurance, so when was it first used? Insurance is big business in the UK and the sector employs more than 300,000 people. Here is a brief history of how insurance developed.

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Early stages

There were forms of insurance in Ancient China and Babylon in around 2000BC for things such as shipping expeditions, largely to cover the cost if a ship sank while it was transporting goods. Neither boats nor insurance were as reliable and regulated as they are today. Trade in ancient China also took place along the famed Silk Road, which has now reopened thanks to a new rail service.

The ancient Romans introduced insurance as a contract about a millennium later. They devised life and health insurance through benevolent organisations to care for members of families after a bereavement.

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Later developments

An insurance contract in Genoa dates back to 1347. In the 16th century, alpine farmers developed schemes to look after each other in case of a mishap.

In 17th-century London, a cafe near the docks became a magnet for those who liked to gossip about what was being shipped and place bets on whether the vessels would arrive on time – or even whether they would arrive at all. Edward Lloyd, who owned the cafe, started a report on shipping news that became Lloyd’s List. If you wanted to insure a ship, you went to the cafe and signed a contract, becoming an underwriter. Late in the 19th century, accident insurance was developed and a group of underwriters formed the Society of Lloyd’s, which remains a huge name in insurance.

If you are thinking about taking out or updating your motor trade insurance, a great place to start is an online insurance broker such as Quotemetoday. A site such as this can give you an excellent overview of what is available when it comes to motor trade insurance.

Insurance is a necessary part of life. Before taking out a policy, do your research to ensure you are getting the right policy for the job. Professional and reliable insurance can be worth the money for the peace of mind it provides, regardless of whether you need to make a claim.

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