|There is evidence
showing that such practices were also prevalent among the Chinese,
Greeks and Europeans. The first case of life insurance dates back to
1583 in England where a term contract was issued on the life of a
certain William Gybbon. A significant development in the life insurance
industry was the development of the mortality table by Edmund Halley in
1693. However, it was about a century later that any degree of accuracy
was achieved in predicting mortality rates.
The introduction of insurance in Malaysia
dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries where trading firms and agency
houses acted as agents for insurance companies from the United Kingdom.
Upon the achievement of independence, there was an effort to establish
domestic insurance companies. The early 1960's saw the growth of many
life and general insurance companies. Some of these companies operated
on an unsound basis with improper underwriting guidelines.
The Government subsequently intervened
and the Insurance Act, 1963 was introduced. Under the Act, the general
conduct and supervision of the insurance industry was vested in the
Director-General of Insurance under the Ministry of Finance.