Printer Friendly

100 Years of Insurance: Best's Review Looks Back.

Business Editors

OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 3, 2000

February's Best's Review magazine takes a decade-by-decade look at the past century of the insurance industry.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of A.M. Best Co., the insurance ratings and information company that publishes Best's Review. The 13-article, 31-page cover package examines the development of the U.S. and world insurance industry and the events that shaped it.

Labor unrest in the first decade of the century led to the development of strike coverage. Labor reforms later led to the development of the modern workers' compensation system. The risks of World War I sparked widespread sales of individual life insurance policies.

In the 1920s, insurers responded to the transportation age by developing aviation coverage, and to the women's rights movement by marketing life insurance directly to women.

Managed care may seem like a modern phenomenon, but Best's Review traces the health-care model's roots to the 1930s, when Kaiser Permanente developed the first coverage in the Los Angeles area.

Federal oversight and more-active state regulation became pronounced in the 1940s, creating the regulatory environment under which most U.S. insurers operate today. That's also when group sales of life insurance became a huge market, as corporate America looked to recruit and retain skilled workers.

The Atomic Age also brought new scale, as underwriters faced risks that were uninsurable by any single company. That led to the creation of special-purpose, jointly created organizations, such as the Nuclear Energy Liability Insurance Association.

Civil unrest of the 1960s and a greater role of government led to new efforts to insure man-made catastrophes, such as riots and urban troubles. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the National Advisory Commission on Civil disorders, which in turn created the President's Panel on Insurance in Riot-Affected Areas. The panel's recommendations led to a new national insurance development program, as provided for in the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968.

Federal flood insurance also was created in the 1960s and has played a critical role in fostering the principles of floodplain management.

Globalization became a reality in the 1970s, as U.S. and international insurers followed their clients across national boundaries, setting up the first international coverage networks. Billion-dollar catastrophes and a stock market scare in the 1980s led to a retrenching of the property/casualty industry.

The centennial edition of Best's Review also contains the original text of a special report detailing the damage of the San Francisco fires of 1906. Many of today's best-known companies faced exposure. For instance, Aetna of Hartford, Conn., recorded 1,723 claims from that event, generating a gross loss of $4.2 million.

Other highlights include articles examining such current insurance issues as demutualization, pricing, global competition, securitization and capitalization.

The magazine concludes with full coverage of A.M. Best's 12th Annual Insurance and Information Technology Conference, &uot;Continuing the E-volution,&uot; held in Baltimore.

Full text of the magazine is available online at or can be ordered by calling (908) 439-2200 ext. 5557. A.M. Best Co., established in 1899, is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit A.M. Best's Web site at
COPYRIGHT 2000 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 3, 2000
Previous Article:Maroun Mansour Joins Independent Brokerage Firm Brookstreet Securities.
Next Announces Investment Opinion on Jones Pharma, Inc.

Related Articles
Best's Rating Changes.
Editor's Prologue.
Best's Rating Changes.
Best's Rating Changes.
Best's Rating Changes.
Best's Rating Changes.
Best's Rating Changes.
Best's Rating Changes.
New rules and new features.
Wind or flood?

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters