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Insurance involves pooling funds from many insured entities (known as exposures) to pay for the losses that some may incur.

The insured receives a contract, called the insurance policy, which details the conditions and circumstances under which the insured will be financially compensated.

The amount of money charged by the insurer to the insured for the coverage set forth in the insurance policy is called the premium.

The first life insurance policies were taken out in the early 18th century.

The first company to offer life insurance was the Amicable Society for a Perpetual Assurance Office, founded in London in 1706 by William Talbot and Sir Thomas Allen.

A number of attempted fire insurance schemes came to nothing, but in 1681, economist Nicholas Barbon and eleven associates established the first fire insurance company, the "Insurance Office for Houses", at the back of the Royal Exchange to insure brick and frame homes.

Initially, 5,000 homes were insured by his Insurance Office.

If a merchant received a loan to fund his shipment, he would pay the lender an additional sum in exchange for the lender's guarantee to cancel the loan should the shipment be stolen, or lost at sea.

At some point in the 1st millennium BC, the inhabitants of Rhodes created the 'general average'.

Property insurance as we know it today can be traced to the Great Fire of London, which in 1666 devoured more than 13,000 houses.

The devastating effects of the fire converted the development of insurance "from a matter of convenience into one of urgency, a change of opinion reflected in Sir Christopher Wren's inclusion of a site for 'the Insurance Office' in his new plan for London in 1667".

The insurance transaction involves the insured assuming a guaranteed and known relatively small loss in the form of payment to the insurer in exchange for the insurer's promise to compensate the insured in the event of a covered loss.