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They fell and died upon my ear,
“Here? Thou art here, Love!” _“I Am Here."
I only felt
NE of the subjects which for some recourse to the treatises of Babbage,
time has commanded the public Park, Duer, Ellis, Angell, Bunyon, attention is that of Life Assurance: the Blayney, and other writers on insurmeans by which a man may, through a moderate annual expenditure, make In the early history of insurance, obprovision for his family when death jection was continually made that it was shall have deprived them of his protec- of the nature of a wager, and consetion.
quently not only unlawful, but contra The number of companies organized bonos mores; yet the courts of law in for this purpose, their annual increase, England from the first drew a distincthe assiduity with which their agents tion between a wager and a contract press their respective claims, the books, founded on the principle of indemnity, pamphlets, and circulars which are dis- which principle runs through and unseminated, and the large space occu- derlies the whole subject of insurance. pied by their announcements in the is- Lord Mansfield denominated insurance sues of the press, all unite in creating “a contract upon speculation,” and it a spirit of inquiry on this interesting has universally been considered as a subject. We propose in this article to contract of indemnity against loss or submit a few statements, the collection damage arising from some uncertain of which has been greatly furthered by and future events.
Insurance may be defined generally insurance to ships only was extended to as “a contract by which one of the par goods and houses ; and insurance as a ties binds himself to the other to pay contract of indemnity was subsequently him a sum of money, or otherwise in- extended to human life. demnify him, in the case of the happen- It is a singular fact that the subing of a fortuitous event provided for in ject of effecting insurance on lives was a general or special manner in the con- largely and excitingly discussed on the tract, in consideration of the sum of continent of Europe before it had atmoney which the latter party pays or tracted the slightest attention in Engbinds himself to pay”; or, in the words land ; yet at this day it prevails throughof an eminent English judge, “ It is a out Great Britain, while upon the Concontract to protect men against uncer.. tinent it is comparatively unknown ; its tain events which in any wise may be operations there being chiefly confined a disadvantage to them."
to France, the Netherlands, Germany, The contract securing this indemnity and Denmark. is called a policy, from the Italian po- In Holland, as early as 1681, Van lizza d' assicurazione, or di sicurtd, Hadden and De Witt produced elabowhich signifies a memorandum in writ- rate works upon the subject, while no ing, or bill of security. The sum paid publication appeared in England until for the indemnity is called a premium, twenty years after. These writers were or price; the party taking upon himself followed by Struyck, in 1740, and by the risk being termed the underwriter, Kirseboon, in 1743; while Parcieux, fabecause his name is written at the bot- ther and son, St. Cyran, and Duvillard, tom of the policy, while the person pro- in France, with Euler, Suchmilch, and tected by the instrument is called the Wargentin, in Germany, were with great assured. Says one, “The premium paid ability pressing the subject upon the noby the latter and the peril assumed by tice of their countrymen. But these efthe former are two correlatives insep- forts led to no practical results, and it arable from each other, and the union was reserved for England at a later day constitutes the essence of the contract.” to illustrate the principles of life as
Some writers, Mr. Babbage among surance, and enable the public to enjoy others, use the words “assurance” and extensively its privileges. “insurance” as having distinct mean- Policies of life assurance were isings; but with all underwriters at this sued in England before any companies day they are considered synonymous. were organized to prosecute the busi
Insurance in the first instance was Like marine policies, they were exclusively maritime, and great efforts subscribed by one or more individuals; have been made to prove its antiquity and the first case we find is that of a Some have endeavored, by appeals to ship captain, in 1641, whose life had Livy, Suetonius, Ulpian, and Cicero, been insured by two persons who had to show that insurance was in use in become his bail. The policy was subancient Rome, and that it was invent- scribed by individual underwriters, and ed at Rhodes a thousand years before an able author observes that the case the Christian era; while others claim singularly illustrates the connection that it existed at Tyre, Carthage, Cor- which probably once existed between inth, Athens, and Alexandria.
life and maritime insurance, and shows There is little doubt, however, that it how naturally the latter may have sprung was first practised by the Lombards, and from the former. was introduced into England by a Lom- No business, with the exception, perbard colony, which in the thirteenth cen- haps, of the express system and of tury settled in London, and controlled photography, has grown in the United entirely the foreign trade of the king- States so rapidly as that of life assurdom. After the great fire in London, in ance. There is scarcely a State that 1666, the protection hitherto afforded by has not one or more companies organ
te se Seite sé áis ausines amis s. fiafter as required to pay 100 m2 az ma mdee e ans se ene su Sirei ce the happen- Mascuss an 2007 ing si a suge crent, making the loss The os i ste Sizess z zarzi me ini ad marine polierrace, anstes i sis Commenő cee's a sinction made between These emaries and fra Spam- istai ant rial is.
A as is simily inserted declarone sum sé $63.36230 Is Tigo ing te zijn niet in case the assured e Sevirk Lite zace Trust Company saonica sa ei tie by the hands of va se cay Ese szcz Ost justice artis own hand. or while en
Siop yr A: se cirse of time rez gaiss viciacice of any pablic law. Dis there were eases contes Aersseng case is point is reportcharau sader te kans of that sa se Eagish bocks On the 25th They hate 151.7ho pricies É force célrende.:12Heary Fauntleroy, a 22xzez te sa o $ Ekzish315.33. clecrazed but is London, was exeWatch the RS Cosed assets reach czed ice írgery. The Amicable Sothe son of 22ndz20)
ciety of Londes. the first company esAs trace on Ee is dessed as tabéssec England. had written a pol"2 untract by which the caderwriter, icy oc Es se on which all the prefor a certain sam proportioned to the mos had been paid. The rules of the age, health profession, and other cir- coepass declared that in such cases the Christarces of the person whose life policy Tas visited bet the clause was is the diject of insurance, engages that not isserted in the instrument. The that peran sha!l not cie within the company resisted payment, but a detime lisnited in the policy; or if he do, cision was given sustaining the validity that he will pay a sum of money to of the contract, which was, however, rehim in whose favor the policy was versed, on an appeal being made to the granted."
House of Lords. A person desiring to effect an insur- This clause, declaring a policy void ance on his life usually procures from in case the assured commits suicide, the office in which he proposes to in- has given rise to much litigation. sure a blank form, containing a series Some companies use the word “suiof interrogatories, all of which must cide,” while others insert the words be answered in writing by the applicant. “shall die by his own hand ”; but the To these answers must be appended courts of law in various adjudications the certificate of his usual medical at- have considered the expressions as tendant as to his present and general amounting to the same thing. The state of health, with a like certificate word “suicide" is not to be found in from an intimate personal friend. The any English author anterior to the reign party is then subjected to an examina- of Charles II. Lexicographers trace it tion by the medical examiner of the to the Latin word suicidum, though company, and, if the application is in that word does not appear in the older all respects satisfactory, a policy is is- Latin dictionaries. It is really derived sued.
from two Latin words, se and cædere, On the death of the party assured, — to slay one's self. The great comand due proof being made thereof, the mentator on English law, Sir William company must pay the full sum insured. Blackstone, defines suicide to be the The time fixed for this payment varies act of designedly destroying one's own with different companies. Some agree life. To constitute suicide, the person to pay at thirty, some at sixty, and must be of years of discretion and of some at ninety days after the proofs of sound mind.” death have been received and duly ap- In a case submitted to the Supreme proved.
Court of the State of New York, ChiefThe peculiarity of life assurance com- Justice Nelson settled the whole ques
tion. A life company resisted payment should, in the frenzy of delirium, put
“the party insuring upon a life must
founded in 1706; but, most unreasonThis opinion of Judge Nelson was ably, its rates of premium were made subsequently affirmed by the Court of uniform for all ages assured ; nor was Appeals.
any fixed amount guaranteed in case of The whole current of legal decisions, death. Hence very little was done ; and the suggestions thrown out by learned it was not until 1980 that the business judges, and the growing opinion that of life assurance may be said to have no sane man would be guilty of self- fairly begun. Since then, companies slaughter, have induced several new have been formed from time to time, so companies to exclude this proviso from that at present there are in Great Brittheir policies, while many older ones ain some two hundred in active operahave revised their policies and eliminat- tion, and the amount assured upon life ed the obnoxious clause. It is not that is estimated at more than £ 200,000,000. any man contemplates the commission In America, the first life-assurance of suicide ; but every one feels that company open to all was the Pennsylif there should be laid upon him that vania, established in 1812. And though most fearful of all afflictions, insanity, many others, devoted in whole or in or if, when suffering from disease, he part to this object, were formed in the
interim, so little pains was taken to in- vantageous to the assured, we must conform the public upon the system, that sider the subject of premiums, and unin 1842 the amount assured probably derstand whence companies derive their did not exceed $ 5,000,000. But, in a surplus, or, as it is sometimes called, Christian country, all material enter- the profits. This is easily explained. prises go swiftly forward, and of late As the liability to death increases with years the progress of life assurance has age, the proper annual premium for asequalled that of railroads and tele- surance would increase with each year graphs; so that there are in the United of life. But as it is important not to States at least fifty companies, which burden age too heavily, and as it is simare disbursing in claims, chiefly to wid- pler to pay a uniform sum every year, a ows and orphans, about five millions mean rate is taken, - one too little for of dollars annually.
old age, but greater than is absolutely With this large extension of busi- necessary to cover the risk in the first ness, the fundamental principles of life years of the assurance. Hence the assurance are now universally agreed company receives at first more than on; but, in carrying them out, there it has to pay, and thus accumulates are differences deserving attention. funds to provide for the time when its
Life-assurance companies may be payments will naturally be in excess of divided into three classes, — the stock, its receipts. Now these funds may be the mutual, and the mixed. In the invested so as of themselves to produce stock company, the management is in an income, and the increase thence dethe hands of the stockholders, or their rived may, by the magical power of agents, with whom the applicant for compound interest, reaching through a insurance contracts to pay so much long series of years, become very large. while living, in consideration of a cer- In forming rates of premium, regard tain sum to be paid to his representa- is had to this; but, to gain security in tives at his death; and here his con- a contract which may extend far into nection with it ceases ; the profits of the future, it is prudent to base the the business being divided among the calculations on so low a rate of interstockholders. In the mutual company est that there can be a certainty of obthe assured themselves receive all the taining it. The rate adopted is usually surplus premium or profit. The law three per cent in England, and four or of the State of New York passed in five per cent in this country. But, in 1849 requires that all life - insurance point of fact, the American companies companies organized in the State shall now obtain on secure investments six have a capital of at least one hun- or seven per cent. dred thousand dollars. Mutual life-in- Again, in order to cover expenses surance companies organized in that and provide against possible continState since 1849 pay only seven per gencies, it is common to add to the cent on their capital, which their stock rates obtained by calculation from corby investment may produce. In the rect tables of mortality a certain permixed companies there are various centage, called loading, which is usucombinations of the principles peculiar ally found more than is necessary, and to the other two. They differ from the forms a second source of profit. mutual companies only in the fact that, Again, most tables of mortality are besides paying the stockholders legal derived from the experience of whole interest, they receive a portion of the communities, while all companies now profits of the business, which in some subject applicants to a medical examicases in this country has caused the nation, and reject those found diseased; capital stock to appreciate in value over it being possible to discover, through three hundred per cent, and in Eng- the progress of medical science, even land over five hundred per cent. incipient signs of disease. Hence one
To decide which of these is most ad- would expect that among these selected