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A History of American Insurance

 
1752

Benjamin Franklin helped found the insurance industry in the United States with the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire.

1851

New Hampshire appoints the first insurance commissioner.

1869

Paul v. Virginia: U.S. Supreme Court upheld the notion that since insurance was a contract delivered locally, it was not interstate commerce (and thus not subject solely to Federal Regulation).

1871

National Insurance Conference first meets: Representatives from 19 states developed regulator goals, uniform accounting standards, guidelines for taxation, and model laws.

1890

Sherman Antitrust Act: Gave states the power to pass legislation preventing insurers from controlling rates.

1912

When the Titanic sank, Northwestern Mutual paid out $500,000 in death benefits to 13 different policyholders.

1914

Clayton Antitrust Act: Identified and made illegal activities that decreased competition or created monopolies.

1920– 30's

Life insurance sales rose dramatically following World War I. By 1920, there were more than 120 million life insurance policies owned in the U.S. and by 1930 in force life insurance had reached an all– time high of $117 billion. At the time, that equaled approximately one policy for every adult person in the U.S.

1940's

Executives at 20th Century Fox had the legs of actress Betty Grable insured for $1 million each.

1945

McCarran– Ferguson Act: Returned Regulation of the "business of insurance" to the states.

1969

Richard Burton purchased the 69.42 carat, inch thick diamond from Cartier for $1.1m, making it the world's most expensive diamond at the time. According to Burton, Taylor wanted the ring after he insulted her hands. 'That insult last night is going to cost me,' he wrote in his diary. 'Betcha!' Once Lloyd's had insured the diamond, they specified that Taylor should wear it in public for only 30 days a year – and even then, be protected by security guards.

1972

NAIC Adopts Unfair Claims Settlement Act which is added to the Unfair Trade Practices Act: gave DOIs tools to protect consumers from unfair acts that occur during the claims settlement process.

1980's

Bruce Springsteen, known as "The Boss," insured his famous gravelly voice for $6 million.

1996

The NAIC creates the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR), known at the time as IRIN.

1999

Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act: States still have primary regulatory authority over insurance activities. However, certain financial and banking services may fall under Federal or separate agency based regulation.

2006

The NAIC created three important and enduring initiatives: The Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission (Insurance Compact); the professional designation program for insurance regulators; and the Insure U consumer education campaign.

2010

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare was enacted, changing the health insurance landscape.

2010

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted in response to the 2008 financial crisis.

2014

An unnamed Silicon Valley billionaire set a new Guinness World Record for Most Valuable Life Insurance Policy. Worth $201 million, the deal involved 19 different insurance companies with annual premiums in the low digit millions.

 
 
   
         

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