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Everybody wants to protect his life and his property from bad surprises. The need to protect oneself and one’s own family against the dangers of everyday life is older than the era of humanity.
However, insurance companies were not always ready to insure the risk of damage to their health or property. In the past, each family had to make savings by themselves or, in the event of damage, rely on neighborly help. In addition, groups of like-minded people formed to protect themselves against the special risks of their lives.
From the second millennium BC, it is known from Babylonia that caravan participants mutually committed each other to jointly compensate damages incurred by a participant of these travel companies.
With the expansion of trade, the monetary and credit system, the form of mutual protection changed its character. Originally, it was primarily a matter of community thinking, of mutual help and of social compensation, so insurance was created as an instrument of financial risk protection against payment of contributions.
The beginning of insurance on a commercial basis was the introduction of maritime security in the Mediterranean. She has a precursor in the originating from the Greek law Seedarlehen where the for transport – was only then repay capital provided with the agreed interest rates if the ship had arrived safely with the goods at the port – as security for a loss. The oldest true sea insurance contract is a document from the year 1347 kept in the State Archives of Genoa.