Benjamin Franklin: Founding Father of Insurance

In 1730, after a fire destroyed most of Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin established the first fire department called the Union Fire Company, an organized effort that consisted of more than a few buckets.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is one of Ben Franklin’s many famous quotes, which inspired people to better prevent fires and help fire victims recover. But he also realized that people could not protect themselves from natural fire causes such as lightning. So, it was at a meeting for the Union Fire Co. that Franklin came up with the idea for fire insurance within the fire department where members agreed to raise funds within their own group to secure the need for property replacement if destroyed by fire.

He was disappointed in the consumer’s lack of prevention, suggesting that homeowners should be more efficient when it came to constructing shallow hearths. He advised them to clean their chimneys more frequently and that chimney sweeps should be licensed.

It was then that he also established the Philadelphia Contribution ship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss of Fire. Franklin extended the insurance program beyond the company members which developed into a mutual company. Franklin was the first to sign in as a private citizen.

In another continent, it was also in the middle of the 17th century that in the streets of London, England, a group of people met together at Lloyd’s Coffee House and decided to come up with life insurance ideas. Once the basics were established, the first life insurance policy was written in South Carolina and religious groups fought because it went against their belief to focus on their own individual death.

However, as time went on with catastrophes as the Chicago Fire and war, life insurance was well worth the premium. Today, affordable life insurance offers a variety of policies to meet all needs. Life insurance rates are better than most expect so talk to an agent today.

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