Saturday, September 14, 2013

Masonic Insurance

Back in the 1920's, insurance companies offered a variety of special plans to members of fraternal organizations -- the Odd Fellows, the Elks, the Moose, and of course the Masons -- at a discounted rate. On the theory that these memberships constituted a pool of respectable and less risk-prone sorts, these policies went for as little as $2.00 a year, as in the advertisement above from a Masonic magazine. There were just a few disqualifiers -- 'fits and disorders of the brain' -- but these were to be self-reported, again on the theory that those who belonged to such social fraternities were more likely to be honest. Some of the companies established for this purpose, like Acacia, went on to become large insurance companies for the general public; there's an interesting history of Masonic insurance available here.

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