‘A ship navigating on land’ – The First Motor Insurance Policy

    Did you know that October 20, 1897 marks the date the first-ever Motor Insurance policy was sold?

    On this day, Gilbert J. Loomis of Westfield, Massachusetts bought the first-ever Motor insurance policy from Travellers Insurance to insure a car that he had built himself.

    When the Lloyd’s was first asked to insure a motorcar, no guidelines existed. Lloyd’s underwriters were more familiar with ships than with horseless carriages.

    They understood the risk, took the first steps towards motor insurance.

    This may be why early motor insurance documents described the car as a ‘ship navigating on land’!

    The risks included riots and civil commotion in Mexico and fires in Chicago.


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