Car insurance secrets

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Origin of Car Insurance

One of the most widespread types of insurances in the world, car insurance is a legal requirement for car owners in almost every country on earth. Car insurance may cover not only all types of physical damage to any vehicles involved in an accident but also the medical expenses of any persons involved in an accident. It may also cover damage inflicted to property in any accident involving a vehicle.
Marine Insurance

The ancient Chinese were the first to come up with the idea of insuring a traveling unit. When the Americas were first being settled, Chinese merchants would often ship huge amounts of valuable merchandise across the Atlantic Ocean. These were dangerous trips with great risks involved and occasionally entire ships would disappear, either having sunk in a fierce storm or having been captured by pirates.

A group of Chinese entrepreneurs began offering insurance policies on ships undertaking these dangerous voyages. In return for a small fee, these entrepreneurs offered to take the risk off the merchants and put it on themselves. They would earn the small fee if nothing happened to the ship, but they would have to pay for any damages inflicted on the ship while under their insurance policy. This became known as marine insurance and is still in practice in many of today’s commercial ports.
The Evolution of Car Insurance

As the use of cars became more and more widespread, policymakers began to adapt the idea of marine insurance to land-based motor vehicles. The government soon decided that it was a risk as well as a privilege to operate one’s motor vehicle on public property. Laws were passed that legally required car owners to purchase car insurance both to protect themselves and others in case of an accident. The first state to mandate car insurance was Massachusetts who, in 1927, made insurance mandatory for all vehicles on their roads. Today, car insurance is mandatory in all 50 states.
The First Car Insurance Policies

The very insurance policy to be issued in the United States was in the early 1800s - nearly a hundred years before motorized vehicles became widespread. In 1895, a company owned by English investors issued the first policy with liability coverage included. Liability coverage was introduced to the United States three years later in 1898. Today, although every state has a different minimum amount of required obligations in their car insurance laws, liability coverage is mandatory in all 50.

Miles Walker is a freelance writer who normally writes feature articles for He recently wrote about California car insurance.