Geneza ubezpieczeń gospodarczych
History of Insurance of Business Activity
Przedmiotem artykułu jest geneza ubezpieczeń gospodarczych poczynając od starożytności (pożyczki morskie), aż po czasy współczesne.
Since time immemorial people have made efforts to neutralize the consequences of natural disasters. They made efforts aimed at reducing their impact and, with time, when the mechanism of such disasters was finally understood, they tried to prevent their very occurrence, that is, in practical terms, implemented preventive measures. Drawing conclusions based on experience had lead to attempts made at finding new methods of effective prevention which in turn lead to the emergence of ever more numerous and better organized groups of people engaged in mutual protection. As from the 17th century, which saw a vigorous intensification of dealings with the colonies, private insurers were particularly active, especially in markets situated in port cities which were a place where shippers, brokers and insurance agents met. At the same time, on the initiative of central and local authorities in Germany, France and Scandinavian countries were founded fire societies which soon began to reorganize into ever larger organizations aiming at a more efficient sharing of risk. They were public corporations offering insurance for premiums considerably lower than those in regular insurance companies. Such insurance could effectively compete with shareholding insurers mostly on account of the fact that they were entrusted with mandatory insurance introduced by legal regulations. At the same time the rapid growth of reinsurance occurred which although in existence since the 14th century in fact became indispensable only when insurance companies underwriting considerable risks and fearing for large-scale accidents and disasters began to lean towards dividing premiums and selling off some of the underlying risk to reinsurers. At first reinsurance contracts to be of a provisional character but in the second half of the 19th century long-term and open reinsuring contracts covering many specific types of risk came into use. (original abstract)
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