As insurance agents and underwriters we tend not to look at insurance with a historical perspective, except to the extent of 3 or 5 years of loss history. Insurance has a long and rich history, and continues to evolve, yet the industry has not done a good job of documenting its evolution for practitioners. A recent article (see here) provides a reminder and a brief historical perspective on insurance and risk management starting with the earliest forms of premium charges and the Code of Hammurabi in 1755 BC, and on to the development of the marine insurance market in London.
The article was written by the authors of a book on the history of insurance in America called: Spreading the Risks: Insuring the American Experience. Additional information on the authors, Jack Bogardus and Robert Moore, and their book can be found at their web site (here), and Insurance Journal articles (here and here).