Government Organization in War Time and After: A Survey of the Federal Civil Agencies Created for the Prosecution of the War

By William Franklin Willoughby | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV
WAR-RISK INSURANCE

The Bureau of War-Risk Insurance in the Treasury Department -- Its functions as defined by legislation -- Marine war-risk insurance -- Act of September 2, 1914, and its amendments -- Mariners' insurance -- The War Risk Insurance Act of October 6, 1917 -- Allotments to dependents of soldiers and sailors -- Allowances to dependents of soldiers and sailors -- Compensation and indemnity of soldiers and sailors for death or disability -- Voluntary insurance of soldiers and sailors against death or disability -- Scale of operations of the Bureau of War-Risk Insurance.

Although not the most important, from the standpoint of its direct bearing upon the prosecution of the war, the legislation providing for the establishment and activities of the Bureau of War-Risk Insurance in the Treasury Department is in other respects one of the most remarkable and interesting pieces of social legislation produced by the war.1 This legislation covers a number of distinct features which, although more or less closely related, require separate consideration in order that their character may be clearly understood.

Conditions under which the business of marine transportation is carried on render it imperative that all vessels engaged in such business and their cargoes shall be insured against loss prior to clearing on each voyage. On the outbreak of the war in Europe the increased danger of loss due to mines and the activities of the belligerents' submarines made it evident that private

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1
For a more detailed account of the functions and operations of the Bureau of War-Risk Insurance see, in this series, Samuel McCune Lindsay Government Insurance in War Time and After.

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