VACCINATION IN LIFE ASSURANCE.
Out of 46 Life Assurance Companies having offices in the metropolis, 31 require information as to whether the proposed insurer has had small-pox or been vaccinated; the remaining 15 impose no qualification on the subject. One office asks, "How often has the proposer been vaccinated?" Another if successfully vaccinated? The replies form the basis of the contract, in most cases, and the point is very prominently expressed in their declarations. One office would not entertain a proposal where the applicant had had neither cow-pox nor smallpox. Other offices will pass unvaccinated proposers at an extra premium. Another company would endorse the policy of the unvaccinated insurer "void" if he died of smallpox. The following table will indicate the relative importance attaching to the imposition of Vaccination by the 31 offices, and will form a curious study for future students of the "barbarisms of the nineteenth century."
SUMMARY of the REPLIES of INSURANCE OFFICES as to Vaccination Requirements, Extra Premiums, &c.
|Atlas Insurance Office||Depends on special circumstances of each case.|
|Clergy Mutual Assurance Society||Do not require any proof as to successful Vaccination. Secretary had never seen a case of non-successful Vaccination, and cannot say what view would be taken of it.|
|Caledonian Insurance Company||Wished to have personal interview to explain to proposed assurer. Difficult to answer in general terms in writing. Rely on medical advisers opinion. Not had any case where doubt or difficulty has arisen.|
|General Life and Fire Assurance Company||No definite charge for non-vaccinated persons, but any case would receive attentive consideration.|
|Economic Life Assurance||Would not entertain a proposal of unvaccinated person who had not had small-pox. Medical officer would decide if Vaccination marks satisfactory.|
|Equity and Law Life Assurance Society||Directors only had one case of un-vaccinated applicant, which was postponed indefinitely. Medical attendants assertion that the applicant is vaccinated would be satisfactory.|
|Clerical, Medical, and General Life Assurance Society||Vaccination (successful) necessary at tabular rates. Extra premium depends on age and other circumstances.|
|Commercial Union Assurance Company||Medical examiners report sufficient as to successful Vaccination. Directors would waive requirement as to vaccination by charging extra risk.|
|British Empire Mutual Life Assurance Company.||Wished to explain personally.|
|Eagle Insurance Company||Each proposal has careful consideration on its own merits. Medical officers report would be a guide as to Directors decision.|
|British Equitable Assurance Company||Extra premium. Example: Age 42, ordinary premium, £3 10s 8d.; for un-vaccinated person, £4 0s. 8d.|
|Briton Life Association||Require information as to small-pox and Vaccination|
|Sceptre Life Association||Prefer assured should be, for their own sakes, vaccinated, but not a sine qua non|
|Provident Clerks Life Assurance Association||Questions must be answered by medical officers.|
|Prudential Assurance Company||Do not require it as a sine qua non, nor necessarily charge increased premium on unvaccinated persons. Question is asked to form general estimate of the risk.|
|Legal and General Life Assurance||No general rule applicable to all cases alike. Each separate case treated on its merits. Cannot say what would be accepted as proof of successful Vaccination|
|National Provident Institution -||Require either had been or would be successfully vaccinated. No proof called for except proposers statement.|
|Star Life Assurance Society||Would not issue a policy to unvaccinated person without special endorsement that if assured died from small-pox, policy would be void. But if, at any time, the assured (and at his own expense) proved to medical staff that successfully vaccinated, then endorsement cancelled.|
|Scottish Provincial Assurance Society,||Wished for personal interview to explain the matter|
|Law Life Assurance||Usual practice is to charge addition of 10 per cent. Directors would be guided by opinion of the Companys physician|
|Metropolitan Life Assurance||Proposers statement accepted as to Vaccination, but if not vaccinated or had small-pox, would probably require to submit to former before acceptance.|
|Westminster and General Life Assurance Association||Visible Vaccination marks satisfactory|
|London Life Association||Proposal for assurance on life on un-vaccinated person would not be entertained. Medical operators certificate accepted as proof of Vaccination.|
|Liverpool and London and Globe Assurance Company||Do not require actual proof of successful Vaccination. Sufficient if proposer states that vaccinated when a child, or had small-pox. Usually ask if been re-vaccinated, but do not charge extra premium if reply negative, or if Vaccination did not take second time. In case of entirely unvaccinated person, open to Directors to decline, unless operation be performed.|
|Royal Farmers and General Fire, Life, and Hail Insurance Company||Recommend unsuccessful Vaccination case to undergo another trial, to free them from small-pox risk. Marks on arm are evidence of successful Vaccination.|
|Royal Exchange Assurance||An answer to the question, Had small-pox or cowpox, or been vaccinated? is all that is required.|
|London and Lancashire Life Assurance Company||Very rarely any difficulty on Vaccination question. Simple statement of successful Vaccination accepted. If unvaccinated case, stand over until undergone operation|
|West of England Fire and Life Assurance Office||Visible vaccination marks accepted as proof. Companys doctor would answer any scruples on this head by proposed assurer.|
|The Northern Assurance Company||Secretary asks, in this special case, if proposer has positive intention of not being vaccinated. If not, would simplify matters if he would undergo Vaccination. Medical examiner would satisfy himself as to proper Vaccination.|
|National Life Assurance Society||Cannot tell what extra charge for unvaccinated person. "It is very many years since we had such a case."|
|Union Assurance||Not a sine qua non. And not the practice to charge extra in absence of positive proof of Vaccination or small-pox.|
Mr. DOVEY, Secretary of the Standard Lfe Assurance Company, in answer to an enquiry on the subject says:-- "Deaths seldom occur from small-pox amongst our policy-holders, and those of first-class companies, all of which I believe, make it an indispensable requirement, before accepting a life for assurance, that Vaccination is undergone."
It is nearly impossible for people belonging to the class. of policy-holders, to be seized with fatal small-pox, be they vaccinated or unvaccinated. In the heaviest year of the great Birmingham small-pox epidemic (1874) in which 189 unvaccinated deaths were recorded, only two of them were above 40 years old, and 147 were under 20 years old. In the succeeding year, 40 unvaccinated deaths were recorded, only one of which approached 40 years of age, and 33 were under 20. Mr. GEORGE VERNEY, of Kingston, a well-known insurance agent says, December 13th, 1882:--
"Against this Vaccination test I have protested that the requirement is unreasonable and unjust. Of course it will be abandoned when the people stoutly refuse to submit."
It is not a little curious that one of the offices requires to be informed whether the patient has been "cupped" or "bled." When a system of medical treatment has ceased to be fashionable, its effects in impairing and undermining the constitution cease to be concealed; and the writer ventures to prophesy that in the course of a few years a similar question will have to be answered as to Vaccination, and for similar, if not more cogent reasons. For instance, if the applicant has been vaccinated, the chances of permanent injury by the possible introduction of constitutional diseases will be an extra risk, to be discounted by an extra premium.