Insurance has become a significant economic force in most industrialized countries. Employers buy insurance to cover their employees against work-related injuries and health problems. Businesses also insure their property, including technology used in production against damage and theft. Because it makes business operations safer, insurance encourages businesses to make economic transactions, which benefits the economies of countries. Insurance companies perform a type of monetary redistribution - they collect premiums and eventually redistribute that money as payments. Depending on the type of insurance, redistribution can take anywhere from a few months to many decades. Because of this delay between collecting and paying out funds, insurance companies invest their funds to bring in extra revenues. Such investments help businesses and governments finance their operations, and profits from those investments support the operations of insurance companies.The earliest known type of life insurance was the burial benefits that Greek and Roman religious societies provided for their members. Neither these religious societies nor any pre-modern systems for paying death benefits employed actuarial calculations. They were frequently financed on a post assessment basis; that is, contributions were made by all surviving members following one member's death. As a result, funds were not always available to pay claims. The first life-insurance company in North America was founded in 1759 in Philadelphia. It was sponsored by the Presbyterian Synod of Philadelphia and gave benefits to Presbyterian ministers and their dependents. After 1840, the religious perspective towards life insurance declined and life insurance began its glorious period.
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