On November 25, 1950, a man walking along a New York Street had his hat and wig blown off by a 75 miles an hour wind (a storm that cost the American insurance companies as much as 200,000 dollars) and as he wondered what could be done under the circumstances, the thought that struck him first was his extended coverage fire insurance policy. He collected from the company 75 dollars for his wig and five for his hat. This is not an extreme case of the protection that insurance provides to all and sundry. In the advanced countries of the west, almost any possible loss of damage to person and property can be covered by insurance policies. And insurance is big business in all these countries. In four out of five American families, the lives of one or more members are insured. This protection for the individual and his family is beside the state’s social security system which makes savings compulsory for all adults both in the United States and the United Kingdom.The National Insurance Acts of the UK apply in general to everyone over school-leaving age and make provision for sickness and unemployment, injury and death and retirement benefits. The cumulative result of such a vast insurance business is the enormous capital made available for industrial growth. Compared to these results, Insurance in India has so far done little either to protect the citizen or to promote productive enterprise. It has as yet only touched a thinlayer of upper middle class people in the towns and cities; it has not been heard of in rural India. The State Insurance Corporation which comes into existence today has a large and virgin field to exploit. In the absence of a social security system which protects all citizens, the Corporation has a vital role to play…..

(EDIT, September 1, 1956.)

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