History of Property Insurance

Long ago, we figured out there is strength in numbers. For hundreds of years, people have been joining forces against all kinds of calamities — including financial troubles.

The concept of insurance is simply that if enough people can pool their money to form a large enough fund, then together we can handle practically any financial disaster. Your motivation for contributing to this fund is your own eligibility to draw from it if the disaster happens to be yours. One for all and all for one, so to speak.

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In spite of the complications and occasional bureaucratic snarls, the system has worked remarkably well for literally ages. The Code of Hammurabi, from Babylonian laws dating back to 1700 B.C., contains a credit insurance provision. For a little more interest, the ancients could exempt themselves from repayment of loans in the event of personal misfortune. A citizen of the Roman Empire could buy life insurance through the Collegia Tenuiorum for slaves and wage earners, or the Collegia for members of the military. The funds provided old-age pensions, disability insurance, and burial costs.

Insurance for Property, Life, Auto, Health, Etc.

Today, virtually all heads of families should carry life insurance just like the prudent Romans. Most financial advisors also recommend the following types of policies: automobile, health, homeowners, personal liability, professional liability and/or malpractice, disability, and long-term-care insurance.

Carefully Consider Insurance Needs Before Purchase

Purchasing individual or family insurance coverage is an important financial decision — probably one of the most important you will make. A great deal of study and advice are needed to choose wisely. A few basic guidelines can safely be applied to most customers. Beyond these, each individual’s needs are unique and should be carefully assessed by an expert.

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  1. Q: How much insurance do you need?
    A: Don’t insure yourself against misfortunes you can pay for yourself. Why gamble all that money that misfortunes will happen? If they don’t, you’re way ahead. If they do, it will usually cost you less in actual costs than the insurance premiums you would have paid.
  2. Q: What kind of policy is best?
    A: Broader is better. Cover as many misfortunes as possible with a single policy. Carefully examine policies that exclude coverage in certain areas. These are called policy exclusions.
  3. Q: From whom should I buy it?
    A: Consider buying from financially strong companies. You may save by buying multiple policies from the same agent. Shop carefully. There is strength in unity. Join the party, but only buy what you need.

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