'In the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.'
- Abraham Lincoln -

Friday, October 28, 2011

American Ingenuity

Taking advantage of a potentially bad situation?  Or providing an essential service that will benefit the general public?

It's Autumn, 1942.  America is at war.  There are now rumors circulating each day of German U-boats prowling the shipping lanes off the East Coast, with actual incidents of ships being torpedoed within sight of people on shore,  and Japanese submarines making appearances near the beaches of California.  Talk even surfaced just days before of a fire bombing in Oregon by Japanese planes.  Tensions run high.  The fear is palpable.  What to do?  How to allay those fears?

Aetna Insurance had the answer.

From a full-page ad in Time magazine, October, 1942:

While your present fire insurance policies give you exactly the same protection today that they did before the war, they do not cover damage caused by air raids.

To meet this need, the companies of the Aetna Fire Group and their agents and brokers cooperating in the War Damage Corporation (created by the U.S. government) in making war damage insurance available to you.  This new type of insurance specifically covers property losses resulting from enemy attack including action taken by our military, naval or air forces in resisting enemy attack.

You can obtain War Damage Insurance on your home, household goods, automobile, business property, etc. Property worth insuring against fire is also worth insuring against air raids, and almost all classes of property are eligible.  The rate for dwellings is only 10¢ per $100 per year.

In writing War Damage Insurance your local agent is rendering an important public service.  For particulars on how War Damage Insurance can be fitted to your individual needs, ask your insurance agent or broker today.

It's not known how many people took advantage of this "important public service."

What is known, however, is the number of air raids that occurred in the United States (Alaska not yet being a state) after this ad ran and the total dollar damage that had to be made good by Aetna.

That would be zero and $0.

Still, ya gotta admire the ingenuity ...