The indemnity agreements were not always addressed by such terms when the inception of this insurance took place. In the 1800s, the agreement was not as well-established and detailed as it is today. To ensure cooperation and delivering promised results, governments, businesses and even individuals made contracts as legal documents in case any party intentionally or unintentionally did not fulfill the contract. According to an article in the New York Times, Haiti had to pay France an – independence debt in 1825, when it got freedom from French rule. These were to compensate the losses that French plantation businesses and individual owners suffered in slaves and land. This is one of the most historic cases known where indemnity was evident.
Another instance that is recorded as a case of indemnity happened in England, in 1884. Dr. David Bradley was wrongly accused and sentenced to 2 years in prison. In 1885, the Medical Defense Union was formed when other medical practitioners revolved against the decision. It was found that the apparent victim was a woman suffering from erotic delusions during and post-epileptic seizures. The falsely accused doctor was granted pardon and served only eight months in prison. Awareness to defend the doctor’s livelihood and reputation rose among other medical practitioners.
Indemnity is commonly seen in post-war situations where the country that wins the war demands from the losing country. The indemnity may take years or decades to pay off. A classic example is when Germany paid as indemnity after its role in the World War I. The extent and amount of indemnity were so high that it was finally paid off only by 2010.
The word ‘indemnity’ comes from the Latin word – indemnis which means ‘unhurt, undamaged, without loss.’ Monetary payments were done in indemnity or replacement and repairs were offered.
Post World War I, over the next few decades, professional indemnity insurance in Singapore has undergone drastic changes and revisions to better the insurance provisions for traders and governments. Due to globalization and privatization, the growth and development of large-scale industries affect the government directly. Professional indemnity insurance has been able to provide their clients exactly what they expect and what they need for the smooth functioning of their business. When insurance can protect individuals despite unintentional errors in judgment or mishaps, these individuals can take a leap of faith by venturing into a new market as they learn more about the tricks of the trade.