Rise of Modern Insurance

From 1347 in Genoa, insurance certainly changed from not only being for maritime insurance that quickly grew after this first contract.

The very first marine insurance company found on record was Lloyd’s Coffee House. Home and property insurance emerged after the Great Fire of London in 1666 that destroyed over 13,000 homes. The opinion of Sir Christopher Wren due to the loss stated a plan in 1667 for a site for the Insurance Office. Most of the methods of insurance did not work properly and were never used until finally, economist Nicholas Barbon in 1681 along with 11 associates created the very first fire insurance company known as the Insurance Office for Houses that would insure the frame and brick homes. This office insured 5,000 homes shortly after it was established.

There was still a growing need for maritime insurance due to more exporting and at the end of the 17th century, London was a huge trade center. During the 1680s, a coffee shop was opened by Edward Lloyd that became the center for merchants and those in the shipping industry to discuss insuring their ships along with their cargo as well as those that were to underwrite the agreements. This was the beginning of many of the shipping and insurance companies in London.

By the 18th century, the first company that offered life insurance was known as the “Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office. The office was established by William Talbot and Sir Thomas Allen in London in 1706. In 1762, the “Society for Equitable Assurances on Lives and Survivorship was founded by Edward Rowe Mores. These types of policies were based on the mortality rate in order to figure how much the insurer would pay the insurance company.

By the end of the 19th century, accident insurance was added to the industry with the first company established in England in 1848 known as the Railway Passengers Assurance Company.