Usually, when people think about auto insurance, people think about automobiles, accidents, theft and acts of nature. People usually think that auto insurance is boring and practical, safe and mandatory by law in varying amounts depending on your state.
What people do not think of when the words “auto insurance” are mumbled in polite society is pirates or sailors, romantic sea vessels, sinking ships and dramatic maritime vistas with all its inherent risks. Well let’s talk about the exciting history of auto insurance and see if we can’t change how you view this interesting insurance coverage.
The History of Auto Insurance
4,000 years ago there were no car around to transport people and goods—but there were boats. Boats were the key to connecting continents, exploration, delivering cargo and even shipping people to a longed-for destination. But much like the cars of today, ships were not resistant to accident and damage. Storms, dastardly pirates, faulty equipment, wear and tear and other factors often conspired to create sunken vessels filled with priceless and damaged cargo.
The owners of the ships had an obligation to their customers to deliver the goods and cargo they carried—but they could not guarantee that no harm would ever befall this cargo—which meant with every voyage there was an inherent risk. In order to insure this risk, ancient Babylonian sailors would give their customers money representing the full cost of all the cargo they were entrusting on the ships before they set sail. If the cargo was delivered, the sailor could then collect the money back that he’d given his customer to guarantee safe delivery. That was the very beginning of auto insurance as we know it.
When automobiles were first driven on formerly horse and wagon infested streets, there wasn’t much in the way of driving laws. Of course, there also weren’t many drivers; automobiles were the domain of the extremely wealthy and were considered a privilege. Because lives and property were at stake thanks to the reckless driving of many privileged individuals and few driving laws, liability insurance was eventually obligatory for those with a vehicle. That ensured that all the people whose lives and property were exposed to the drivers had some financial recourse if they suffered damages.
As the years went by and the driving population grew, auto insurance became more sophisticated, offering protections to not only those who might be damaged by the liability of the driver, but also the driver him or herself. Now, insurance is obligatory in almost every state (with the exception of New Hampshire). Policies have been improved so that protection extends more to the driver to protect against things like theft and damage caused by acts of nature.
To learn more about Houston Auto Insurance contact us at 713-349-0400 or get a Houston Auto Insurance quote.