International Styles

Extent of Fraternal Insurance

The preceding chapters are descriptive of "old-line" life insurance., i.e. life insurance based upon the maintenance of an adequate reserve. Yet a very considerable proportion of the total life insurance written in this country is carried by fraternal orders which for years have conducted their operations on the assessment plan. The 509 fraternal orders included in the statistics of the Insurance Year Boole show insurance in force at the end of 1913 of $9,622,000,000, or an amount nearly equal to 47 percent, of the $20,564,000,000 of insurance carried by the old-line companies. The number of fraternal benefit certificates in force exceeded 8,000,000, the amount of new business written during the year amounted to $1,065,000,000, the claims paid, $101,000,000, and the assessments, $129,000,000. As has been said, over one-fourth of the country's population is directly or indirectly interested in these societies. But while the regular life-insurance companies held reserves of $3,903,000,000 at the close of 1913 to guarantee the fulfillment of their obligations, the assets of fraternal orders, although the face value of their certificates amounts to nearly 47 percent, of the total insurance in force with the regular companies, amounted to only $183,000,000.

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