The Story of Insurance–from Goods to Eyebrows!

These days, you can purchase many types of insurance plans at a mere click of a mouse?Çöright from visitors’ insurance to international student insurance. And you can insure pretty much anything too?Çöfrom your voice, to your shapely legs, if you’d so like.

But insurance wasn’t always so inclusive. The only things considered worthy of insurance were goods that were traded. The earliest concept of paying for insurance was pioneered by the Babylonians as early as the 16th century BC and was used by merchants who set out to sea. They paid an extra sum to their money lenders so that the loan would be canceled if the goods were stolen.

The concept was widened by the Iranians to include other expenses faced by people?Çömarriages, bad financial times, and the construction of a building, for example. It was a general fund, and not for a specific reason. The Greeks and the Romans pioneered the concept of life and health insurance.

Insurance, in its current avatar, can be traced back to London’s Great Fire, which destroyed thousands of houses. After the Great Fire, an insurance company called ‘The Fire Office’ opened to insure homes. Through the 17th and 18th centuries, more specialized insurance plans came into being, leading to the ultra-specialized insurance plans available today, that let you insure your eyebrows or your cat!