The history of life insurance is actually quite fascinating!
Although life insurance was not a common financial product in the United States until the mid-19th century, the concept of life insurance has been shown to have begun as early as 100 BC. when soldiers from the Roman Empire formed burial clubs to pay for the funeral expenses of fellow soldiers.
I. Roman Funeral Clubs
The purpose of these clubs was to pool members' resources so that when a soldier died unexpectedly, he would receive a proper burial. While the Romans advanced in many ways, the purpose of a proper burial was different than you might think.
Ancient Romans believed that if a proper burial was not given, unfortunate ghosts would be released. The Romans believed this so eagerly that the need arose for funeral clubs to help the poor who could not afford a proper funeral.
When a member of the club died, the combined resources made it possible for even the poor to afford a funeral. expenditure. This concept closely reflects the idea of prizes.
At about 450 AD. these clubs developed and even began to provide a bit of a scholarship for the family of the deceased, which obviously reflects the modern death benefit. When the Roman Empire fell, the funeral clubs fell with it.
II. Edward Lloyd's Coffee House
Insurance later became largely popular in Europe in the 17th century as European civilizations became more dependent on shipping for trade. Shipping companies and merchants would form guilds to protect each other's interests in the event of shipwrecks, fires or piracy.
Marine insurance became an industry in the late 17th century, with the most structurally organized upholstery being Edward Lloyd's Coffee House located on Tower Street in London. Many researchers credit Lloyds as the place where the modern concept of insurance came about.
The first insurance company in the United States was formed in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1735. Life insurance was not added until 1760.  RELATED: 5 Critical Tips You Must Know Before Buying Life Insurance
During the first years that life insurance was offered in the United States, it was not at all as popular as flood and fire insurance and was even preached as evil by religious leaders. Their argument was that buying life insurance was like gambling and betting against God.
III. Moral obligation for men to support families after death
In the mid-19th century, life insurers began to appeal to the moral duty of men to provide for their families in the event of premature death.
That was when the life insurance industry experienced a real boom. Some of the companies that were formed during that time period still exist today, such as New York Life (1845), Mass Mutual (1851), Guardian Life (1860) and Met Life (1864).
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IV. Titanic & WWI
In 1912, when the Titanic sank, Northwestern Mutual paid out $ 500,000 in death benefits to 13 different insurers. Life insurance sales increased dramatically after the First World War.
By 1920, there were more than 120 million life insurance policies owned in the United States, and by 1930, life insurance policies had reached a full-time level of $ 117 billion.
At that time, it was equivalent to about one insurance policy for every adult in the United States. One in five was insured by MetLife.
V. Falling Life Insurance Sales
Sales have been steadily declining since then and in 2010 LIMRA estimated that only 44% of American households have individual life insurance coverage. This is a 50-year minimum level, but life insurance has remained an important part of a family's financial planning.
For example, on 9/11, when 2,976 people died in the attacks in NY, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, it is estimated that over $ 1.2 billion was paid out in life insurance death benefits.
Northwest Mutual reports the benefits paid of approximately $ 125 million to the beneficiaries of the 157 policyholders who lost their lives. sales in the United States to the neglect of the middle class.
Life insurance agents target a prosperous, older market looking for big sales and neglecting the average Joe and Jane who need life insurance coverage to protect their families in the event of an unexpected death
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VI. Modern Perspectives – Life Insurance & Hollywood
Over the years, Hollywood has woven life insurance policies into film plots on several occasions, which almost unanimously shows the insurance industry and agents negatively.
Insurance fraud, assassination plots to collect insurance revenue, and malicious companies that deny policyholders benefits are just a few common uses for movie insurance policies.
Film Assumption # 1 – The insurance industry is unethical.
It is almost an unwritten assumption in movies that everything and everyone is connected to insurance. is immoral or even evil. Insurance companies or their agents almost always play the role of antagonist. Think of the following movies:
The Rainmaker (1997) – When the parents of a 22-year-old boy who dies of leukemia submit an application to an insurance company called "Big Benefit", the company denies the claim and thereby denying the boy the bone marrow transplant needed.
Damon's character helps the family sue Great Benefit. The company only violates their denial and the boy dies during the trial.
Viewers get the feeling that this is not only happening to great advantage, but in the entire insurance industry.
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In fact, refusal of claims is a major problem with health insurance.
According to EmaxHealth, From 2002 through June 30, 2009, the five largest insurers in California rejected 31.2 million claims or a staggering 21 percent of all damages.
Insurance representatives will, however, claim that most of these refusals are due to incorrect forms being filled out and eventually most of these claims will be paid.
A Little Journey to Heaven (2005) – Forest Whitaker plays an insurance adjuster who discovers what could possibly be a couple engaged in identity theft, murder, and other life insurance frauds. His job is to expose fraudulent activities to protect the company's investments.
In at least three separate scenes, he appears in his office and negotiates a payment with the recipients. On all three occasions, he can prove why their claim is not valid and offer them a significantly lower payout.
The problem I have with this movie is that it makes it look like the insurance company is out to rip everyone off, and will do everything they can to deny a claim. The truth is that life insurance companies paid out more than $ 56 billion in death benefits in 2007, according to LIMRA, which was more than 98% of all death claims.
In truth, insurance fraud is common even in the life insurance industry. but life insurance companies examine very few claims as described in "A Little Journey to Heaven."
If the insurance was issued less than two years after the insured's death, your typical indemnity representative will collect the death certificate, make sure it matches the deceased person's insured's social security number and will conduct a telephone interview with "relatives".
They will also collect records to make sure that the insured did not falsify any information about the application.
In addition, if the death certificate identifies the cause of death as unintentional or due to murder, the tort representative will call the police to confirm the unintentional death, or in the case of murder, that the recipient is not a suspect.  On this occasion, if everything looks good, the benefit is paid out. If something is not right, they can send out a character like Forest Whitakers for further investigation.
The film makes it look like all insurance companies do this in every claim. After the insurance has been in force for more than two years, the insurance company must pay out the full amount, even if it is suicide.
The Apartment (1960) – This Oscar-winning film is a classic portrait of the corporate world, and in particular the insurance industry, acting immorally.
It shows an insurance agent trying to get ahead in a company with 30,000 employees. How do you do that?
Simple, lend your apartment to the best dogs so they have a secret place to take their mistresses.
The Incredibles (2004) – Even Mr. Incredible (commonly known as Bob Parr) works for an insurance company, Insuricare, whose manager discourages him from paying on claims.
After giving in to a benefit claim, his boss, Mr. Huph, him aside and say, "Parr! Have you approved payment under the Walker policy? … I do not want to know about their coverage, Bob!
Do not tell about their coverage. Tell me how you keep Insuricare in black! "In the real world, insurance companies do not treat all claims with a rubber stamp, not even health insurance companies.
Film Assumption # 2 – Insurance agents are boring, rude and unhappy.
That being said, there are definitely many insurance agents. out there rubbing people the wrong way. I was recently told by a client that I was the first insurance agent he had ever met that he liked. My client is 56.
The Truman Show (1998) – Jim Carey's character discovers that his entire existence is a hoax created for a TV show.
Everything in his world is deceptively perfect, including his wife, friends, house and, of course, his job as an insurance manager.
Fight Club (1999) – The protagonist (Edward Norton) is an insurer sick of his dead end, white collar corporate career, urging him to join a club where friends meet to strike daylight apart.
And finally – Some favorite girls who include life insurance in the plot
Double Compensation (1944) – This is a classic movie by Billy Wilder, based on a woman persuading her boyfriend to kill her husband, after have taken out a large life insurance policy for him.
Death needed to look unintentional, so the policy would pay out double death benefits, as it had double compensation
Since her boyfriend is an Pacific-All-Risk insurance agent, he should know how to cheat the system, but the investigator , Barton Keyes, eventually takes over.
The problem with this conspiracy is that, once again, it is usually not an insurance investigator who solves a crime in real life. It's the police.
If this case had occurred, the wife and husband would have received the money, as the autopsy and the police investigation both pointed to an unintentional death.
At this time, the insurance company pays the benefit; it does not send out an investigator.
Alias Jesse James (1959) – This is a Western comedy from Bob Hope in which Hope & # 39 ;s character, a life insurance agent, sells $ 100,000 insurance to ban Jesse James , who writes TJ James about his application.
Jesse James describes himself as "well known in the banking and railway industry".
When Hope & # 39 ;s boss finds out, he's charged with finding Jesse James to return the policy to him and help protect. James before anything happens to him.
I love this movie, but it would never happen. All life insurance applications ask about your profession. If you said you were a train and bank robber, the company would not issue any insurance.
However, if you lie and die within two years of the insurance, as in a firefight, the insurance company would be out of the hook because a material misstatement was made in the application.
In addition, the policy could be revoked without having to return the policy to Mr. James.
The Big White (2005) – This movie is about an insurance fraud caused by the travel agent, Paul Barnell.
When he finds a dead body in the snow in the Alaskan Mountains, he tries to play it off as if it were his missing brother's body and collects the proceeds of his $ 1 million life insurance policy.
This is another case where the person who commits fraud almost gets away with it, because he is cheating everyone, but then the insurance claims adjuster comes in and calculates it.
VII. Life Insurance Agents Get A Bum Rap
In general, I think insurance gets a bum rap in Hollywood and in general. While some agents may be a little rude or intrusive … and some health insurance companies deny too many claims, the insurance industry is an integral part of our lives.
In most cases, companies deliver what they promise. I have personally known families who lost their homes in the San Diego wildfire in 2003, who long ago lived in newly built homes, paid with income from real estate insurance companies.
I also know several life insurance customers who came to me after a friend or relative died to tell me how they saw that the life insurance exchange helped the grieving family.
Going forward, I would like to see Hollywood stop demonizing the insurance industry. I think it's irresponsible, not to mention bad for my company!
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