Insurance was late in coming to the United States, but when it finally did it grew very rapidly, especially with the support of Benjamin Franklin.
In the early 1700’s in America, insurance did not exist. If disaster struck, then people were out of luck. In 1752, however, Benjamin Franklin decided to change this. He and some of his fellow firefighters founded the country’s first official property insurance company, The Philadelphia Contributionship. Fires at this time were a huge problem, as most houses were still being built out of wood and were tightly packed together. Oftentimes if one house caught on fire, the neighboring houses were sure to go up in flames as well. The company was founded to create a mutual financial safety net to aid those who had been victims of fire. The company offered seven year insurance policies that could be renewed once they expired, and would send out surveyors who would inspect a home and set a rate based on the fire hazards associated with that home. The company would also refuse to insure individuals if they found that their home was at too great of a risk for fire. This would actually raise the standards of home building and the same benchmarks that the insurance company used to survey buildings would be written into zoning and building codes.
Insurance has exploded since then and also transformed in many ways. There are hundreds of different kinds of insurance nowadays and choosing an insurance provider you can trust can be difficult. JMI Insurance is a Portland, Oregon based company that offers excellent insurance for wineries and Oregon business insurance in general.