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The History of Life Insurance in the UK

Manchester Street History of Life Insurance

The History of Life Insurance in the UK

The First Policy

Life Insurance First Policy - History of Life Insurance

The he first policy ever documented in the history of Life Insurance was started was for a Mr William Gibbons in 1583, which was underwritten by individuals and taken out to cover his loans. It took over 120 years to become what we would now recognise as a Life Insurance company.

The First Company

Old house with Life Insurance

In 1706 the first Life Insurance company was founded ‘the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office’ by Sir Thomas Allen and William Talbot in London. Each member was aged between 12 and 55 and would make a fixed payment on a number of shares (1-3). he children and wives of deceased members would be paid from the takings (the “amicable contribution”) at the end of each year.

A Modern Life Insurer

modern life insurance

The modern incarnation of a Life Insurance company started in the 1750s when mathematical and statistical tools were developed that allowed life tables to predict the likelihood of an applicant’s death and therefore the likelihood of their claim in that year. The mathematician James Dodson developed the business model for taking premiums based on a person’s risk of death, after he was rejected from the Amicable Society. It must be remembered, he was not successful in making his business work but his protégé Edward Mores was, because he established the world’s first mutual insurer ‘The Society for Equitable Assurance on Lives and Survivorship’ in 1762 using Dodson’s business model.

The Early 1800s

In the early 1800s just 10 UK Life Insurance companies existed and the actuarial approach was refined (a more accurate determination of likelihood of death using health factors). Further, driven by the UK’s dominant role in international commerce during The Industrial Revolution, insurance companies rapidly grew across the world. Their model required good funding by capital derived from profit, with an actuarial underwriting approach combined with a profit driven motive. This was so successful it is still used by insurance companies today.

In the Victorian Era

By the 1850s there was over 180 Life Insurance companies with specialist insurances for professionals, such as doctors and lawyers. Around 80% of Life Insurance companies failed between 1843 and 1870. This led to the first real regulations by the government to stop mismanagement in the market.

Before WWI

Manchester Street History of Life Insurance

In 1914 demand for a new type of Life Insurance product had grown and dominated the industry- Endowment Insurance. A UK innovation that invested premiums and guaranteed a payment at the end of a period of time or a larger pay-out if the insured died during that period.

Between the Wars

Two flappers in London 1920 discussion History of Life Insurance

The Life Insurance industry doubled between WWI and WWII with tax incentives, increased purchasing power and concern with inflation fuelling demand. At this time many workers wanted company pension schemes increased and many companies began offering group Life Insurance for workers. This cut down considerably on transaction costs, gave the workers protection and allowed the company to pool risk.

After WWII

Post WWII, Life Insurance grew rapidly forming one of the bedrocks in the financial services sector and is a recognised driver of economic growth by supporting both consumer spending and capital markets. For consumers it provides millions for UK families with protection against premature death for which setting aside precautionary savings is just not practical.

Modern Insurers

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The FCA has regulated UK insurance companies to provide important protection for consumers. Giving them the confidence to buy life insurance from hundreds of firms throughout the UK.

The Most Modern of Insurers

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How Our Rewards Work

Our reward offer takes part of what they would spend on advertising and gives it directly to you. This means you get the saving you deserve and they receive the benefit of your custom. It is a win-win.

For instance, one of our purposes (aside from being our client’s champions for rewards) is to help British people receive life cover UK people. Llama Life has affordable premiums and an excellent reward package.

Where Do You Get Our Rewards

We do this through online portal for Llama Life customers (with premiums over £8 a month), it has hundreds of retailers offering amazing discounts. The average family can save over £1000 a year with weekly shops, days out and much much more!

In conclusion, you pay for live cover and get access to the rewards you deserve… win-win.

Life Insurance and Instant Rewards

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