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Till tonrmirB lomta


Till tonrmirB lomta That the important subject of Life Assurance is but imper- fectly understood by our countrymen, and that only a few com- paratively avail themselves of its provisions, are facts wnich none can rationally dispute. Public attention has been but partially directed to the subject in Wales. Scarcely has a word been said of the nature, principles, and object of Assur- ance Societies in our Welsh magazines. Viewed merely as a question of social improvement it has a claim too sacred to be trifled with on the patriot, philanthropist, and the Christian, and indeed on every member of society and were they more extensively embraced, they would most effectively promote the social interests of the Cymry. A subject, therefore, replete with such important advantages and bright prospects should be better understood and more generally embraced. To none is this more important than to you in the middle walks of life. You may be able now to support your families with compara- tive ease and comfort; but in the event of your death, those who are dear to you, and dependant upon your efforts for sus- tenance, will inevitably be thrown into poverty and distress. Glance for a moment at the manifold casualties contingent upon human life, and the superior facilities offered by Life Assurance Companies for providing against such consequences. The various ways in which they may be made available to avert the gloomy prospects of future calamities, are so exten- sive and important, as to justify our entering a little into the principles on which they are mainly based. These have been left for modern times to discover and illustrate. 1. Correct calculations of trie rate of HUMAN MORTALITY. 2. Rate of interest upon money. These data are much better understood now than they formerly were, which renders it comparatively easy to arrive at a fair and safe calculation for all purposes in con- nexion with life assurance. It is, ascertained with tolerable correctness—though the duratj^i# a single life is one of the most uncertain events which tA h-e within the province of mortality—how many of a multiple of individuals at a certain age will die within the next year, and how many in the second, Sic. thus it is found e.g. that of 100,000 persons aged 52 residing in this country, 1,512 will die before they complete their 53rd year. On the assumption, therefore, that human life is of a certain average endurance—a fact established by obser- vation and experience—are founded what is generally called TABLES OF MORTALITY, showing the average duration of human life. The tables used by Life Assurance Societies as the bases of their calculation in this country are three in number. The first is known as the celebrated Northampton table, which is the oldest now in use, formed between the years 1730 and 1780 by the celebrated and the justly renowned Dr. Price this table is now generally acknowledged to be erroneous, showing far too high a rate of mortality. The Carlisle table is the second formed under the superintendence of the learned Dr. Ileyshaw, and calculated on the most scientific principles by Mr. Milner, known as the author of an important work on an- nuities. The third was completed under the direction of Government by Mr. Finlaison, and were in 1829 adopted by Parliament as the basis of their future calculations. The fol- lowing is a short specimen of the several tables alluded to:- By Government. By the experi- By North- Br ence of the Age,* ampton. Carlisle. London Males. Females, Mean. Equitable. 2J 33-43 41*48 38'39 43 99 41-19 41-67 25 30-85 37-86 3590 4U-81 38-36 38*12 30 28-27 34-34 33 17 37 57 35 37 34-33 35 2568 31-00 30-17 34-31 32-24 3093 40 23-08 27-61 27-02 31-12 29-07 27-40 45 20-52 24-46 23-75 27-81 25-78 23-87 50 17-99 21-11 20-30 24-35 22-33 20-36 55 15-58 17-58 17-15 20-79 18-97 16-99 60 13-21 14-34 14-39 17-32 15-86 13-91 A bare inspection of the above will enable the reader to form a comparative estimate of their relative value; the close agree- ment of the Carlisle and Government Tables is almost a con- clusive evidence in their favour all calculations therefore based upon these are within the verge of safety, while if cal- culated by the Northampton table must prove uncertain and unsafe. Did nothing besides the laws of mortality enter into the cal- culations of Life Assurance Societies, a high degree of correct- ness might be attained but another very important item enters into the calculation, and a principle replete with vital conse- quences to the complete success of Assurance Companies, viz., the rate of interest upon money, i c. what average amount of interest can we calculate upon making of the premiums annu- ally received. There is a gyeat deal depends upon proper and efficient management. Any o!a.e with a limited amount of bfisiness, efficiently conducted, will make more of their money than an office with more business ineffir-iontijr miwImkwI t besides money is liable to many fluctuations, consequently there are many and various difficulties in the way of forming anything like a standard, for the conducting of this important department with that degree of certainty with which the first may be carried on. Authors widely differ as to what standard can be safely assumed. Some writers contend that four and a half per cent. is too high a rate, and argue that three and a half per cent, can only be safely adopted throughout ail changes. From the pub- lished reports of many offices we find that their funds are invested "about," at," or above" five percent.; besides, did offices not improve their money somewhere about the above rate of interest, it is impossible they could make such large returns in the shape of dividends; and we are inclined to think that while England remains in nearly its present position, we may safely assume that money will accumulate, throughout ail changes, about four per cent. per annum. On these two prin- ciples, viz., rate of human mortality, and rate of interest upon money, are mainly based the practical part of life assurance business. Having said thus much by way of explanation, our readers, we trust, are now in a position to understand what we mean by life assurance a clear understanding of its principles and advantages cannot but convince a thoughtful man of its moral obligations and necessity. Few men are so ignorant and cir- cumscribed as to imagine that they are not under any obligation to support those that have by a near affinity a just claim upon them for support; still it is a deplorable circumstance that hardly any more than one head of a family out of every hundred have embraced the advantages and security of life assurance. Glance .or a moment at the state of society witness the relative dependence of one branch upon another, not a single portion can be dispensed with without affecting the progressive happiness and full development of the whole if from a collec- tive view of humanity we look to individuals, the some reasons apply with double force how extensive does the ruin of one family often affect the interest of a whole community. There are hundreds of families absolutely dependant upon the labours of one individual only, and what can be more un- certain than the duration of human life and temporal pros- perity ? One hour may throw an affectionate wife and child- ren into the realms of dependence and want. All men are more or less surrounded by circumstances unfavourable to life, -fr,-m, ignorance, want of caution, accidents, our lives are constantly coming into collision with conditions calculated to destroy them. "In the midst of life we are in death;" "Boast not thyself of to-morrow; for every day brings with it intelligence of friends and relations having quitted these scenes of earthly activity. The duty of life assurance cannot be.,better seen again than by devoting a moment to consider the, arising from its neglect. How many within our own w circle have exchanged a comfortable habitation, handsomely furnished, to become the inmates of union workhouses while if the principles we advocate were understood and generally practised all these evils would become mere matters of history. The pen of the ablest writer can never describe half of the miseries many are subjected to in this world. Imagine an unfortunate family reflecting on the reverses of fortune. Take, for example, a case in which a family may have been driven from their own maternal hearth with their earthly prospects for ever blasted, where their forefathers gained a comfortable livelihood. On turning their eyes to yonder mansion a thou- sand recollections of the happy and childlike incidents of former times rush to their minds, the emotions which fill the breast on seeing the old abode arc better imagined than described. It is hallowed perhaps as the spot that gave them birth, and where their days of childhood and their growing years of earthly en- I joyment and prosperity were spent: But the place that did know them knows them no more." From that sacred spot they are now driven, comparatively they are exiles in a strange land; a dependent widow and heipiess orphans thrown upon the cold charities of the world, daily perishing in a land of plenty, and victims of confusion in the very midst of all the harmonies of the universe. The. laws of charity and of human kindness, apart from those of consanguinity and morality, establish for ever the impera- tive fluty of many husbands and fathers to insure their lives for the benefit of those who survive them. Life assurance, viewed again as a question of mere social im- provement, is in every respect worthy of a more general public sympathy and support; it is not in this light a question of indi- vidual interest, but a subject of national importance. The man who is an enlightened advocate of life assurance properly con- ducted, serves his country in a direction which ought k> insure for him, not only the approbation of a few interested persons, but the applause and commendation of coming posterity, as a distinguished benefactor of his race and a philanthropist of the highest order. If it be a desirable object to see our union workhouses comparatively empty, and our poor-rates lower, let the principles we advocate be universally embraced, and an improvement would soon be witnessed in the social condition of our country. We address ourselves particularly to hus-i bands and fathers it is a duty you owe to your family, and to society in general, to insure your life as a future provision for your offspring, who, in the event of your death, would be de- prived of all, and doomed to penury and wretchedness To the young, it is a capital mode-of providing for their de- clining years. In short, life assurance is applicable to so great a variety of useful purposes-it meets in so many directions the requirements of society—that a man may be fairly charged with a very censurable neglect of his duty and interest, if he remains in ignorance of its advantages next to absolute idle- ness there is no greater evil than that which consists in ex- hausting upon the present, the time and money which should in some measure be devoted to future exigencies. Having said thus much of the duty and advantages of life assurance, we cannot close this paper without directing atten- tion to the fact, that insurance offices in this country are estab- lished either by joint stock companies, who look to making a profit by their business, or by mutually assuring societies the former are called proprietary, and the latter mutual officep. this is the leading distinction between different offices in this country. Proprietary offices are commonly held by a joint stock co- partnery, with a large subscribed capital as a guarantee for all liabilities of the company; the mutual offices, on the contrarv, are held by an association of customers, each of whom is con- cerned in assuring his neighbour; in this case, however, all the. surplusages or profits instead of going into the hands of a trad- ing company remain the property of the assured, and are peri- odically divided amongst them. The business was for a long time carried on almost exclusively on the proprietary principle, but it has been found since that every desirable security can be obtained on the mutual or association principle, and has been advancing much more rapidly than the other for several years past. Some proprietary companies have specially prepared tables, allowing of a participation of profits these are generally denominated mixed proprietary and- mutual offices. In another column will be found an advertisement of the British Empire Mutual Life Assurance Society, which from our knowledge of its principles and directory we most cordially recommend to public support; it is a purely mutual office-- all the profits are divided between the assured. We are glad to understand the directors contemplate extending their opera- tions into Wales on a more extended and permanent basis than, has yet been attempted by any other company. We wish the enterprise every possible success.

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