James Dodson

United Kingdom

Mr. James Dodson was mathematician, actuary, author and schoolmaster. He founded The Equitable Life Assurance Society, known as "Old Equitable," in England in1762.

Mr. Dodson conceived of the idea of writing life insurance on the level premium basis, with premiums graded according to the ages of insureds. He saw the merits of charging premiums larger than necessary to meet current death claims in the early years of the policy. The excess thus collected, plus accumulated interest, would go into a fund to meet the high mortality costs of later years.

He was a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was a writing master and mathematician who became Master of the Royal Mathematics School, which was established by Charles II to promote the study of mathematics and navigation. In 1756, he wrote "First Lectures on Insurances."

James Dodson is responsible for the concept of a life office, open to all who were uninsurable at premiums calculated with due allowance for age. He advocated a refund of any overcharge of premiums as policyholder dividends. His vision assured him the title, "the father of life insurance" in England and elsewhere.