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Article
October 11, 1902

THE UNCERTAINTY OF LIFE.

JAMA. 1902;XXXIX(15):917-918. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480410041005

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Abstract

One of the largest life insurance companies of this country recently published a pamphlet containing a list of 435 persons at whose deaths policies were paid by the company during the year 1901, though the insurance on their lives had been in force less than a year. Considering how carefully medical examiners are selected as a rule and how thoroughly medical examinations are made, for the so-called big companies at least, this would seem a surprisingly large number of deaths early in the insured term. It represents actually about five out of every thousand policy-holders for whom risks were assumed by the company during the year. The risks were at least of average amount, so that nearly one million of dollars was paid out. As it is well known that first-year premiums on life policies are practically entirely eaten up by the expenses incurred in securing the risk, these precociously

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