Insurance: A Risky Business

High-risk insurance was pioneered in the U.S. by Philadelphia's Insurance Co. of North America, which paid off every cent on a $300,000 "catastrophe" policy when the Boy Scouts' 1935 Jamboree was called off because of a polio epidemic. The business of writing policies on highly unlikely contingencies, how ever, for years remained almost totally dominated by Lloyd's of London. No longer. High-risk insurance is becoming an increasingly important part of the U.S. insurance business, and the dozen or so American firms that now specialize in it already account for fully a third of the $300 million in high-risk premiums...

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