The Term Guy's hobby is collecting antique insurance books. Here we've scanned many of our out of copyright books for your enjoyment and perhaps research purposes. Stay tuned, more books coming as I have time to scan them!
While this book focuses exclusively on race, it's worth noting that many of the mortality books on this page contain data split by race - differentiating between US born whites, foreign born whites, and blacks.
A study of the mortality experience among Industrial policyholders of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 1911-1935. FYI, in the days of 'industrial' insurance policyholders, life insurance agents would call at your door every week to collect your life insurance premiums. Seems awkward.
Met Life’s mortality experience tables 1911-1916. Weird diseases, experience split by race, etc. But that’s not even the coolest part. This copy was donated by Met Life to Dr. Herman G. Morgan. This guy was the Board of Health Secretary in Indiana and ordered business closures, a cap On community gatherings, and mandatory mask wearing during the pandemic of 1918. What a connection to of the present to the past this particular book is.
Covering 1874 to 1894. Data plus unfiltered listings of causes of death. Some too gross to imagine, some I’ve never heard of and suspect are no longer mortality factors. Like Glanders. You get glanders from horses. But it’s treatable with penicillins and similiar, so the CDC describes it as ‘rare’.
I bought this book just because it’s De Morgan. Guy has his own laws even. Anyway, this is historically interesting if not actuarially interesting. There are so many examples of the mathematicians back in the 1800’s developing mathematics and blazing inroads into actuarial science, De Morgan is one of them.
J.J. W. Deuchar, F.F.A., A.I.A., Assistant actuary of the City of Glasgow Life Assurance Company, 1882
History of mortality tables. Did you know that around 300BC they had mortality tables? And those same tables were actually used in the 1500’s? Crazy. Anyway, this is a historical journey through the development of mortality tables. It’s over 100 years old now, and there’s been lots of developments since then. Maybe someday I’ll do some research and extend what the author did.
J.F. Steffensen,Professor of Actuarial Science, University of Copenhagen, 1930
Collection of three lectures the author did, so this isn’t exam level stuff – it’s basically a collection of research papers. Limits of error in calculating a-bar-sub-x, theoretical foundations of functions, etc.
Wow, what a niche insurance topic.Today most life insurance policies pay a lump sum, but you can choose to have the proceeds doled out over time to the beneficiaries - basically letting the insurance company do the investing. This book is a deep dive into that type of policy benefit. The author was an associate secretary at The Union Central Life Insurance Company.
This is an old school actuarial textbook. It covers most of the upfront stats and probability material. Curiously there’s some stuff in there that aren’t covered in modern actuarial exams (like Makeham and Gompertz, I don’t think they get covered until the later exams today).
Volume 2 of this series of actuarial textbooks. Very initial treatment of mortality tables etc. The current text used by the SOA by Hardy et al. is much more comprehensive, but this text also goes into other things that I don’t think are on the current curriculum, like age nearest/last etc.
This old textbook is for the ‘Second Exam’ of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. I tell ya what, the old people had it good. The text starts with introduction to interest theory and makes its way all the way to mortality table construction. That’s like 2-3 exams these days.
Textbook on finite differences and some calculus. They used a L (sort of an upside down angle like “a angle n”) to represent factorials, so that’s changed over time. The book was owned by an actuary named J. Arnold Yates who worked at Travellers and Connecticut Life Insurance Company.
The actuarial societies have funded, generated, and created tons of important studies and collections of data, spanning over 100 years. This is one such study from about 90 years ago or so. And all that work is there for the rest of us now, permanently.
Hard core comprehensive life contingencies textbook. It covers everything from life tables to force of mortality to premiums, policy values, select risks, loadings, and substandard lives. Content is similiar to current actuarial exams. Author N.E. Sheppard was a University of Toronto professor for 50 years. Also, he fought in a tank division in WWI, and set up the pension plan for the staff of the United Nations. This guy was one hardcore actuary.
Most of these sales books are either methods in hard selling, or self congratulatory bro-code slap on the back books. This one is the second. Excerpt from the book: “A man can’t be hid. He may be a peddler in the mountains, but the world will find him out to make him a king of finance.’. 100 pages of more of the same.
More of the ‘how to sell as a bro’ stuff. But the really interesting stuff are the notes inside the front cover. “Compliments of the Author to Rev. W.S. Johnston”, and then “My Husband’s Uncle wrote this book. I want to keep it in my family, Mattie T. Johnston.” and then below that, ”But now I want Paul D. Cail (Great Great Nephew) to have it. Mattie Talley Johnston, March 31st 1946”. Sad I guess that at some point it’s passed out of the family, but the good news is that it’s now in my possession and I appreciate it.
More old school high pressure selling techniques including advice such as ‘carry in lots of stuff, your umbrella and books, and when they open the door, walk in and put your stuff down, make yourself at home’. Yeah, that’ll get you hoisted out the door today.
It’s 1922, and we finally see the beginnings of modern sales methodologies. Rather than high pressure sales tactics (well, there’s still some of that), the author breaks down life insurance needs into various cases and reviews what to discuss with prospects. The author wrote a series of books on sales, this one focuses exclusively on life insurance.
My favourite ‘sales’ book by far. It’s not a book on how to sell, it’s a collection of newpaper articles written by the local insurance agent. And this guy shades everyone. The widow who took out an ad thanking the insurance company for the death benefit gets called out for ‘advertising for a new husband due to the insurance proceeds’. Nobody can understand the actuaries, so just ignore them. Etc. The book was owned by H.A. Schmidt, an insurance agent in Winona Minnestota. There happened to be an ebay auction for some of his cards as I was writing this, and since there’s no other info online about him, I’ll post that he worked with National Union Fire Insurance Company, Firemen’s insurance Company, and looks like his brokerage was called Loyalty Group. 502 East Howard St, Winona Minn.
Not really strictly actuarial or agent, this is a comprehensive primer on all types of insurance. The book was owned by London Life (now Canada Life), probably from back in the day when life companies kept libraries of actuarial texts for theirs students to use for exams. Yes, I am old enough to remember that practice.
Robert Reigel, Ph.D (Professor of Statistics and Insurance, University of Buffalo), Jerome S. Miller, B.S., M.B.A. (Insurance Consultant), 1947
Another comprehensive primer on life insurance. The book is dedicated to Solomon S. Huebner, a prof at Wharton. S.S. Heubner was a pioneer in actuarial and insurance education, I see his name all over the place on these old books (he wrote many of them).
Fitz Hugh McMaster, Insurance Commissioner of South Carolina, 1867
This guy had a real bone to pick with life companies. He variously wrote and spoke on requiring life companies to invest money in the states where they sold insurance. I think I read that this came from his time in the civil war when he tried to get money for the war from life companies – but I can’t find a source for that any longer.
Primer on life insurance basics, interest, annuities, etc. Meant more for non-actuaries. The Spectator Company was a prominent life insurance industry publisher back then. There’s a more comprehensive list of all their books at the u of penn site here: http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Spectator%20Company%20(New%20York%2C%20N.Y.). Another interesting point, the original owner of this book was actually employed at Mutual Life insurance in Waterloo, Ontario (local to me) and lived in Guelph, Ontario (also local to me).
This is pretty close to ‘original source material’ for the history of Sun Life. It was put out by Sun and covers their history until that date. Lots of info like names, first policies, investment strategies, etc.