HRC Insurance Blog

A Brief History of Insurance


A thing providing protection against a possible eventuality.

Insurance has been a growing concept from the beginning of time, insurance is all about protection of something by using a strategic plan. The first examples of insurance was similar to the idea of not putting all of your eggs in one basket.  This concept carries great significance as the insurance industry has bloomed through changing concepts and has grown into the vast empire that it is today. 

3000 BC - Chinese traders noticed that putting all of their goods in one vessel had a lot more risk involved but when they sent multiple boats down the river there was less chance of losing all of their valuables. This was one of the first true examples of insurance.

2000 BC -  In Babylon contracts arose for importers to be able to pay a lender a very high rate to ensure the goods were not stolen or lost. The lender calculated the risk and based the amount on his or her calculations.

600 AD - The greeks and Romans started implementing life and health benefits such as burial rights or transportation costs covered in the event of an accident or death.

1400 AD - Marine Insurance became more and more popular spreading around the globe.

1750 AD - Metetrian ships started all having insurance for the long voyages they had to go on, this protected them against theft or weather. Similar to the Babylon shipping lines.

1790’s AD - This is the beginning of insurance companies as three main companies in London, England started to offer Insurance and run a full time business out of this service.

1830 AD - The insurance businesses start to flourish and grow into new areas and rapidly grow.

1835 AD - The tragic New York fire covered 50 acres downtown New York, consuming 530- 700 business including a few insurance companies. After the fire the insurance companies could not even touch the damage claims and therefore went bankrupt immediately.

1837 AD - Due to the lack of funds to back the insurance companies claims, Massachusetts lead by making insurance companies have reserves that can cover their losses in a large event.

1840 AD - The churches were apprehensive by insurance companies selling life policies but soon realized that the benefits outweighed their preconceived notions.

1900 AD - Insurance was becoming widespread and easier to purchase.

1930 AD - The government realized there are more and more fatal accident and implemented the Road Traffic Act 1930. This act makes it mandatory for all vehicle owners to provide security against their legal liability.

After the Road traffic act 1930 was enforced, it was a race to polish insurance policies and sell them to consumers. There were ups and downs in the 1900’s but as insurance was becoming more and more common insurance companies flourished. People were spending money on better cars and trucks and wanted to make sure they were insured. When leasing and financing a car became more popular this drove insurance sales up also. These days you can insure just about anything. Overall insurance is about protecting your assets whether you are putting your eggs in different baskets to insuring your vehicle, it’s a smart service that has saved many lives over the years.

Since the 1900's...

Born under the name George Hutcheson, Hutcheson, Reynolds & Caswell Ltd. began providing insurance policies in Muskoka since the early 1900s. Bernard Reynolds joined the firm in the 1940s and purchased the firm from George Hutcheson in 1967. Finally, in 1980, David Caswell joined the company's ranks to complete Hutcheson, Reynolds and Caswell. We have grown along with our name and provide the same dedication to superior customer service and top-notch insurance coverage that George Hutcheson was famous for over 100 years ago.