May 22, 1761

On This Date in! in 1761 in Philadelphia, the first life insurance policy was issued in the U.S. by the Presbyterian Ministers’ Fund. The second one was also issued that day insuring the life of Minister Isaac Trumbull. Three days later Minister Trumbull died when a cow and her calf fell out of his barn’s upper loft and landed on him, killing him instantly. Both cow and calf survived. Minister Trumbull’s young widow, Goodhope Trumbull, was paid 1,000 pounds, British currency and she subsequently sold the farm, cow, and calf and moved to Virginia. The Presbyterian Ministers’ Fund decided that in the future, they would only sell insurance on people who were aware that a policy had been taken out on them.

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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