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The Value of RiskSwiss Re and the History of Reinsurance$
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Harold James, Peter Borscheid, David Gugerli, and Tobias Straumann

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199689804

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199689804.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

The Early Years

The Early Years

(p.22) (p.23) Chapter 1 The Early Years
The Value of Risk

Harold James

Peter Borscheid

David Gugerli

Tobias Straumann

Oxford University Press

Peter Borscheid's introductory chapter to the history of the global spread of insurance shows how traditional insurance models such as friendly societies were increasingly challenged by the emergence of a new, modern insurance concept that was based on the rationalism of the Enlightenment and modern corporate forms such as the joint stock company. Industrialization and the overseas expansion of British trade called for new and more efficient insurance solutions. Initially, the sugar trade in particular was to have a big influence on spreading insurance across the British Empire and beyond by creating a network of agencies. Life insurance meanwhile was made subject to scientific calculations which at first provoked opposition from traditional quarters such as the Church who feared that calculating life expectancy was tantamount to interfering with divine destiny. By the late eighteenth century life insurance based on actuarial evidence drawn from mortality tables had become established.

Keywords:   actuarial methods, Enlightenment, agency networks, corporate organization, sugar trade

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