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A DICTIONARY OF THE DEFINITION OF TERMS USED IN CONNEXION WITH THE THEORY
AND PRACTICE OF INSURANCE IN ALL ITS BRANCHES:
A BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY
OF THE LIVES OF ALL THOSE WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO THE
SECRRTARY, AGENCY SUPERINTENDENT, OR OTHERWISE.
A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REPERTORY OF ALL WORKS WRITTEN UPON THE SUBJECT OF INSURANCE AND ITS
ASSOCIATED SCIENCES :
AN HISTORICAL TREASURY OF EVENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES CONNECTED WITH THE ORIGIN AND PROGRESS OF INSURANCE, INCLUDING A HISTORY OF ALL KNOWN OFFICES OF INSURANCE FOUNDED IN GREAT BRITAIN,
FROM THE BEGINNING.
AND AL80 CONTAINING A DETAILED
ACCOUNT OF THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF INSURANCE
IN EUROPE AND IN AMERICA.
COMPENDIUM OF VITAL STATISTICS.
CORNELIUS WALFORD, F.I.A., F.S.S.,
(All Rights of Translation and Reproduction are reserved to the Author.]
[Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by J. H. & C. M. GOODSELL,
in the Clerk's Office in the District Court of the United States for the Southern
PRINTED BY CHARLES AND EDWIN LAYTON,
FLEET STREET AND GOUGH SQUARE.
The design of this work is that it shall be, as far as possible, self-interpreting. All technical terms used in its pages are explained in its pages, in their alphabetical order.
The arrangement of subjects is strictly Alphabetical.
The arrangement of articles is, as far as possible, Chronological Dates are given whenever possible. Writers on Insurance subjects generally, have a great disregard for chronological exactitude.
Words in Small Capitals placed in brackets, as [USURY), mean that the subject will be further treated of under that head.
When Small Capitals are used in the text without the brackets, it signifies that the subject is, or will be, treated of as a separate article.
Offices founded in London, or books published there, are not individually so designated in the following pages. The rule we have followed is to state all the exceptions. Therefore where it is not specifically stated otherwise, London is to be assumed.
We are especially desirous of noticing all INSURANCE PAMPHLETS. Many of these are privately printed, or only accessible through their authors. Our thanks will be due for any contributions of this description.
A Table of the principal Abbreviations used in the work is given on the preceding page.
ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF INSURANCE.
COMMERCIAL Credit INSURANCE.—The application of the principle of Ins. to the
contingencies of mercantile and trade credit opens up a series of considerations differing in some respects from any we have yet approached. There can be no doubt that an investigation over a sufficient range of data would determine what had been the per-centage of loss in any given branch of trade or commerce, over any given period of time. But no such investigation could precisely discriminate what portion of the ascertained loss was due to individual laxity on the part of seller or buyer, and what simply to unavoidable misfortune, and the pressure of the times. The operation of the law of averages cannot be altogether relied upon, when the operation of the human will is liable to be brought into direct antagonism therewith. It may be replied that the operations of the human will are as capable of being reduced to principles of average as the operation of anything which we regard as pure chance. That has been estab. in regard to certain events. But the incidents of commerce embrace many considerations to which the doctrine of mathematical prob. has never yet been applied. Among these may be named the contingencies of peace and war; political revulsions; famine or superabundance; monetary panics; and rate of mercantile discount, as affected by any, or nearly all of these. Then, again, different branches of business are liable to fuctuations from entirely different causes. Different countries are differently affected by similar events. We shall indeed presently learn that different parts of the same country present phases of credit, which any but those of the largest experience must fail to comprehend. These are but a few of the more prominent considerations which arise, and without some intimation of which the reader could hardly approach the subject with any chance of comprehending it. The question of “selection against the office" - that is, of the more hazardous insuring while the less hazardous fail to do so—is only an incident which appertains to all branches of ins. bus. in a greater or less degree. In this branch of ins. prob. to a greater degree than in most others. We shall now see what precautions have been taken to reduce to a minimum these adverse chances.
Looking at the subject historically, we find the author of Le Guidon, written some three centuries since, speaking thus familiarly : “ Creditors even may insure their debts, if their debtors remove from one country to another.” This is not precisely the shape which the more modern application of Commercial Credit Ins. has taken; but in earlier times this was one of the chief incidents which had to be guarded against. In none of the other early writers do we find any details regarding this branch of bus.
During the South Sea mania, 1710-20, there were several cos. projected for the Insurance of Debts. The only two of which we now have any record are: (1) A co. for the ins. of debts ; (2) a rival to the above, with a cap. of £2,000,000, held at Robin's.
Under the head of BARGAINS, INS. OF, we have spoken of a branch of ins. which prevailed in Holland, and also in this country, during the 18th century; but it differed in many material respects from the system now under consideration.
Under PROFITS, Ins. OF, we shall speak of another branch of ins. distinct from the present.
The promoters of the British Commercial Ins. Co., founded in 1820, propounded a scheme of commercial credit ins., of which the following are the main features : 1. Merchants, manufacturers, and traders may ins. in this office the trading debts due to them, on
paying an ann. prem. upon the average amount of their running credits; the average being taken
upon the trading of three preceding years. 2. The Co. engage to pay the loss incurred by any debtor or debtors of the insurer having become
bankrupt, or sought relief under any Act of Parl, now made or to be made for the relief of insolvent debtors, subject to the conditions annexed, within three months after the time of such debt or debts being legally estab.