• Personal accident and health insurance began to

  • Valuable as Group insurance is as a means of protecting large numbers of individuals against the consequences of accidents and disease, there are many who, because they work in organizations not covered by Group insurance, or are self employed, must provide for their own protection. A large and important branch of the insurance business has grown up to meet the needs of these people.

    Limited coverage for disability arising from sickness or accident had been available to individual policyholders, as supplementary to their Ordi­nary Life insurance contracts, since 1912. This consisted of a provision waiving all further premiums due on their Life policies during the continuance of total and permanent dis­ability incurred prior to age 60. In 1918 the Company extended the benefits available under this supplementary con­tract, to provide for monthly income payments in addition to a waiver of premiums in event of total and permanent disability.

    Additional coverage against death by accidental means was also introduced in the form of double indemnity in 1919. But it was not until 1921 that disability protection on an individual policy contract could be obtained in the Metropolitan independently of a Life insurance policy.Personal accident and health insurance began to

    On June 22, 1921, President Fiske sent a letter to the Managers of the Company announcing the intention to issue individual Accident and Health policies. A few months were spent in careful preparation, and on October 7, 1921, on the 30th anniversary of his election as Vice-President in 1891, President Fiske personally approved an application and secured delivery on that same day of Policy No. 1. The application, on file in the Company archives, was made on behalf of Mr. Frederick W. Chaney, and written by Agent B. H. Wade, of Danville, Va., District.

    These individual contracts were designated "Personal Accident and Health" policies, thus distinguishing them from the Group Accident and Health contracts. In providing, through the various forms, specific indemnities for the loss of life, limb, or sight by accidental means, and weekly benefits for disability resulting from accidental means or sickness, they served to broaden and round out the circle of individual insurance protection. This type of coverage became available to Canadians in the latter part of 1922, when an amendment to the Dominion Insurance Law permitted the issuance of such policies by a Life insurance company.

    The organization and development of the Metropolitans Personal Accident and Health business was placed in the hands of Mr. Stewart M. LaMont. When President Fiske was convinced that there was a broad opportunity for the company to meet the accident and health hazards of individuals, he sought the best qualified man available to head the new Division, and his choice fell on Mr. LaMont, an outstanding figure in this field. Mr. LaMont, from the very beginning, had the advantage of the advice and assistance of Actuary James D. Craig and his associate, H. R. Bassford, who has subsequently become Actuary of the Company.

    The new Division began to function on a modest scale with a staff of eight people, among them Mr. L. K. Farrell, now Assistant Secretary, and Mr. T. F. Hickey, Superintendent of Claims, both of whom had had experience in this field with other Accident and Health companies.

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    released by SarahSarah Martin is a freelance marketing writer from San Diego, CA. She specializes in business finance, the history of life, health, and automobile insurance, and financial planning.Get more information regarding
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