The idea of insurance goes back many centuries. Merchants would devide cargo among different ships to minimize their loss if one of the ships was lost at sea. Money lenders financed shipments with the understanding that if the ship sank, the loan would be cancelled. However, if the voyage was successful, the borrower had to pay back the loan and an interest charge. The merchents were protected from having to pay back a loan for lost goods, and as long as the lender spread the risk enough his loss was minimal. These are the beginings of the insurance industry. Some one assuming anothers risk for a fee. As people started specializing in this field, companies were formed to facilitate the transaction of some one needing insurance, and someone willing to provide insurance. Lloyds of London is an example. Eventually insurance companies were formed to underwrite risk. Fire, health, theft, liability were all hazards you could purchase insurance for. In the early 1900's the New York Standard Fire Policy became the standard fire policy for most states. In 1943 the 165 line form was revised and was used as the foundation for most property coverages found today.

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