The History of Insurance (and what we can learn from it)

An (Extremely) Brief History of Insurance

You can go to Wikipedia or the stacks at your local university if you want a ton of detail

Some of the first hints of insurance trace back to ye olde Babylonia, China, and other ancient cultures (BC era). In Athens, they’d get loans for their cargo and pay extra to have those loans forgiven should their cargo not end up where it needed to via shipwreck.

Then there were the Genoans who shipped things on boats also, but

Some time in the 1600s, a mass fire knocked out over 13,000 houses and property insurance was born.

Cars were built, and in 1897 in the states, Travelers Insurance sold the first auto policy.

As we continue to add new commerce and technological practices and innovations, insurance tends to grow and meet needs through new policies and coverages.

The Lesson

As our businesses and nonprofits grow and as our operations and personnel and assets shift and change, it’s important to keep an eye out on what is needed to protect everything.

What happens on a macro level over time – policies coming on line in response to huge cultural and technological shifts – should also happen on a micro level in each of our nonprofits, businesses, and personal lives.

At any given time, what do we need to protect? To whom are we responsible?

I wrote a check to a life insurance company today because I’m a married man with three children. 12 years ago, that check wouldn’t have been necessary.

Continually review where you are and the people who depend on your work, business, or even life.


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