Friday, April 5, 2024

Travelers Insurance Company Travel Accident Policy

The month of April is spent on the mini-album of Travelers canceled stamps that was highlighted in the post of April 2.  But today we take a slight detour with an travelers accident policy with a R162 1/2 cent battleship stamp.  The name of the company gives a direct indication of the business that gave the company its start:  insurance for travelers.  

Shameless plagiarism from Wikipedia:

The Travelers Insurance Company was founded in Hartford by James G. Batterson, a stone contractor who became aware for the first time of accident insurance for travelers while traveling in England in 1859 from Leamington to London. His railway ticket included accidental death insurance coverage up to the amount of £1,000, and lesser indemnities for non-fatal injuries. Batterson visited the London and Paris offices of European insurers to learn about the accident insurance business, then went home to Hartford and raised $500,000 in capital to launch a company to provide accident insurance to American travelers.

Travelers obtained its official state charter on June 17, 1863. The company did not issue its first regular insurance policy until April 5, 1864, but informally entered into its first insurance agreement a month earlier. On March 1, 1864, local banker James Bolter jokingly inquired of Batterson how much it would cost to insure him up to $5,000 for accidental death for the journey from the post office to his home. Batterson replied, "Two cents," which Bolter promptly tendered; those coins have been kept by Travelers ever since.

By the 1898 tax period, Travelers had branched into all sorts of accident and life insurance, yet insurance for traveles remained important to their business.  Below is an example of a policy sold to E. D. Sutherland, for three days of travel, primarily on the Michigan Central Railroad, that likely included a round trip that started in Bay City, Michigan.

R162 canceled with a Michigan Central Railroad handstamp

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