This is a brief life insurances history. During the early days people used to help each other in times of death tragedies and calamities. Whenever a member of the neighborhood dies they try to uplift the stricken family’s financial burden by passing the hat. Everyone in the neighborhood contributes whatever they can to help the family cope with the costs of burial and other expenses during and after the wake.
Passing the hat, however, never came close to really uplifting the family’s financial needs specially when there are young dependents left by the breadwinner. Even to these days if a breadwinner unexpectedly dies, the children are forced to stop their studies when there is no enough money or properties left to sustain their daily necessities and school fees. The children are forced to work for their own survival.
Because of the great problem brought by successive deaths in the community, someone then had the idea of creating a death fund. This fund would raise and maintain a permanent fund that would take care of any bereaved family. It was planned that a) a definite amount would be paid from the fund to the living survivors of the family, b) a regular contributions had to be made to keep an adequate fund.
In 1759, the first insurance company was established. It was called The Corporation for Relief of Poor and Distressed Presbyterian Ministers and of the Poor and Distressed Widows and Children of Presbyterian Ministers.
Today, many life insurance policies are carefully designed not only for the policy holder’s death benefits but also for his living benefits that includes dividend shares, savings accumulation, retirement funds and many more.