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The Spanish Flu Centennial — Claim Overlaps Application

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Here’s an example of some of the early coverage the 1918 “Spanish Flu” pandemic.

The original version ran in an ALM print publication, National Underwriter, on Oct. 31, 1918. We have left most of the original spelling and style choices intact but, in some cases, made minor changes to adapt the article for the web.

KANSAS CITY, MO., Oct. 29 — The Kansas City office of the Equitable Life Assurance Society has recently broken an office record in the extreme sequence of application and death claim.

(Related: 7 Reasons National Underwriter’s New New York Location Blows My Mind)

A rural agent wrote the policy; the application was accepted, and a binding agreement given, but the name of the beneficiary was not correctly stated. The application was held up pending correction.

Within four days of signing the application, the insured took influenza and died.

The same mail that brought the correction, brought the notice of death.

The policy was a Liberty bond contract, and the $500 Liberty bond, with the first $50 payment less the short-term rate, was sent to the beneficiary.

— Read The Spanish Flu Centennial: A Look at Influenza’s Continuing Pandemic Riskon ThinkAdvisor.

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