Let’s face it; when you think about auto insurance, you think about cars, accidents, theft and acts of nature. You think auto insurance is boring and practical, safe and required by law in varying amounts depending on your state.
What you 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 fascinating (that’s right, fascinating) insurance coverage.
The History of Auto Insurance
4,000 years ago there were no automobiles around to transport goods and people—but there were boats. Boats were the key to connecting continents, exploration, delivering goods, waging wars and even shipping people to a longed-for destination. But much like the automobiles of today, ships were not impervious to accident and damage. Storms, faulty equipment, dastardly pirates, wear and tear and other factors often conspired to create sunken vessels filled with priceless and damaged cargo.
The owners of the ships had a responsibility to their clients to deliver the goods and cargo they carried—but they could not guarantee that no harm would ever befall these goods—which meant with every voyage there was an inherent risk. In order to insure this risk, ancient Babylonian sailors would give their clients 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 client to guarantee safe delivery. That was the very beginning of auto insurance as we know it.
When cars 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; cars 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 required 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 mandatory 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.
Call us today at (713) 227-7283 to get a free Houston auto insurance quote.