来源：网络 2010-08-09 15:58
You Bet Your Life（以命相赌）
1. Life insurance is not really betting although it can be compared to it. You pay the money just in case. In this day and age, we think of insurance as a natural thing. If we scrape a fender or injure ourselves at work, we know that there is some sort of payment that we can get through insurance. Of course, we don't get it for nothing; we make payments to the companies. If we don't use the insurance, the companies keep the money.
2. "Insurance" is the term that we understand today. Some companies are beginning to use the term "assurance”. As a matter of fact, Charles Babbage, over one hundred years ago, felt that "assurance" was a better term. Apparently few others did, because "insurance" has stayed with us until today.
3. How old is insurance? Two hundred years? A thousand? Or is it as old as man? I suppose that would depend upon what you mean. We might say that "insurance" was with us while man was just beginning to develop civilization. One family or tribe might feel that they would be helped if they helped to protect another family or tribe. In this way, both groups got what they needed-protection from enemies. Of course, you and I don't need that kind of protection today.
4. This system of trading services with each other has been with us for quite a while. The idea of an old age pension is certainly older than you might think. Today you think of social security or some other system. Most people who retire are still able to receive money that they have paid into the system during their working days. The idea of a reward for services like this is quite an old one. The trouble was that the reward was not always given to everyone, nor was it given to those who deserved it most.
5. What happened when man began to move into the cities from the farms? He found that he could no longer support himself by growing his own food. His children and relatives might move away to another city, and there might be no way of earning enough money. Perhaps because of this, the idea of social security and insurance developed. Now insurance companies are near the top of the list of the biggest business in the United States.