The evolution of insurance, and how to consistently get the best insurance rates today.

Ever wonder how insurance works, or how insurance companies work? Ever wonder why your premiums are what they are, or if you're paying a fair price for the insurance you need? Part of the explanation can be found in the vast history of the evolution of the insurance industry. Read on to discover more, and find out how you can consistently get the best rates for auto insurance, term life insurance, home/property insurance, travel insurance and more.

According to, the definition of insurance is:

  1. The act, system, or business of insuring property, life, one's person, etc., against loss or harm arising in specified contingencies, as fire, accident, death, disablement, or the like, in consideration of a payment proportionate to the risk involved.
  2. Coverage by contract in which one party agrees to indemnify or reimburse another for loss that occurs under the terms of the contract.
  3. The contract itself, set forth in a written or printed agreement or policy.
  4. The amount for which anything is insured.
  5. An insurance premium.
  6. Any means of guaranteeing against loss or harm: Taking vitamin C is viewed as an insurance against catching colds.

  7. Source: Unabridged (v 1.1) Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Where did the concept of insurance come from?

Believe it or not the first concept of insurance was introduced in 2100 BC by King Hammurabi of Babylon. With huge growth in trade and transport at the time, theft and loss during shipping became a big problem. The code of Hammurabi was introduced for public protection and included enumeration of crimes and their various punishments as well as settlements for common disputes and guidelines for citizen's conduct. A portion of the code was to ensure that the state would reimburse cargo shippers for their losses in case of loss or theft during transport. The shippers would have to declare before God what they had lost, and the state would compensate them for the amount owed. In effect, the first insurance was provided by the state.

Word of this "insurance" made its way to Greece some time later and all seafaring tradesmen wanted the same type of insurance for their goods as well. Seaborne transport and cargo insurance was then created to suit the needs of that portion of the industry and continued to seep into maritime ports across what we now consider Europe. Over time, insurance became an absolute necessity of doing business.

Why is there so much paperwork involved in insurance now?

Insurance paperwork begins with Italian merchants in Genoa. Signed documentation originated there in 1347 when individuals or groups of people would agree about the risk of a venture and sign their names to the bottom of the first ever insurance contracts. This exercise was also identified as the first instance of underwriting - which we all know is the real source of all that paperwork!

How did insurance products become so numerous and complicated?

Around 600 AD the Romans decided that cargo insurance was not the only concept out there, so they created burial insurance; the first primitive form of life insurance. Burial insurance was provided to all people who were part of a "burial club" also known as a "benevolent society." Each society would collect money from its members and pool it together in order to provide support to families upon the death of a loved one.

Medieval times also saw the re-emergence of burial insurance. The plagues expanded the idea further. During times of great sickness, various guilds (similar to benevolent societies) would cover day to day expenses for their members and their members' families if anyone were to fall ill. This was the first instance of health insurance.

Insurance also came to the Americas during the first years of colonization. After settlers started to get into the routine of everyday life, niche markets started to grow. For instance, farmers wanted to insure their crops for the season and people wanted assurance that their bank deposits would be safe - especially during times of large scale bank robbery in the mid-West. Also, after the fires in New York and Philadelphia in the mid to late 1700's, insurance companies felt it would be in their best interest to have their companies insured with reserves for large scale disasters such as a large city wide fire or earthquake.

Since insurance exists for just about everything - including insurance for insurance companies, it's obvious that it is not easy to understand everything about insurance. But knowing a bit of the history helps us to understand why insurance is so important for all of us today.

You don't need to be an expert to know that you need insurance, but most of us do need a bit of help understanding the types of insurance that are available. Kanetix can help answer the questions you may have - and also show you how much money you could be saving along the way by comparing quotes from different insurance companies.

Comparing multiple quotes at one online location is another milestone in the history of insurance, and it is definitely a welcome tool to help insurance consumers get the best deal for their time and money.

Visit now to learn more and to get a fast and easy quote for auto, property, motorcycle, life, critical illness or travel insurance.; where insurance companies compete, and you save time and money!

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