Ladies do not take advantage of the system of life insurance to the extent one would expect, seeing the benefits it is capable of conferring upon themselves and their belongings; and as their indifference is no doubt, in many cases, owing to a want of knowledge of the subject, a chapter thereon may be useful.

Life insurance is an admirable system, devised, in all its ramifications, to provide against loss or damage through the various contingencies to which human nature is subject.

A simple life insurance is that by which a person may leave behind him a sum of money for the benefit of those who, during his life, have been dependent upon him. For example, a husband, whose income is entirely derived from his own exertions, desires to make some provision for his wife and children in the event of his dying before them. At the age of thirty he may, by paying 25 a year to an Insurance Office, secure at his death, whenever it may happen, 1,000, for the benefit of his wife or children, or as he may direct by his will. In a way insurance is a kind of savings bank, but imposing an obligation on the part of the depositor to save a certain sum every year. In the case of the bank, the savings are optional, and cease at death; whereas by insurance, the return of a large sum is the result of the death of the compulsory depositor. If a person put by 25 every year and invested that sum in the Government Funds at 2 1/2 per cent., or deposited the same sum annually in a bank, at the same rate of interest, it would take him twenty-eight years to accumulate 1,000, if he lived so long; whereas by an insurance on his life for the same amount, if he died a week after the first payment of 25 had been made, the 1,000 insured would be paid to his representatives. It might be said that if the person lived longer than the term of twentyeight years and went on saving the 25 every year, he would in the end accumulate more than 1,000. This, however, is met by insuring in such manner that the insurance carries "profits," that is, additions made by the gains of the office from time to time. If insurance be made in this manner, for which a slightly higher rate of premium is paid, it will be found that, however long a person might live, more would accrue at death by insurance than by saving.

There are in active existence so many insurance companies of good repute and undoubted stability that no difficulty need be experienced in making a judicious selection. Of course, the intelligent insurer would prefer an office whose system would best suit his own requirements. There are two kinds of Insurance Companies, one known as a "Mutual" office, in which "all" the profits which may be earned are periodically added to the amount insured, the other in the form of a Joint-Stock Company, in which a small proportion of the profits are distributed amongst the Shareholders and the remainder added to the Insurances. The Mutual Office dividing the whole of its profits amongst the insured would appear to be the more advantageous of the two, and undoubtedly it is, all other things being equal; but insurances may be effected which do not share in the profits, at lower rate of premium, and in that case one system is as good as the other. The intending insurer would do well to obtain the prospectuses of several offices, which he can easily do by writing for them direct to the head office or by applying to the several agents of the companies who abound in all towns; and carefully compare one with another. It will be found, perhaps, that one office charges a less annual premium for an insurance than another, but this may be compensated for by the latter declaring larger profits, or giving advantages in other ways. For instance, a certain "Mutual" office charges for an insurance of 1,000, on the death of a person beginning to insure at the age of thirty, a premium of 26 16s. 8d. per annum, whereas a certain Joint-Stock Company's demand is only 24 14s. 3d.; but the advantages offered by the former in the shape of larger bonuses, though deferred, are greater, while the benefit of a less annual payment is of course immediate. Where the insurance is effected at the same age and for the same amount, but with no other benefit or profit prospectively than the bare amount, the premium in the former case is 21 4s. 2d., and in the latter 21 15s. 10d. There are good offices, however, where the premium charged is less than this.

There is at least one office which insures upon what is called the half-credit system. One-half the usual premium is paid for a certain term of years, and thereafter the full premium is charged. This may be useful in a case where a person wishes to insure while young and the premiums are low, and at the same time is desirous of deferring the full payment until his income is so improved that he can better afford it. This system is carried still further by an insurer only paying half the premium during his lifetime, the other half being accumulated until his death, and then, with interest added, deducted from the amount payable in respect of the insurance policy.

Having chosen the insurance office or company which best suits his purpose, the proposer applies to its nearest agent and makes known his desire to insure his life. A form containing printed queries somewhat like the following (though offices differ somewhat in details) will be placed before him and the blank spaces filled in either by the agent or himself.

Proposal For Life Assurance

|                                                             | Full Name "___________________________________________________" |
|                                                             | Profession or Occupation "____________________________________" |
|              1. Life proposed to be Assured                 | Business Address "____________________________________________" |
|                                                             | Residence "___________________________________________________" |
|                                                             | Married or Single "___________________________________________" |
|             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|              2. Age next Birthday "______" years.           Born at "_______________________________________________________" |
|                           on the "_________________________" day of "_____________" in the year 18________"                   |
|                                                       (Evidence to be produced.)                                              |
|             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|              3. Has he resided out of Europe?               |                                                                 |
|                 If so, where, and for what period?          |                                                                 |
|             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|              4. Is he, and has he always been, of sober and |                                                                 |
|                 temperate habits?                           |                                                                 |
|             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|              5. Has he had any serious illness or disease   |                                                                 |
|                 tending to shorten life?                    |                                                                 |
|             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|              6. Has any near relative died of any hereditary|                                                                 |
|                 disease?                                    |                                                                 |
|             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|              7. (1) Has a proposal to effect an Assurance on|                                                                 |
|                    his life ever been declined?             |"_______________________________________________________________"|
|                 (2) Or accepted at more than the ordinary   |                                                                 |
|                    rate?                                    |"_______________________________________________________________"|
|                 (3) If so, on how many occasions, and       |                                                                 |
|                    when, and by what office or offices?     |                                                                 |
|             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|              8. Is there any other circumstance which ought |                                                                 |
|                 to be communicated in order to enable the   |                                                                 |
|                 Company to judge fairly of the risk?        |                                                                 |
|             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|If the                                                       | Name "________________________________________________________" |
|person has    9. (1) Who is his usual Medical Attendant?     | Residence "___________________________________________________" |
|never                                                        | Has known him "______________" years.                           |
|required         (2) When was he last in professional atten- | Date of Attendance "__________________________________________" |
|Medical                                                      | Ailment "_____________________________________________________" |
|attendance,  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|the fact                                                     |   1st Friend.             |              2nd Friend.            |
|should be                                                    |                           | (if necessary: see marginal note to |
|stated, and  10. Mention an intimate friend, who is not in-  |                           |               Question.)            |
|reference        terested in this Assurance, to be referred  | Name "__________________" | "_________________________________" |
|given to         to for information as to health and habits  | Residence "_____________" | "_________________________________" |
|TWO friends,     of life                                     | Profession or             |                                     |
|in answer to                                                 |   Occupation "__________" | "_________________________________" |
|Question 10.                                                 | Has known him "___" years | Has known him "___" years.          |
|             ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|If the                                                       | Name "________________________________________________________" |
|Proposal be  11. Name, &c., of the person in whose favour    | Profession or Occupation "____________________________________" |
|upon the         the Assurance is to be effected?            | Business Address "____________________________________________" |
|person's own                                                 | Residence "___________________________________________________" |
|life these   ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|enquiries    12. Is the pecuniary interest in the Life to be |                                                                 |
|need not be      Assured, which is the object of this        |                                                                 |
|answered.        Assurance, to the full amount thereof?      |                                                                 |
|  Sum to be Assured "___________________________"              With or without Profits? "___________________________________" |
|  Is the Policy to be for Life? "________________"              Are the premiums to be payable Yearly? "_____________________" |
|     I do hereby declare that the above statements are true, and that this Proposal and Declaration shall be the basis of      |
|  the contract for effecting the above-mentioned Assurance, which Assurance is also conditional on the accuracy, in all        |
|  respects, of the statement for the Medial Officer, made, or to be made, by the person whose life is proposed for Assurance.  |
|  Date "________________________________"        Signature of the Person in                                                    |
|                                                   whose favour the Assur-   "_______________________________________________" |
|  Witness "_____________________________"          ance is to be effected.                                                     |
|  Address and Occupation "____________________________________"                                                                |