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and increasing ratio has taken place:-15 fatal accidents to 100,000 inhabitants from 1827 to 1830; 16 ditto from 1831 to 1835; 19 ditto from 1836 to 1840; 22 ditto from 1841 to 1845; 24 ditto from 1846 to 1850; 25 ditto from 1851 to 1855; and 28 ditto from 1856 to 1860. No doubt some of this increase is due to the more exact character of recent enumerations; still, the continuously progressive rate which is here seen indicates a sure though lamentable onward movement.
Children appear to constitute a high proportion of the victims of fatal accidents. In Bavaria the latter form a very large part of the causes of mortality of childhood and adolescence, from birth to 20 years of age, and within this range the maximum is attained between the time of birth and five years. Submersion is the more frequent cause— particularly as regards male children-of the fatal event. Burns and poisoning are frequent in tender years; but strangely enough, children are less frequently victims in towns than in country districts.
The ratio of females to males as regards accidents tends to increase, probably with the participation of the former in industrial occupations. In Bavaria and in Saxony the ratio is highest during early infancy, and in the former State lowest between 40 and 50 years of age. At every age it attains its maximum through "burns," which in Bavaria are more common during summer than in winter. Women more frequently succumb to burns, suffocation by fire, submersion, and poisoning.
M. Legoyt found fatal accidents to be of much more frequent occurrence in summer than during the other three seasons of the year, and considered this probably due to the fact of the former season being the chief one for out-door operations, navigation, etc.
In England it is found that the extremes of heat and cold are productive of non-fatal injuries. The statistics of non-fatal injuries do not properly arise here. We shall refer to them under ACCIDENT INS. Where death or personal injury results from negligence as distinguished from accident, the person or persons occasioning the same are liable to damages under Lord Campbell's Act, of which we shall speak fully under INJURIES (personal) and NEGLIGENCE.
We propose now to glance at the mort. of Insured life arising from accidents :
In the Equitable during a period of 32 years, 1801-32, out of 4,095 deaths, 40 (or about 1 in every 100) were from accidents. In 7 cases the ages were under 30 years; II between 40 and 50; 9 between 50 and 60; 4 between 60 and 70; 5 between 70 and 80; and 4 over 80.
In the Scottish Widows, out of 1,398 deaths in 7 years ending 1866, there were but 40 included under the class Violent deaths, of which, no doubt, the greater proportion I would be from accident.
In the Scottish Equitable, out of 1,855 deaths in 33 years ending 1864, there were 70 included under head of Violent deaths; but as no details are given it is impossible to say the precise proportion from accidents.
In the Scottish Amicable, out of 773 deaths occurring during a period of 34 years, 1826-60, 25 are returned as arising from accidental injuries, and 10 from drowning in addition-thus there are 35 deaths from accident, or nearly 5 p.c.
In the Gresham, out of 1,000 deaths occurring in a period of 18 years, 12 are returned as from accidents, and 14 from drowning-making in all 26, or more than 21⁄2 p.c. of the entire deaths.
In the Briton, out of 1,165 deaths in 5 years, 31 are returned as from accidents, in add. to 19 from drowning-being very nearly from the combined causes 5 p.c. of the deaths!
Life may sometimes be saved by a prompt and judicious treatment in cases of accident and emergency even before medical aid can arrive. The Accident Ins. Co., fully alive to this fact, distribute to its agents and pol.-holders a sheet of directions accompanied by diagrams showing how to proceed in many of the most frequent cases of injury. This sheet was prepared by Alfred Smee, Esq., F. R. S.
There are several other publications having a similar aim, viz:
Hand-book for Emergencies, pub. by Cassell, Petter, and Galpin (1861).
First Help in Accidents, prepared by Dr. C. H. Schaible, M.D., and pub. by Hardwick (1864). [RAILWAY ACCIDENTS.] [VIOLENT DEATHS.]
ACCIDENT INS., HIST. OF.-This branch of Ins., when spoken of by previous writers, has generally been classed under the comprehensive designation of "Casualty Ins." It is still so called in the U.S. At the best Accident Ins. can constitute but one department of casualty business. We think the time has arrived when it should be placed under its distinctive title of ACCIDENT INS.
Accident Ins. in its present form represents one of the most popular adaptations of the principle of ins. to the requirements of every-day life. It meets a recognized want. gives to the professional and better classes a means of protection from the pecuniary and other consequences of disablement, in a purely business form. What Friendly Societies do for the industrial classes, Accident Ins. does for the higher classes. The cost of Accident Ins. may be said to be within the reach of every one for whom it is especially intended.
It has been truly said "there are hundreds of thousands who cannot afford to be run
over; to whom a lingering illness would be misery, and whose death would scatter or starve their families. A serious or severe accident would probably deprive a clerk of his situation, and a small tradesman of his business, leaving them no home but the hospital, and no hope but the grave." But the advantages of Accident Ins. are too palpable to need argument. The neglect of it too frequent to escape notice !
The prosp. of one of the existing Accident Cos. puts the matter in a very businesslike shape :
The same arguments which have induced the public to insure so largely against damage to property by Fire-to ships by the perils of the Sea-and to secure a fund payable on the ordinary termination of Life are exactly applicable to Ins. against expenses and loss of income consequent on an Accident, and to secure a fund in case of death happening by some extraordinary casualty. It is not meant that the mere fact of receiving injury should entitle the Assured to Compensation. To pretend to pay for pain of mind or body would be absurd. The allowance for injury is intended to be paid when it is sufficiently serious to prevent the Assured from following his usual occupation or pursuits, and to serve as an indemnity for the loss thereby incurred.
It is generally considered that the business of Accident Ins. is of very modern origin, and, indeed, in its present form it dates no further back than 1848. But there are many early indications of the idea and intention of Accident Ins. which demand a passing notice.
In the ancient Sea-Laws of Wisby, under date 1541, mention is made of the practice of the owners of ships insuring the lives of the masters against the perils of the sea. The passage in which this allusion occurs is believed not to be part of the original code of Wisby, or indeed it would demand an earlier date; but it is admitted that it must have been interpolated about the date named; and it is therefore the first mention we have of any species of Ins. falling within the scope of Accident Ins.
In 1661 M. Cleirac brings under notice a French pub. called Le Guidon, said to have been orig. compiled "for the benefit of the merchants trading in the noble city of Rouen." This work is believed to be more than 300 years old; and it contains an account of various descriptions of Ins. as then practised, some of which are very remarkable. That most nearly resembling modern Accident Ins. is as follows:-" Another kind of Ins. is made by other nations, upon the life of men, in case of their decease upon their voyage, to pay certain sums to their heirs or creditors."
We have next a more direct example of the embodiment of the principle of non-fatal Accident Ins., but applied to the casualties of warfare. In 1665 England declared war against the United Netherlands. The Republic issued a proclamation announcing the amount of recompense which would be awarded to soldiers wounded in the service of their country, as follows:
For loss of both eyes, 1,500 livres = £62 10s. For loss of right hand, 350 livres
= £14 125.
= 14 12
left hand, 300
12 10 = 29 4
one leg, 350
both feet, 450
both hands, 1,200,, = 50 0
And other arrangements were made for those suffering from less definite injuries. It appears from a R. made to the Lords of the Treasury in 1694, on the petition of Capt. Betsworth, of the Fusileers, who had lost his leg in battle, that it had been the custom to allow to a soldier a year's pay for the loss of a limb. This would not have been a very high assessment considering the small pay of the army at that date.
Injuries incurred in actual warfare do not come within the ordinary scope of Accident Ins.; but they have within recent times been specially insured against both in England and America. The similarity of the preceding Table to one now actually in use, and to which we shall have occasion presently more particularly to refer, is very remarkable.
The system of Accident Ins., as now practised, may be said in some measure to owe its origin to the development of Railway travelling-although the ins. against Railway accidents forms but a very unimportant part of the business of Accident Ins. However, with 1845-memorable in the hist. of Railway enterprise-our record begins. following is an accurate list of this especial class of ins. projects in that and several subsequent years :
1845. Railway British and Foreign L. and Property Ins. Co.
1845. Railway, Steam Vessel, L. and Casualty Co.
1845. Railway Guarantee Co.
1847. Railway Casualty Compensation Co.
1847. Railway L. Co.
1847. Railway L. and Accident.
1847. Railway L. Assurance, Accident, Trust and Provident So.
Railway Provident Mutual L.
1848. United Railway Casualty Co.
Railway Passengers Assu. Co.
1848. Railway Assu. Čo.
1849. Accidental Death Indemnity Asso.
Out of this list of projected Cos. only two became completely founded. The Railway Passengers Co. was prov. regis, on the 15th Dec., 1848; and on the following day (16th Dec.) the Railway Assu. Co. was prov. regis.
The Railway Passengers became comp. regis. on 22nd March, 1849. Its operations extended only to insuring against Railway accidents, fatal and non-fatal. The prem. charged to people of the first class was I p.a. to insure £1,000 at death, with proportionate compensation for non-fatal injury. The Co. defined a Railway accident to be an accident happening to a train whilst in motion-a definition admitting of some doubt, as many trains have been run into by other trains while themselves standing still at Railway Stations, junctions, etc.; and the Co. always paid in such cases. The strict definition of a Railway injury is, perhaps, an accident happening to a passenger whilst travelling in a Railway Train, in conformity with the Railway Co.'s By-laws.
On the 24th January, 1850, the Accidental Death Ins. Co., which had been projected in the previous year under the title of the Accidental Death Indemnity Asso., was completely regis. The original object of the promoters had been simply to insure against fatal accidents from all causes, or such accidents as terminated fatally within three months after their occurrence. But almost before business operations had been commenced, the then Actuary of the Co., Mr. Edward Riley, suggested to the Board the desirability of giving the operations of the Co. a wider range, viz., insuring "compensation for bodily injury occurring to any person or persons from any accidental or violent cause or causes not occasioning death" This recommendation was adopted by the proprietors on June 3, 1850; and from that day dates the modern system of Accident Ins.
The original prosp. of the Co. contained the following, and it is impossible to put the arguments in fewer words :
The numerous casualties to which the life of man is liable are subjects of daily occurrence and observation, there is scarcely an individual who cannot refer within the sphere of his own family or acquaintance to instances of sudden or accidental death; and few who cannot look back to their own providential escape from imminent danger. To guard against the consequences of such a calamity, whether happening in the pursuit of business or of pleasure, is the duty of every one, and this Co. will afford to all, according to their circumstances, the means of obtaining so desirable an object.
The difficulties of obtaining reliable data on which to base the rates of prem. were great, but were overcome. The rates for persons not exposed to any special risk from occupation were fixed as follows:-To cover death_by accident £1 p.a. for £1000. To cover death and compensation for non-fatal injury £3 10s. p.a. securing £1000 at death, and £5 per week during entire disablement, with a sum not exceeding 10 for medical attendance during the injury. For persons of hazardous occupations there were special rates; as also for loss of leg or arm, or total loss of sight. For Railway Accidents only the prem. was Ios. p.a. for £1000 at death and £5 per week compensation during
The scheme of allowing medical expenses was based upon the theory that every one injured should have good medical attendance, and the Co. would provide some compensation for the medical man. It was thought that efficient medical supervision would lead to speedy recovery from the injury sustained. The practice too often worked the other way. In cases of slight injury, the medical men would keep the patients on the funds of the Co. until the allowance for medical expenses became exhausted: thus too often the Co. had to pay the claimant £5 per week, while the doctor was working up his bill to the 10 limit. After a few years trial, the scheme of medical expenses came to be abandoned; and the allowance to the insured increased to £6 per week under a £1000 policy-the insured paying his own medical attendant.
Among the early Directors of this pioneer Co. in the business of ins. against "accidents from all causes," were several gentlemen who believed that the great masses of workmen in the manufacturing districts would be among the first to avail themselves of the scheme. Never was a greater misapprehension. Deputations were formed; meetings were held; but no practical result followed. Again and again the attempt was made; but with unvarying non-success. The present writer may claim the credit of pointing out to these disappointed gentlemen that the real field for their enterprise lay with the professional and mercantile classes. The new experiment was inaugurated during the year 1852. Its success was very speedily proclaimed. We may put on record here as a matter of history, and as indicative of the tardy growth of this now great branch of Ins. enterprise, the income of this Co. during the first nine years of its existence, viz. :—
£1228 £2668 6326
On the 16th July, 1850, the Railway Assu. Co. (prov. regis. in 1848) became completely registered, and commenced business. Its scheme was to charge a single premium of £2 25. for the whole of life to cover the risk of being killed while travelling by Railway. This Co. did not limit its ins. in the same manner as the Railway Passengers Co.; but its pol. covered accidents and injuries incident to Railway travelling ;-such as stepping from the train to the platform, being run against by the Luggage barrows, and other incidental risks.
The prem. was very much too low for the risk undertaken, and the Co. only maintained its independent existence for about two years.
In 1851 the Maritime Passengers Ins. Co. was projected, for the purpose of affording facilities of Ins. to those whose occupations required them to travel by sea, analogous to those afforded to persons who travelled by land. The Co. also afforded facilities of Ins. to Captains and Mariners, both for Accident Ins. and L. Ins.
We may state here that the individual hist. of each of the preceding and following offices will be given under the name of the Co. All we contemplate here is a hist. of the origin and development of ACCIDENT INS.
In 1852 the Marine L. and Casualty Co. was founded, chiefly with the view of ins. the lives of seafaring persons at moderate rates of prem. We shall notice this Co. again under MARINERS' LIVES.
In 1854 the Travellers and Marine Ins. Co. was founded under influential auspices. Its object was to grant pol. combining both land and sea risks. This was accomplished by "Whole World Tourists Pol.," granted at the rate of 1 10s. p.c. p.a. For General accident pol. the Co. charged only £2 p. £1,000; but this rate excluded the risks of "Horse accidents" and "Machinery accidents" from the pol. For these risks they charged £1 p. £1,000, which brought the rate up to £3. Great practical difficulty arose in reference to the exclusion of Horse accidents. Persons readily ins. at the lower rate, but if they met with an injury from riding or driving always expected to be paid-asserting by way of extenuation that it was not their practice to run such risks-failing to see that it was their inexperience which too frequently occasioned the injury. This Co. plays a prominent part in the future hist. of Accident Ins. It soon afterwards, under the authority of a special Act of Parl., became Accidental Death Co. (No. 2).
In the same year (1854) the Marine and General Travellers Ins. Co. was formed. It was an obvious parody upon the preceding Co. It had no new features, except that its rates were absurdly low, and marked its failure from the beginning.
During this year the Crimean war broke out, and the Accidental Death Co. caused a series of calculations to be made with a view to Ins. the L. of officers against death in battle. A considerable business was transacted; but the unusual mort. among officers during that war absorbed the profit the office would otherwise have made by the venture. In 1855 the General Accident and Compensation Co. was founded. It intro. the feature of granting the weekly compensation without any sum at death; and also that of "Family Insurance." Thus a family consisting of parents and not more than eight children under 21, might ins. to receive 1000 in case of death of any one of them by paying 18 p.a. The rates for ordinary accident business were absurdly low.
In the same year (1855) the Railway Passengers Co., which had previously, as its name implies, confined its business to ins. against accidents arising from travelling on Railways, took up the General Accident branch. Instead of allowing any special and distinct sum for medical attendance, it increased the weekly compensation to £6, charging to persons of non-hazardous occupations £3 p.a. This was an improvement în principle, although it is very doubtful whether the increase of the weekly compensation has not increased the tendency to fraud.
In 1856 the Norwich and Lond. Accident and Plate-Glass Ins. Co. was founded. Regarding Accident Ins., it offered no especially new features. It prudently placed the weekly compensation at £5 in respect of a £1000 Ins., and charged a prem. of £2 5s. excluding hunting, shooting, steam engine and machinery risks. Including these, the rate to persons of non-hazardous occupations was £3 p.a. for £1000 at death, and £5 per week during non-fatal disability from accident.
In the same year the National Alliance Life Co. was founded, having an Accident branch. It embodied no new features, but fell into the error of unduly low rates.
The year 1857 marks a somewhat important era in the hist. of accident Ins. The business was new, and its managers had not then learned to fence it round with those precautionary restrictions which later experience has shown to be so necessary. In a word, it was peculiarly open to imposition and fraud; and a marked combination of cases bearing evidence of such tendency presented themselves. It was in that year that a son, under pretext of a run-away horse, drove his aged father into a deep river at a point where there was no prospect of help at hand. But the father clung to the son, and both were drowned. Both were heavily insured-the father but a few weeks previously had been the inmate of a union-workhouse! In the same year, a large miller and maltster ins. under two designations through two different agents of the same Co. with each for £2000, and very shortly afterwards was found dead in his own mill-stream! It was in that year that a well-known stock-broker placed on his dressing room table two little bottles precisely the same in appearance: one containing medicine necessary for his ailment; the other poison. In the morning the man was found dead in bed: the poison bottle was empty. Some £14,000 was at stake upon these, and some other cases occurring about the same time. The Directors of the Accidental Death Co., upon whom these claims came-the orig. and leading Co. in the business--grew out of heart, and resolved to relinquish the enterprise. The business was trans. to the Travellers and Marine, upon terms which secured the orig. shareholders from loss-and henceforth
conditions were introduced into the policies, and regulations adopted in the conduct of the bus. to prevent such wholesale plunder.
This transfer took place in September, 1857. At that juncture the present writer, in concert with the late Professor de Morgan, made a very complete investigation into the past experience of accident Ins. business. It was found that for many occupations the
rates theretofore charged were too low-and some occupations could not be ins. at any rates, with the prospect of profit to the office. In all about 700 occupations were embraced in the investigation. They were ultimately reduced into four classes, as follows:
Class I. included professional gentlemen and others incurring no liability to accident by reason of their occupation.
Class II. included Master Tradesmen, and others, who although concerned in constructive occupations, took no personal part therein. In this class the distinction between masters and workmen arose a master tailor, for instance, is a different risk from a workman: a slight injury to the hand might entirely disable the workman; while the master sustaining a similar injury could yet superintend his business. The same as to a master builder, distinct from a working bricklayer, carpenter, mason, etc.
Class III. included risks arising from constructive operations, and applies to the mechanical and operative classes generally.
Class IV. applies to still more hazardous occupations, where great personal danger is involved in the calling.
There was indeed a 5th class-those who should not be insured at all. With this class the "moral bazard" of the bus. lay.
The rates of prem. were revised and adapted to the first four classes. It may be said that the great secret of the business lies in the adoption of such a classification-or more technically speaking, in excluding certain occupations from the class to which they do not rightfully belong. The rates are only adapted to and remunerative for each class, so long as the classification is maintained.
Since this period there has not been so much competition- that is, so much undercutting in the rates. They have become nearly uniform. Each Co. can regulate its classification by its own experience.
In 1863, the Friend-in-Need commenced the business of Accident Ins., pirating rates, conditions of Ins. and everything it had in connexion therewith, from other offices, and very speedily, as was to be expected, bringing loss and annoyance upon all concerned.
In 1863 also the business of Accident Ins. was intro. into the U.S. by Mr. Batterson, the founder and president of the Travellers Ins. Co. of Hartford, a Co. which has grown into the most gigantic proportions, and has been conducted with marked success. In four years it issued 130,000 policies. It has had a host of imitators, but we believe it, and the Railway Passengers Co., which sprang out of it, are the two sole survivors. The Travellers Co. originated and carries on the business of Life and Accident Ins. combined. In this year also the National Union Life and Limb Ins. Co., was incorp. by special charter of the legislature of the State of New York, with a capital of 100,000 dols., for the purpose of making ins. upon the lives and limbs and health of the soldiers, sailors, and marines in the army and navy of the U.S. of America. We do not know with what pecuniary result the bus. was conducted. In the following year it extended its bus. so as to grant Ins. to the general public.
In 1865 the Accidental and Marine Ins. Corp. was founded, ostensibly for the bus. of Marine Ins., but some of its Directors being at the time of its conception also Directors of the Accidental Death Co. (No. 2), a fusion of interests took place. The step was thoroughly unwise. There is no sort of analogy between the two branches. Events speedily demonstrated this; and in the following year the accident portion of the bus. was resumed by its former Directors: they, however, became unwilling to retain it, in consequence of certain complications arising out of the preceding events, and handed it over to another Co.
In 1865 also the Birmingham Alliance L. Co. was founded, and commenced the bus. of Accident Ins. Its classification was defective; especially having regard to the locality of its operations. It did not long continue the Accident branch.
In the same year (1865) the International L. Ins. Co. commenced the bus. of Accident Ins., and continued it on a limited scale till about July, 1868, when that branch was trans. to the Imperial Union. Its classification was extremely defective.
It was we believe in this year also that an Accident Ins. Co. was founded in Australia, by a gentleman who went from here ostensibly to found a branch for an English Co. The experiment of a local office did not succeed it was said because there was not sufficient scope to obtain an average of risks. The English office contemplating a branch there may be regarded as having had a most fortunate escape.
In 1866 the Accident Ins. Co. was founded. It took over the bus. of the Accidental Death Co. (No. 2). Its officers were among those who had aided in working up the bus. of the orig. Accidental Death Co., and under their auspices the present Co. speedily assumed a leading position. The risks were very carefully gone over and a large amount of bus. rejected, to the infinite advantage of the shareholders.
This Co. in addition to carrying on its orig. bus. has organized a system of Ins. known