Amicable_Society_for_a_Perpetual_Assurance_Office,_Serjeants'_Inn,_Fleet_Street,_London,_1801

The idea of insurance has been around for quite some time. There are two types of economies in society: non-monetary economies (think of nomadic civilizations who use barter and trade) and monetary economies (with tools like currency and financial instruments). And what about life insurance? What about protecting our assets?

Imagine, it’s 600 BC. Florists are putting the final touches on the lush hanging gardens of Nebuchadnezzar. Athens is experiencing crippling economic debt as Hellenistic culture flees to greener pastures on Italian shores in Pompeii and Milan. So, amid all this change and turmoil of history and awakening of consciousness, the Greeks and Romans introduced the earliest blossoms of what is today’s health and life insurance when they created guilds called “benevolent societies.” Together, members of the guild covered funeral expenses (the toll to eternity was not cheap!). In the middle ages, guilds continued a similar practice.

Fast forward a few hundred years and meet the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office. Founded in 1706 by Bishop William Talbot in London, this is considered the first life insurance company in the world. How did it work? The Amicable Society started with two-thousand members. Each member paid a fixed annual payment per share, from one to three shares considering the age of the members being 12 to 55. Then, a portion of this “amicable” payment was divided among the family of deceased members in proportion to the amount of shares the heirs owned.

As industrialization took hold of the modern word, business insurance developed to benefit companies who were threatened by fires and floods. Life Insurance developed in the U.S. as a continuation to relieve the stress and economic disenfranchisement of widows in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a way to treat members fairly and reflected many of the ideals of the popular reform movements of the time.

Life insurance is proud to honor its long legacy. Protect your assets, your family, and your future today!

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