My health insurance broker, Gerry Silverman, has written a brief history of insurance which has over 3,000 years of history. Gerry writes:
Insurance has a history that dates back to the ancient world. Over the centuries, it has developed into a modern business of protecting people from various risks. The industry has been profitable for many years and has been an important aspect of private and public long-term finance.
Insurance, to me, is a mechanism humans have developed to facilitate, enhance and protect consumerism. We get insurance to offset risk, to counteract the possibility of mishaps. This is not judgment on my part, but I do find it fascinating how we have come to this. We arrive in this world not owning anything and when we leave this world we will not be able to take anything with us. So the concept of ownership is something that we have developed, primarily because of our biological instincts for survival. We amass food, shelter, and whatever for survival. Somewhere along the way we invented ownership. Once we have entitlements, we invented insurance to protect those entitlements. Consumerism is fascinating.