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Mutual Insurance

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on mutual insurance societies of which the members (the insured) are predominantly workers (artisan journeymen, wage earners, etc.) who manage the fund themselves. Workers' mutual insurance societies may be either directly-democratic or bureaucratic. Membership selection for mutual insurance societies can be based on a variety of social categories. Most mutual insurance societies excluded people from membership according to their age and gender. The chapter explains how mutual insurance societies organize their finances. Affiliation provided a partial solution to the vulnerability and geographical limitations of mutual insurance societies. In some cases mutual insurance societies achieved stability and overcame the problems facing exclusively local organizations, through national federation and (partial) centralization. To stay in business, mutual insurance societies needed to be just as efficient as their competitors.

Keywords: business competition; finances; insured parties; mutual insurance; mutual insurance societies



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