Friday, February 17, 2017

Original Fire Insurance Policy

Today when you receive your homeowner policy in the mail it comes as a thick packet usually about 40-50 pages in depth.  Each year the policy renews, you get a similar package delivered to you.  On and on this goes until you sell your current house and then get another.  Once again, however, as you setup your homeowner policy on the new house you get yet another 40-50 page packet.  I mention this because it was not always this way.  Like every other industry, things used to be simpler.  The photo that is with this article is of a fire policy dating back to 1833 that hangs in our office.  During the time of this policy there was only one page to the insurance packet.  It held the logo of the insurance company on the top and then the rest of it was the contract language.  When you sold your home you did not go out and purchase another policy.  Instead you would go get the insurance policy from the prior homeowner and have it signed over to you.  If you look closely at the photo you will see where there is writing all around the document which shows the different transfers of ownership.  Ah, the simpler times.

One thing to note though, this policy only covered you for fire.  Damage from wind, theft, water leaks, liability, etc. had not been invented yet.  Though they were simpler times the coverage was not nearly as good as it is today.