Interesting Insurance Trivia and Facts

Duck & scaleIt’s hard to believe today, but back in 1901 London’s streets were free of automotive traffic. Petrol powered cars had only just been invented, and nobody had given insurance a second thought. In fact, the very first car to be insured was covered under a maritime insurance policy issued by Lloyds of London. The vehicle was deemed to be a ship navigating on dry land.

The boffins at the Association of British Insurers have kindly crunched the following numbers for 2012: The UK insurance industry is the third largest in the world, employing 290,000 people and responsible for a whopping£1.8 trillion worth of investment, or put another way the equivalent of 26% of the country’s total net worth.

In the early 1990s a South African soap manufacturer insured Princess Diana for the princely sum of R 400,000 (approximately £30,000), although the chances are she knew nothing about it. The insurance covered an eight week advertising campaign featuring a Princess Diana look-alike. The thinking behind the policy was that if anything were to happen to the real royal; the adverts would have to be shelved and the investment lost.

The word ‘insurance’ dates back to the middle of the 15th century and is thought to derive from the Anglo-Norman word ‘enseurer’ (literally ‘en’ make + ‘seur’ sure). By the 16th century ‘insurance’ was widely understood to have its current meaning, replacing the archaic word assurance.

It seems that insurers will offer cover for just about any eventuality. We’ve already written about celebrities who have insured their body parts for millions, but the madness isn’t restricted to A-listers. Slightly bizarre, but ever popular, policies include:  payouts for having twins, cover against getting a hole-in-one and protection against alien abduction.

Insurance salesman are easy targets for comedians and Woody Allen hits the bullseye with the following quip “There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman?”

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