Oldest Insurance Companies in the World

8 Oldest Insurance Companies in the World

The greatest risk we face in life is being injured or killed by others. We insure our homes, cars, and possessions to protect against these risks. In the same way, many countries have private insurance to protect their citizens against the financial impacts of a catastrophic event like an earthquake or flood.

Insurance can also protect you from financial hardship. If you lose your job and have no other source of income, it might take years before you find another one—and even then, it may not pay enough for everything you want to buy. With insurance, you can be sure that if something happens, there’s someone who will help pay for the things that matter most: food, shelter, health care, or even just getting through each day.

Insurance companies in the world is the term used to describe an industry that deals with insuring individuals, households, and countries that have a two-part structure for their insurance systems.

One part is the regulatory framework, which includes licensing and regulation, and another part includes private sector companies that are licensed to operate under certain standards set by government authorities. If you are one of those who are interested in insurance stuff, this article will give you an idea of the eight oldest insurance companies in the world.

8. Federal Crop Insurance

Year: 1938
Country: United States
Type(s) of Insurance: Crop Insurance

Federal Crop Insurancephoto source: fdic.gov

Congress originally approved government crop insurance and other programs in the 1930s to aid in the recovery of agriculture from the combined impacts of the Dust Bowl and Great Depression. In order to carry out the plan, the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) was established in 1938.

The 1980 Act significantly expanded the types of crops and geographical regions that the crop insurance program covered. The Free Catastrophic Coverage, which provided farmers with compensation for preventing planting losses and output losses under the Farm Bills, introduced in the 1960s and 1970s, were superseded by expansion because it competed with the experimental crop insurance scheme.

Businesses can now take part in the study and creation of new insurance features and products according to a bill established by Congress in 2000. RMA is now allowed to sign contracts and establish partnerships with other businesses in order to conduct research and develop cutting-edge insurance products thanks to the increase in its contracting and partnering authority.

After three years, the private business has the option of giving up ownership of the insurance product to RMA or opting to keep it while imposing a fee on other insurance providers that sell it that has been approved by the Board.

Did You Know?

The Federal Crop Insurance Program provided coverage for over 460 million acres of agricultural land in 2021.


7. Hand in Hand Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Ltd

Year: 1864
Country: South America
Type(s) of Insurance: Property, Accident, Marine, Liability, and Motor Insurance

photo source: handinhandtrustgy.com

As a rapidly expanding wooden metropolis, Georgetown was always at risk of fire in 1864. Sadly, their worries came true on April 3 and July 4, when two terrible fires crippled Georgetown’s business district and caused losses that, at current exchange rates, would be worth almost $1 billion. Expat corporations decided to raise their premium rates, which were already exorbitant at 3% to 6% of the insured amount.

The company took fire and general insurance from all different groups without discrimination in order to preserve its innovativeness and dominate the insurance sector.

The British Guiana and Trinidad Mutual Fire Insurance Company and the Demerara Mutual Life Assurance Company were both rated by the Board in 1880 and 1891, respectively, prior to the corporation being reinsured in the 1870s. Even though both companies were only offered coverage for a limited number of hazards per block.

A few Hand In Hand Directors founded these businesses with the intention of meeting the demands of a developing market.

Did You Know?

Insurance company Hand in Hand Mutual Fire was the first property insurance company in Guyana. It was founded in 1865 and is a mutual company, which means that its policyholders own it.


6. Franklin Health Assurance Company

Year: 1850
Country: United States
Type(s) of Insurance: Health Insurance

photo source: scripophily.com

Massachusetts-based Franklin Health Assurance Company started offering accident insurance coverage to workers in the railroad industry, dangerous steamboat crews, and other high-risk professions in 1850. As the market grew, they even looked for clients in other, safer professions who were in good health.

People started to realize the necessity of covering the cost of medical operations around this same period. In the past, under the so-called fee-for-service model, patients were responsible for covering all medical costs out of pocket. Hospitals started offering prepaid expense plans as a way to ease these one-time costs. These plans allowed patients to pay small amounts on a monthly basis to offset the cost of future visits.

Did you know?

In the 19th century, businesses started to provide what is now known as disability insurance to shield people from the loss of income caused by becoming disabled.


5. Charleston Insurance Company

Year: 1776
Country: United States
Type(s) of Insurance: Marine Insurance

Charleston Insurance Companyphoto source: southcarolina1670.files.wordpress.com

The majority of marine insurance contracts in eighteenth-century Britain were written by individual merchants. Shippers and ship owners were able to exchange insurance informally through coffeehouses in London.

Edward Lloyd’s Coffeehouse, which opened in the seventeenth century, later became Lloyd’s of London, had gained control over the individual underwriting market. In the 1720s, similar insurance agencies where neighborhood merchants could take on specific journeys started to arise in several American port communities.

The trade was headquartered in Philadelphia throughout the eighteenth century, where at least fifteen different brokerages helped put insurance in the hands of around 150 private underwriters. Through the agents of Lloyd’s and other British insurers, American shippers could also purchase insurance, but they frequently had to wait months for loss reimbursements.

Did you know?

The first two American marine insurance firms were founded in South Carolina: Charleston Insurance Company and South Carolina Insurance Company.


4. Equitable Life Assurance Society

Year: 1762
Country: United States
Type(s) of Insurance: Mutual Life Insurance

Equitable Life Assurance Societyphoto source: c8.alamy.com

Initially called the Society for Equitable Assurances on Lives and Survivorships, it has undergone several name changes. The position’s official name in 1893, after being registered under the Companies Acts and having a Memorandum of Understanding created, became the Equitable Life Assurance Society, and the Association’s Articles. The Society was also known as “The Equitable” or “The Old Equitable” in slang.

“The Actuary” was the title of the society’s main executive. The society’s primary activity was the approval of life insurance. The Court of Directors undertook this task. Because the society is a cooperative organization, those who attended the General Court had a lot of control over decisions made, and resolutions couldn’t go into effect until they were passed at two General Assembly meetings.

Beginning in 1786, the General Court also dealt with grievance petitions that members submitted for review. The Memorandum and Articles of Association, adopted and registered in 1893, gave the directors more authority and provided a larger society with more authority.

Did You Know?

A Deed of Settlement from 1762 created the Equitable Life Assurance Society, and in 1763 it was registered with the Court of the King’s Bench in 1765.


3. Presbyterian Ministers’ Fund

Year: 1759
Country: United States
Type(s) of Insurance: Life Insurance

Presbyterian Ministers' Fundphoto source: live.staticflickr.com

On January 11, 1759, the Presbyterian Synods of Philadelphia and New York created the “Presbyterian Ministers Fund for Life Insurance” to aid Presbyterian women whose husbands had passed away.

Although Benjamin Franklin founded the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire some seven years prior, it wasn’t the first life insurance company. The Presbyterian Ministers Fund and Franklin’s Philadelphia Contributionship are both in operation today.

The Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company bought it in 1994, and the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company bought it in 2002.

The Presbyterian Ministers Fund and Franklin’s Philadelphia Contributionship are both in operation today. It was purchased in 1994 by the Provident Mutual Life Insurance Company and in 2002 by the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

Did You Know?

In a way, the Presbyterian Ministers Fund and Franklin’s Philadelphia Contributionship are still active today.


2. Philadelphia Contributionship

Year: 1752
Country: United States
Type(s) of Insurance: Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire

Philadelphia Contributionshipphoto source: 1752.com

Philadelphia was a fairly small town when it was formed in 1752, with only roughly 15,000 inhabitants and eight volunteer fire companies.

The city was planned with a strong emphasis on fire prevention; streets were broader than usual, and brick and stone were employed in building projects regularly. Fires did still happen despite the efforts of firemen and preventative measures.

Philadelphians jumped at the chance to use insurance as a safety net. The company recently diversified by entering the home security industry and expanding analogously to how Philadelphia’s contributions were made in new directions by purchasing Germantown Insurance Company and its numerous lines of business.

Did You Know?

Benjamin Franklin and his fellow firefighters established The Philadelphia Contributionship in 1752, which has been an insurance provider ever since.


1. Hamburger Feuerkasse

Year: 1676
Country: Germany
Type(s) of Insurance: Comprehensive

Hamburger Feuerkassephoto source: yelpcdn.com

The Hamburger Feuerkasse is the oldest insurance company in the world. In 1676, it was founded by Georg Brandes and Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, who were both members of the Grand Duchy of Baden.

The company was born out of a need for a new kind of insurance company that would cater to entrepreneurs and farmers—and not just large corporations. The founders felt that many traditional insurers would not take on their clients’ business because they did not have enough money to pay claims or because they wanted their clients to have more control over the cash value of their policies.

Today, Hamburger Feuerkasse has offices across Germany as well as in Austria and Switzerland. The company has worked with some of the world’s largest companies over the years, including Volkswagen AG and Siemens AG.

Did You Know?

The Hamburger Feuerkasse is Germany’s oldest insurance company and one of the largest private non-profit insurers in the country.

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