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Contract of Personal Accident and Health Insurance
All policies did not contain all of these protective conditions
though in early days they were pretty generously employed upon
the theory that the insurance should be confined to those accidents
that might be classed practically as acts of God, uninfluenced by
human fault, responsibility or cooperation. And from time to
time, as losses were incurred from unanticipated causes, or when
companies were confronted with doubtful or unfair claims, new
conditions would be devised for protection against possible
In those days business of all kinds was commonly conducted
with strict regard for technical rights and contract obligations.
It was not out of line with prevailing business practice that these
conditions should be enforced to the fullest extent that they gave
refuge to the companies and with.little thought of idealistic con-
siderations or a spirit of service. And so these conditions were
generally enforced, as also were others of a more technical char-
acter, such as those relating to the giving of notice, filing of
proofs, exactly truthful warranties, etc. There was a period, too,
when insufficient financial resources, inadequate or uncertain
premium rates, ignorance of the business, of the law, of what did
or should properly constitute a legitimate accident risk, or what
obligations were or should be assumed under the contract as writ-
ten, led to resistance of claims upon unreasonable grounds,
untenable theories and specious reasonings. There were some
judicial decisions in favor of companies which would be regarded
today as at least surprising if not inconceivable. These successes
by the companies doubtless encouraged defenses even less justi-
fiable and the non-success of which soiled the pages of accident
insurance history and helped to bring about a revulsion of judicial
attitude and a swing of the judicial pendulum rather far in the
opposite direction.
There was a good deal of litigation in the early days and the
courts in those times were prone to deal with technicalities with-
out regard to the merit behind the cause. These practices soon
produced a record of which present day administrators of acci-
dent insurance would not be proud. Nor does that record reflect
either the terms or conditions of present day policies, or the
ideals and methods of present day administration. But accident
insurance of today is not yet wholly freed of the onus for methods
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