CAR INSURANCE DAY
Did you know the first car liability insurance policy was sold in 1897 to Gilbert J. Loomis?
While Car Insurance Day may not sound like much, it has significance. Held February 1 every year, the date acts as a reminder to always drive safely and to ensure we review and update our insurance policies despite the type or brand of the car we drive. It also makes us value and appreciates money saved as it provides us with the financial protection we need in case of fire, theft, accidents, and more.
THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY
With over one trillion U.S. dollars in Insurance premiums as of 2020, the U.S. Insurance market is one of the largest in the world. It is leading the global insurance industry with the highest insurance company revenue, premium volumes, and number of employees. A good example is the largest global insurer MetLife whose headquarters are in New York, which made a total revenue of 30 billion dollars in 2020 alone from just U.S. business operations.
HISTORY OF CAR INSURANCE DAY
In 1751, the American founding father Benjamin Franklin-a volunteer firefighter with fellow firefighters and a leading intellectual through Philadelphia Contributionship initiated fire insurance as a service. The Philadelphia Contributionship was the first company among American colonies to provide fire insurance and is the oldest successful property insurance company in the nation. Because of this, Benjamin Franklin is credited as the founder of car insurance, even though vehicles were not invented then.
Although the insurance idea was borrowed from Franklin, Car insurance was formed when Karl Benz invented the first car in 1886. At the time, car insurance was still an idea until the first automobile insurance policy was sold on October 20, 1897, to mechanic Gilbert J. Loomis of Westfield, Massachusetts, for the one-cylinder vehicle he built. Loomis bought the insurance in Dayton, Ohio, at $1,000.
The company offering the cover was called Travelers and was founded in 1864 in Hartford. At the time, Travelers offered Loomis protection in case of car damage or if he hurt or killed someone with his vehicle. The move was considered a genius as it revolutionized driving by incorporating training, licensing, and safety practices. Fast forwarding to the 19th century, the car insurance industry saw a major boost in 1927 when Massachusetts became the first state to order the mandatory purchase of auto liability insurance.