The American Term Life Insurance History Project – What’s coming up

As the scanning and organization process takes quite a while, and sourcing and buying books is so much more fun than the scanning, I’ve got a number of books (mostly the larger books) ready to be scanned. I’ve also got a number of more interesting titles in transit to me.

New online:
– An Introduction to the Theory of Life Contingencies (1931)
An introductory actuarial textbook from the University of Toronto.
– Cost of Insurance, American Experience (1915)
A book of tables for different products showing the COI using american experience. Modified preliminary term.
– Cases on the law of insurance section 1
– Cases on the law of insurance section 2
– Cases on the law of insurance section 3
– Cases on the law of insurance section 4 This is a 1000 page book related to life insurance law – I believe it was a textbook.
The Business of Life Insurance, Miles Menander Dawson, 1905 Section 1
The Business of Life Insurance, Miles Menander Dawson, 1905 Section 2. This is a consumers’ reference book on life insurance. Includes all manner of subjects including mathematics, premium calculation, surplus, underwriting and many others.
– Cases on the law of Insurance George W. Goble, 1931 A large textbook with cases related to insurance law.
– Report of the Superintendent of the Insurance Department of the State of New York, 1888 – Shows all the companies doing business in New York state at that time as well as a detailed breakdown of assets, loans, and the like.
Elements of Life Insurance, Miles Menander Dawson, 1902 – An actuarial book written by the same actuary involved in writing the original A.M. Best book! He wrote another book on the business of life insurance which I have on order and await shipment of.
Life Insurance, Its Early History, Great Extent, and High Purpose – Full page article on life insurance from the Chicago Republican newspaper of Saturday September 28, 1867.
Sales Methods of 222 Life Insurance Field Men told by themselves – a 1923 book chock full of sales snippets from life insurance agents of the day. This is some pretty hardcore sales stuff, from the days when the average consumer wasn’t abreast of the need for life insurance and just about anything had to be done to get a foot in the door. As the book says, ‘Remember to look pleasant when seeking interviews’!
The Pelican – The Mutual Benefit sales rep magazine for 1936. 40 pages detailing their agents convention at the Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs.
– Report of the Superintendent of Insurance for the Dominion of Canada (1895). Your standard end of year report listing all the various insurance companies and their assets, liabilities, premiums, and so on.
– A book on probability and insurance by Augustus De Morgan. Yes, that De Morgan..they guy who made popular ‘De Morgan’s Laws’ that everyone learns in their first actuarial exams.
Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company fifth annual report (1850). This is a great find; the report offers a number of interesting glimpses into the time period. They’ve decided to allow married women to insure their spouses for example :).
– A.M. Best Insurance Reports Fire and Marine (1919)

Coming soon:
– “1909 Unique Manual of facts and figures of the Regular Life Insurance companies and their Dividends.” The book is described as:mostly tables of numbers for the varies Life insurance providers. Alot to do with rates.
– “1850 – The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company – Charter Perpetual Fifth Annual Report with tables of Rates for Single and Joint Lives, Annuities and Endowments”.

Books that are big enough that I’ve not been brave enough to tackle them yet:
– Cases on Insurance from the early 1900’s. 900 pages.
– Wisconsin Insurance Report for Fire and Marine, 1896
– Maine Insurance Report 1904
– “The Handy Guide” 1918. 1300 pages showing rates by age for hundreds of insurance companies as well as commentary and tables on reserve values. Kind of like an early Stone and Cox.
– New York Insurance Report 1888
– Sovereign Life rate book (Canadian) from the early 1900’s.
– Met Life rate book from the early 1900’s. Includes an industrial occupation rating list. Those are always neat as there are so many jobs no longer in existence. It would also seem that workers in the Asbestos industry don’t get rated for disability insurance for example.
– Stone and Cox insurance tables 1929. I haven’t yet confirmed that I can duplicate this book yet so it may not be made available. The copyright is questionable, and the company is still in business so I’ve got to seek their permission first.
– Cases on Insurance 1900. Not sure if I’ll scan this yet. The books in rough shape and scanning will likely destroy it. In addition the pages have tons of handwritten notes in the margin which will cause problems with the conversion to text.
– 1924 Miniota Farmers Mutual fire insurance policy insuring a barn and three granaries.

There’s also a book written by Charles Babbage (inventor of the computer) on insurance. I’m seeking a reasonable priced copy of that book but haven’t yet found one. As well if anyone’s aware of any books by early actuaries or statisticians who heavily contributed to the profession I’d appreciate being contacted, [email protected] I’m particularly interested in any works by Gompertz or Babbage. While my initial efforts have centered around items I’ve found neat and interesting, the items are typically daily use type of items of interest for those in the industry but not neccessarily historically significant. I’m interested in sourcing books that are instead more historically relevant (though I’m not giving up on the books and items I just find curious and neat).

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