World's First Automobile Insurance Policy

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The world's first automobile insurance policy was issued in Dayton, Ohio in 1897.

Throughout most of the twentieth century, the city of Detroit, Michigan was synonymous with American automobile manufacturing. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, that was not the case. Instead, Ohio innovators in Cleveland and elsewhere were at the forefront of this new form of transportation technology.

Because of Ohio's important role in the early automobile industry, the state was the site of numerous firsts in automobile history. Among these firsts was the first automobile insurance policy. In 1897, Dayton, Ohio, resident Gilbert J. Loomis purchased a liability insurance policy from the Travelers Insurance Company for one thousand dollars. This policy protected Loomis if his car killed or injured someone or damaged their property.

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