History of term life insurance

I’m thinking about doing some documentation around the history of term life insurance. Anyone know anything about where this stuff started? Where I can go to find historical information that’s not pablum? Books on the subject?

The earliest known life insurance policy was made in Royal Exchange, London on 18 June 1583. A Richard Martin insured a William Gybbons, paying thirteen merchants 30 pounds for 400 if the insured dies within one year.[6][7]

Yeah, wiki is a good place to start.

I read part of this book recently:

I’m most interested in the history of P&C (particularly property) insurance, although seems tough to find books on that. That said the book above was interesting, back 100 years ago life insurance was apparently a bit of a taboo notion in the US, even when it was more accepted in other countries.

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Wiki is pretty nonauthoritative for stuff like this.
What I’ve got so far is that james Dobson did a paper in the 1700s that describes term insurance, seems to be the first time it was done. I’ll have a read of that to start.

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include if you can the first documented shout of “buy term and invest the difference!”


Oh really good point! Thanks!

I thought it was “… and invest the rest.”
That’s what I read growing up in an insurance household.

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I have the content ready for this, and yeah, it includes buy term invest the difference. It’s from a Canadian perspective (US might be a bit different). I think Canadians here will be surprised at the various flashpoints that brought us to today - it wasn’t just a continuous organic transition from no term to lots of term.
Gotta make a few more copies of the video to cut the length down a bit, then my internet marketing person needs to render it and make it pretty. Then I’ll post it here.