Within quite recent years many schemes of life assurance without medical examination have been brought before the public by different offices, and have on the whole been very well received. No apology, therefore, seems necessary in submitting this paper to a meeting of the Faculty of Actuaries, more especially as, so far as we are aware, the matter has not previously been dealt with by any one.
It would be a mistake to look upon our subject merely as one out of many innovations in assurance practice of late years. As every one knows, it belongs to the earliest times of life assurance, though it is only during the last few years that it has again been introduced into the sphere of practical business. While that is so, it must be admitted that the circumstances and conditions under which it existed formerly are very, or even altogether, different from those which have seemed to warrant or necessitate its resuscitation at the present day. To make this as clear as possible, it may be well, in the first place, to trace shortly, as far as it can be done, the origin and history of the medical examination of proposers for life assurance.