Sir Walter Scott – Author of ‘Ivanhoe’ and ‘Rob Roy’

    Sir Walter Scott was a pioneer of historical fiction. His works include Ivanhoe (one could call it the precursor to the more modern Robin Hood) and Rob Roy. An extremely successful and popular novelist of his time, he took a deep interest in insurance and was enthusiastic about the industry. During a time when insurance companies were often seen as unreliable and scam-like, Sir Scott lent his celebrity-stature to help build people’s trust in the business. He went a director of an insurance company in Scotland.

    During his lifetime took three life insurance policies:

    YearName of the InsurerSum InsuredPremium YearlyBonus
    1824Edinburgh Life Assurance Company£2,000£102£78 and 18 shillings
    1824Scottish Widows Assurance Company£3,000£178£360
    1826Norwich Union£1,000£ 82£27 and 7 shillings

    The average life expectancy in the mid-1820s was only 40, and hence the premium is relatively high for the time. Scott felt he needed more insurance cover after his wife Charlotte died in May 1826. He had four children, all of whom were in early adulthood at the time of his wife’s death.

    When Scott died in 1832, he was covered to the value of over £6,400 (= over £500,000 today). It’s one of the highest payouts of that time.


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