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Modern Day Burial Clubs

Dec 12, 2007
Back in ancient Rome, there was no social security system to help the poor. Families looked out for each other and if there was no male to take the lead in a family then they were often doomed.

As with most things in life then and now, death was a business to be cashed in on. Ancient Romans were actually quite advanced in their understanding of death and disease and did what they could to protect themselves. Cemeteries were placed outside the city walls to prevent the spread of disease from decaying bodies and people had to be paid to carry out the correct disposal.

With war and famine so prevalent in that society along with limited health facilities, dealing with death was an everyday occurrence. However, widows and orphans were in no position to pay for the funeral services. To this end, The Fratres was set up.

These burial clubs were set up by the poor, for the poor. They would club together to pay for funerals of members and to aid the surviving family members. Hence, the birth of the first rudimentary life insurance.

This is not as well known as the advances in insurance during the 1600's when life insurance came into its own. Shipping merchants and underwriters would meet in Lloyds coffee house to discuss business. All the news Edward Lloyd heard, he then circulated on a printed sheet. Exchanging information like this was a huge help to the insurers and a register was soon compiled that enabled them to keep a running record of the condition of ships.

The insuring of ships and their cargo soon evolved into an all encompassing business of life insurance and property insurance until today when it possible to insure almost anything. Individual body parts, including food critic Egon Ronay insuring his taste buds for $400,000 to unusual items such as a flask of bull's semen have all been insured.

However, life insurance is the biggest seller in today's society. Along with all the advancements in health to prolong life and cure disease, comes discoveries of new diseases. With the world becoming an ever more accessible place for everybody, diseases are easier spread and vast amounts of money are ploughed into research and cures.

With the fast pace of modern life, adrenalin junky is an oft used term to describe today's thrill seekers. Even for those more keen on a sedentary lifestyle, there are still many risks. Add to that the worldwide information network that brings reports of death and destruction into our sitting rooms daily and people are much more aware of the need for life insurance.

The concept of a job for life no longer exists. Financial situations within a family can change overnight and people are constantly looking for more security. Life insurance is a good way to go with many optional add ons such as critical life cover which pays out in the event of a major illness occurring. Mortgage life insurance is usually a must when a mortgage is arranged and this insures the mortgage will be re-paid on the event of the insured either dying or becoming seriously ill.

As dismal as this all sounds, it is a safety net for everyone. The person insured can relax in the knowledge that, should they become ill their finances are secure. Hopefully, they will live a long and happy life and at the end of that the final outlay of funeral expenses do not fall on their loved ones at such a difficult time and allowances can also be made with life insurance to leave a good sum for the aid of family members in the following years.
About the Author
Financial expert Shaun Parker looks into the advantages of life insurance from ancient Rome to modern day. To find out more please visit http://www.theidol.com
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