Looms got his coverage, but it written as a horse-and-carriage policy. Nevertheless, he established a precedent, and one year later, on Feb. 27, 1898, Travelers issued the first true car insurance policy to Dr. Truman Martin of Buffalo, N.Y., according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Costing $12.25, it covered Dr. Martin for $5,000 if his car collided with a horse. You can’t blame the doctor. There were fewer than 4,000 cars in the U.S. at the time versus 18 million horses.
By 1900, Loomis had abandoned his dreams of steam. Instead, he was selling the Loomis Model No. 1, a two-cylinder, two-passenger gasoline-powered runabout. Unfortunately, his car was destined to be a mere footnote. If not for his insurance policy, Loomis would be forgotten entirely.
By 1902, other types of car insurance policies had been conceived, including those for fire and theft. As multi-line car policies and those providing collision and comprehensive coverage become available, it soon became law for drivers to be insured.
It started in 1925, when the state of Connecticut became the first to require that car owners pay for any injuries or property damage resulting from a car accident. The law required drivers who had been an accident to prove their financial responsibility. Massachusetts went further, requiring by 1927 that drivers prove their financial responsibility as a requirement for their car registration.
This type of compulsory insurance law is something we now live with throughout the United States.
Thanks a lot, Mr. Loomis.