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THE NEW YORK
ASTOR, LENOX AND
THE UNDERWRITER PRINTING AND PUBLISHING CO,
THE publication of an annual cyclopedia is not a new thing, although its restriction to a specialty like insurance is new. Scattered through the volumes of insurance journals, company and state reports, proceedings of various associations, and papers read or printed by individuals, in pamphlets and in circulars will be found a vast amount of interesting matter which has heretofore been, much of it, consigned to the waste paper basket, and the remainder put away in places where it cannot be found when wanted. In common with all writers on insurance the editor of this volume has found the necessity of having these vagrant items of information gathered together and catalogued, and out of this necessity has grown the belief that their annual publication in convenient form for reference would prove acceptable to the large number of men engaged in the business of insurance. That is our apology for adding another to the insurance publications of the United States.
As to the details of the work as it comes to the reader, many imperfections will readily suggest themselves, and we do not need to speak of them except to promise amendment in future volumes.
We have had many suggestions from underwriters, who have evinced an unusual interest in the work as it has been in progress, and have endeavored, as far as practicable, to meet these suggestions. This has not always been possible, and there is no doubt that many persons will not find in these pages what they most particularly want, or, at least, will not find it treated with the amplitude which they desire. But in many cases what we have done will be sufficient to enable them to refer to the original sources of information. The legal decisions are a case in point. It would be impossible to make a digest of them, but in every instance, where we have given the points decided, we have also given the title of the case and where it can be found.
In respect to subjects now of living interest we have endeavored to give something of their history. The various organizations of underwriters mentioned are traced back to their beginning. No underwriter can fail to find in this volume something of value which he does not already know in regard to these associations.
The appendix contains a record of companies, with dates of organization, officers and directors, and of the business in the various branches of insurance for the years 1889 and 1890. There are some omissions in the list, but they are mainly of unimportant companies. In the case of several representative companies the editor has expanded the record with more of detail than in others. In subsequent issues it is intended to take up other companies in the same way, so that eventually the Annual Cyclopedia of Insurance will present all essential facts about all the companies in a convenient form for reference. All these companies follow in alphabetical order, and the reason for putting them in an appendix rather than in the body of the work is to facilitate the earlier publication of future issues. The editor expects to have the volumes following this one published three or four months earlier in the year, and this result can only be accomplished by putting into an appendix such matter as cannot be compiled until after the close of the year.
With this explanation this initial volume is sent upon its way.
ANNUAL CYCLOPEDIA OF INSURANCE.
A Accident Insurance. The ordinary accident insurance policy grants a fixed compensation to the insured for a limited time in case of disabling accident, and also a definite amount to be paid to a designated person if death result from accident. Such policies are in general strictly limited by their terms to accidents which totally disable or kill the insured. Some companies issue modified forms providing for injury and death, with an additional clause as to partial disabilities of a permanent nature, such as loss of a limb, an eye, a hand, or foot. In order to recover, the injury must arise from “ external, violent, and accidental means," and must be incurred while the insured is not unnecessarily exposing himself to “obvious danger,” and while he is not engaged in an occupation more hazardous than that in which he has elected to be classified and insured, or if more hazardously occupied at the time of the injury, then recovery can be had only to the extent to which premium paid would have purchased insurance in the more hazardous class.
Within these limits there has been found a great deal of ground for differences of opinion, and many of the points which have been settled have only been disposed of after harassing litigation. The following are some of the matters of interest in the law of accident insurance, decided or reported in 1890: Where it is claimed that the injuries were sulf-inflicted, or were caused by negligence, until self-infliction or negligence is proven, accident will be presumed.' The presumption of law is against the assumption of suicide. As to what constitutes total disability are these cases: A physician confined to his bed by accident and prescribing for patients received in his room, but never leaving his bed, is totally disabled; as is a business man, although he gave directions to his substitute; but not if he could personally attend at factory and superintend workmen... Paralysis of both feet caused by shot in the back is “ loss of two entire feet. In the following cases the insured has been held to have assumed “obvious risk of injury” or sary exposure to danger,” and could not recover: Where insured met his death in daylight while crossing track in front of train, there being nothing to obstruct view and no proof that he was deaf or nearsighted,
1 Cronkhite v. Travelers Ins. Co. (Wis. S. C.), 43 Northwestern Rep., 731.
2 Washburn v. National Accident Society (N. Y. S. C.), 32 N. Y. State Rep., 34. MacDonald v. Refuge Assur. Co., 27 Sc. L. R., 764.
8 Walcott v. United Life Acc. Asso'n, N. Y. S. C., 8 N. Y. Sup., 263.
46 N. W. Rep., 799. 7 Cornish v. Accident Ins. Co., 23 L. R., Q. B. D., 453.
and where he was killed in lowering himself from a window to escape police ;' or passing from one car to another on a moving train. On the contrary, where the insured was a baggage-checker and policy excepted railway employe, it was held that he was such within the meaning of the policy, and question of unnecessary exposure was to be left to the jury.' În a Scotch case, death ensued from kidney disease accelerated by an accident, and the assurance company was held to be not liable;and death resulting from malignant pustule caused by infliction upon body of putrid animal matter is death from disease and not accident. Contra in Canada, where after accident erysipelas set in and caused death, and taking of poison accidentally is accidental death." The questions as to occupation have been variously disposed of. Where deceased stated his occupation to be “livery stable proprietor,” this was enough to put defendant on his guard, though insured sometimes himself hitched up horses;s and where a person is hunting for recreation, he cannot be said to be a “hunter" by occupation, and is entitled to recover. 9. Company cannot classify after an injury, the occupation in which injury occurred. 10 A few cases refer to proof and payment. In one where notice and proof of accident were received and acknowledged as sufficient, all objection as to the time and form were waived;" also, where company declined to pay on other grounds;" provision that payment is not due for 90 days, and that action should be begun within one year if at all, means one year after 90 days, i. e., after final accruing of right of action. Insured who gives an order on employer for premium, is entitled to notice of demand and non-payment. 4 Where agent repeatedly had conversations with plaintiff who was deaf, and represented in the application that insured was free from bodily infirmity, the representation was not misleading to the company, nor an inducement to the contract. 15
Actuarial Society of America. In February, 1889, it was ascertained that five of the oldest actuaries in the United States were favorable to the formation of an Actuarial Society, and a circular letter concerning the project was sent to the actuaries of companies in the United States and Canada by D. Parks Fackler of New York. The responses were so favorable that a meeting was called for organization in New York, April 25, 1889. This meeting was held in accordance with the call and resulted in the organization desired. The charter members were J. J. Barker, Robert P. Field, H. W. Smith, and Asa S. Wing of Philadelphia, Hubert Cillis, J. M. Craig, D. P. Fackler, Shep
1 Shaffer v. Travelers Ins. Co., 22 N. W. Rep., 589.
11 Brink v. Guaranty Mut. Acc. Ass'n (supra); Bushaw v. Woman's Mut. Ins. & Acc. Co. (supra).
12 Young v. Acc. Ins. Co. (supra).