NU Online News Service, May 2, 11:35 a.m. – The California Department of Insurance has posted a 12-page report about “slavery era” insurance policies on its Web site, at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/SEIR/main.htm
The department has also posted the names of hundreds of African-American slaves that were covered by U.S. slave policies issued before 1866. One file lists the slaves alphabetized by the first names of the slaves, and a second file lists the slaves alphabetized by the surnames of the owners.
The California department compiled the report because the California Legislature passed a bill in 2000 that established slavery-era reporting requirements for all insurers licensed to do business in California, including licensed California subsidiaries of international corporations.
The requirements dealt with information about policies that protected slaveholders against the loss of slaves.
The bill, S.B. 2199, declared that “the people of California are entitled to significant historical information of this nature.”
The California department says it believes 1,357 carriers are subject to the reporting requirements, and that 92% have complied.
Most carriers told the department they had been incorporated after the end of the slavery period and had nothing to report.
Some companies said they had been in business during the slavery era but could find no records from that time.
The insurers that have submitted substantive responses include ACE USA, Philadelphia; Aetna Inc., Hartford; American International Group Inc., New York; Manhattan Life Insurance Company, New York; New York Life Insurance Company, New York; Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, Philadelphia; Providence Washington Insurance Companies, Providence, R.I.; and Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group P.L.C., London.
? ACE, a successor company to Aetna Fire, found a copy of a slave policy written in Mississippi in 1855 by Aetna Life, after Aetna Fire separated from Aetna Life. The policy covered a laborer named Peter.