☞ The customs of Life Insurance being as yet less common than that of
Insurance against Fire, is probably from that cause less understood—for were it
generally as well understood, there can scarce be a doubt but that the practice of
Insuring Lives would become a custom of almost universal adoption; for the
cases are so numerous and various in which its benefits would be felt, that they
could not fail to be appreciated.
A few examples may perhaps place the subject in a clear point of view, and con-
vey a better idea of its advantages.
1st. A married man at the age of 30, being engaged in such a business that a
continuance of his life for seven years would furnish him with a competency,
could readily affford to lay by $100 per annum: this sum invested in a policy on
his life, would secure to his family, in case of his death (within that period), the
sum of $6,900.
2d. Or the same premium of $100, at the same age, (say 30 years,) will secure
to his family, or other heirs, the sum of $7,500, should his life fail in one year.
3d. Suppose a man 30 years of age, the product of whose labor, or business,
enables him to support his family in comfort, but who, on his death, must be left
destiture,—this man could readily lay by $24 80 a year, (which is but little more
than $2 per month,) and by adopting the prudent course of insuring his life, and
paying that sum annually to the office, he from that moment secures $1,000 to his
family whenever he dies, even if his death should occur the next day—and small-
er or larger sums in proportion may be secured.
4th. A man at the age of 20 years by paying $10 35 annually to the office,
will entitle his family to receiv e $500 on his death, whenever that may occur.
5th. A man of 35 years of age, in a public office from which he derived an an-
nual salary of 81,500, which enables him to support his family respectably, but
which at his death must of course cease, and his family left utterly destitute;—if
this man invests $18 in a life insurance, his family will be entitled to $1,000 if he
dies within a year; or if he pays an annual premium of $19 10, his family will be
entitled to $1,000 in case of his death happening within seven years; or by pay-
ing $28 per annum, his family will be entitled to $1,000 whenever his death oc-
curs, be the same sooner or later.
6th. Again, imagine a young man of 18 years of age, who, by the untimely
death of his father, has become the only support of his widowed mother, and a
large family of brothers and sisters; and suppose that this young man by his ex-
ertions is just able to support them, and lay by some trifling sum. If his life is
spared a few years, his younger brothers will then be in a situation to take care of
themselves, and assist their mother and sisters in their turn; but if sudden death
overtakes him, they are all left utterly destitute. Now it is evident, if this young
man pursues the prudent course of investing that trifling sum, (probably not a great
deal more than is spent in cigars, &c.) in an insurance on his life—say the sum of
$27—this will entitle his bereaved family to receive $2,000 on his death, should it
occur within seven years. Now, this is a case in which the family is provided for
to a certainty, whether he lives or dies—if he lives they are provided for by his
exertions—if his life fails, the office provides for them by giving them the $2,000.