TravelThe history of travel insurance in the world

The history of travel insurance in the world


One might think that the history of travel insurance is something recent. Not surprisingly, it has a lot to do with the development of travel by car, which is already a little over a hundred years old.

There weren’t as many car owners before 1900 and certainly very few people traveled abroad compared to today. But the truth is that both insurance in general and travel insurance in particular have thousands of years of history behind them.

The first insurance policies were signed thousands of years before Christ and involved Mesopotamian people who traded via caravans and paid to protect their assets against theft or damage. Saving the distances we would find ourselves before a precedent of the travel insurance for luggage.

Later, around 1750 a. C., the Babylonians would already have the first maritime insurance, against the loss of the hull that also served as protection against the loss of cargo. They developed a system that was recorded in the famous Code of Hammurabi and would be used by the first Mediterranean merchants.

If a merchant received a loan to finance his shipment, he had to pay the lender an additional sum in exchange for the lender’s guarantee to repay the loan in case the shipment was lost or stolen.

Queen Elizabeth I granted Richard Chandler the rights to build an insurance office in 1574. Later, in 1601, legislation recognized the ‘Assurance Act’ which stated that the loss of ships must be protected by insurance.

The first specialized travel insurer

In the United States, Benjamin Franklin launched the ‘Philadelphia Contributionship’ to insure homes against fires during the years of the industrial revolution. On his part, James G. Batterson would open the world’s first travel insurance agency in April 1864.

It was called ‘The Traveler’s Insurance Company’. The company’s objective was none other than to offer, as its name suggests, travel insurance against theft and accidents. It all started when businessman James G. Batterson met local banker James E. Bolter at the Hartford post office.

Bolter had heard that Batterson and several coworkers were trying to start an accident insurance company in the United States. The banker told him that he was on his way home and asked him how much it would cost to insure his way in the event of an accident.

“Two cents,” Batterson replied. Bolter walked the four blocks to his house without a hitch. The premium of two cents is a memory that today is kept in the hundred-year-old insurance company ‘Travelers’.

In Batterson’s time, travel insurance was born as an almost exclusive product of the upper class since few could afford “the luxury” of traveling. However, the risks of traveling were significant for these people, as theft could cost the traveler hundreds of dollars. The travel insurance company covered all costs associated with theft and other unexpected circumstances.

Travel insurance today

In the 20th century, health insurance and assistance coverage was added as an option in many travel insurance policies and the insurance was tailored to cover losses caused by canceled flight and hotel reservations as well as other specific travel costs. . This made travel insurance and assistance a necessary purchase for many international businesses and tourists, especially as airplanes became a more popular form of travel.

Since then the travel insurance industry has grown in parallel with the development of tourism. Travel insurance has undoubtedly changed significantly, with new types of insurance coverage and assistance protecting travelers from illness, major and minor trip cancellation issues, kidnapping, acts of terrorism, and many of the other potential dangers that They occur before and during trips.

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