SESSION 03. Marine Insurance: Origins and Institutions

3. Marine Insurance: Origins and Institutions.

Hannah Farber (Assistant Professor of History, Columbia University).
Chris Kingston (Professor of Economics, Amherst College). cgkingston@amherst.edu


Marine insurance was, and remains, an important component of international trade, and has also frequently played a significant role in many aspects of economic, political, legal and social history. Yet despite its wide-ranging importance, for a long time this important topic remained substantially under-researched. In recent years, however, a growing body of scholarship on marine insurance has been emerging, and there have been a number of important contributions from scholars across a variety of historical disciplines, including economic, legal, financial, and business history. At this stage, conversation among those working in this active and intellectually diverse field is likely to be extremely fruitful.

This panel will explore the development of marine insurance from its origins in medieval Italy, through various markets in Western Europe, to the establishment of London as the world’s leading international underwriting centre, and the early development of insurance in America. Our aim is to bring together a variety of scholars using different lenses and tools to explore the evolution of marine insurance institutions and organisations up to the early nineteenth century. The contributors may discuss aspects of the development of marine insurance in a specific country or city, or broader connecting themes such as the development of international legal principles, institutions or business structures from a comparative or transnational perspective.