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Origin Of Life Insurance

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

The rise of life insurance may be traced to several sources. The doctrine of probabilities developed by Pascal and Huyghens as to games of chance was applied to life contingencies by the great Dutch statesman Jan De Witt in 1671, but it was not till some time after that it was applied to life insurance. In 1696 there was a hint at modern life insurance in a London organization, and this was followed by another association two years after. The operators of these two seem to have passed away without giving to their successors any clear account of their plan of operations. In 1706 the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office was founded in London, and this is considered the first actual life insurance company established. Its plan was mutual —that is, each member, without reference to age, paid a fixed admission fee and a fixed annual payment per share on from one to three shares; at the end of the year a portion of the fund was divided among the heirs of deceased members in pro-portion to the shares held by each. In after years the limitations as to age, occupation, and health were added.

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