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date: 28 January 2022


The Oxford Companion to United States History
Tom MertesTom Mertes

The history of insurance in the United States involves two major themes: risk protection and capital accumulation. Early American insurance companies adopted British insurance firms' practices in covering marine and fire hazards. Organized underwriters, usually merchants and real-estate men who could assess risk and estimate profitable premium rates, insured policyholders for lost cargoes and the destruction of buildings by fire. (Risk is now calculated by professional actuaries using complex statistical techniques.)... ...

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