Nowadays, it’s hard to think of a time when auto insurance wasn’t required. It’s even crazier to think of a time when driver’s licenses weren’t required! There is plenty to learn about the history and evolution of auto insurance, from the first policy in 1897 to the inception of Direct Insurance in 1991.
Auto Insurance: A Timeline
1891: The world’s first car accident occurred in Ohio City, Ohio. James William Lambert, an automobile inventor and true pioneer, hit a tree root. This caused Lambert to lose control of his car and hit a hitching post. Luckily, neither Lambert nor his passenger were seriously injured.
1897: The very first auto policy is issued in Dayton, Ohio to Gilbert J. Loomis. Loomis was a mechanic who built his own one-cylinder car for cruising. This policy, purchased for $1,000, would protect Loomis if his invention hurt anyone or damaged any property.
1903: Massachusetts and Missouri are the first states to require all drivers to have a valid driver’s license. Before then, anyone could put the pedal to the metal. In fact, many drivers were taught to drive by the person selling them their vehicle!
1927: Massachusetts is the first state to require automobile owners to purchase car insurance. These Massachusetts lawmakers are forward-thinking—they are the only state to require car insurance for almost three decades.
1956: 29 years later, other states see the benefit to mandatory car insurance laws and follow Massachusetts’s lead. New York is the first state to follow suit, and North Carolina comes soon after. By 2010, 49 states and Washington D.C. have compulsory auto insurance.
1964: J.J. Hightail is born in the sweet little town of Shockey, Tennessee. This is where the professional racecar driver turned Direct Auto & Life Insurance spokesperson discovers his love for speed and affordable car insurance.
1991: Direct Insurance is founded by William Adair. He envisioned a premier, non-standard automobile insurance company that served its customers better than any other insurer.
Now: Requirements for car insurance are different state to state. All but one, New Hampshire, requires mandatory (compulsory) car insurance.
Direct Auto & Life Insurance has been providing affordable coverage from the very beginning! We’re committed to giving you the coverage you need, the services you want, and the respect you deserve, regardless of your driving history. Call 1-877-463-4732 today for a fast and free auto insurance quote and to learn more about the insurance requirements in your state!