Man the history of insurance is messed up

Yo I read about some boat called the Zong which played an instrumental role in the history of insurance 'cuz the capitan threw over a 100 living slaves overboard and then claimed them as general average under the cargo policy, triggering a legal debate as to whether the slaves should be considered as cargo, or people. The court declared they were cargo:

That’s messed up! CS out.

Reads to me like the insurance company had it right and then the courts forced them to pay cause who doesn’t like to milk the insurance company.

“On 29 November, 54 women and children were thrown through cabin windows into the sea.”

It looks like the Earl of Mansfield in a new trial invalidated the insurers being liable? Which seems like the correct outcome in this case even if the slaves were property. After they found that there was heavy rainfall and thereafter a third group of slaves were killed, at that point, if slaves = property at the time, you’re clearly just destroying property to inflate your claim.

UK law is weird though, I don’t assume any conclusions for how the US would function work the same there. But seems in this case they agreed that killing slaves after water was available invalidated the claim.

Yeah, sounds like murderers murdering to me.

Gestures broadly at slavery


" Luke Collingwood died three days after Zong reached Jamaica, two years before the 1783 court proceedings about the case."

Well at least the captain immediately died

I don’t understand P&C. Seems dumb to insure property to the extent that it’s worth destroying.

I mean, unless you’re required by law or whatever.

Are you saying we should do like Health and deny coverage until they demonstrate the property/body is in sufficient disrepair? :slight_smile: That’s how I got into a worse stage of my disease, and it went from super cheap to manage to super expensive! But most of it’s the insurance company’s problem now.

Your SO’s friend is your health issue??

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I’m saying insure like 50% of the value, and then never deny anything.

With health you can’t get away with that. But with slave…uh… I mean “cargo”-ships, I assume it’s a possibility.

If you’re only half-insured then it’s not in your own interest to destroy your “cargo”, and it’s not the insurer’s business how you “lost” it.

Ignoring the morality and only looking at the financials… if there was truly insufficient water for everyone on board to make it to their destination then you’d want to start killing off the least valuable “cargo” (relative to the quantity of water they require anyway) until you have sufficient water for those remaining on board. That would be the financially prudent decision even in the absence of any sort of insurance.

The insurance just reduces (or possibly eliminates) the financial loss.

Obviously killing people when there is plenty of water is just flat out murder.

Yo, I know you peoples all know that insurance got its start in the slave trade industry but what you probably didn’t know was that on the other side of the world, Asian insurance got its start in insuring…opium shipments!

Them dudes who brought opium into China also created the insurance companies to insure those shipments! They also told the British government to start the First Opium War.

…that’s messed up!

Benjamin Disraeli was not fond of Jardine:

“Oh! a dreadful man! A Scotchman richer than Croesus, one McDruggy fresh from Canton, with a million of opium in each pocket, denouncing corruption and bellowing free trade.”

Them’s fightin’ words

Yo, I read that the first general manager of Swiss Re died just a few months into his job. Legend has it that he had committed suicide 'cuz he signed some contract that would potentially create huge losses to the company.

… or maybe he just died of a stroke. Nobody really knows…

Anyway, that’s messed up!

This is how it works, generally speaking.

If your building would cost $1m to replace it’s insured for $1m because there’s an actual risk (fire or earthquake, most likely) that it actually needs to be completely replaced.

For coverages like Flood where it’s just about impossible to have a total loss the limit tends to be a proportion of the underlying building’s replacement cost, say 20-50%.

Of course in all cases the rates/prices themselves are scaled to the risk in question. If it would cost $1m to replace your building then dropping your limit from $1m to 900k should save you less than 1/10 the total cost.

Also most Property forms are written such that EVERYthing is covered, except what is specifically listed as excluded. People just don’t realize Flood is not part of core property coverage and get mad when they claim flood and get denied.