A few samples of our 2700 insurance policies are enough to give an idea of the variety of our material.
From an old wholly handwritten 1582 policy, with which Bartolomeo Corsini insured the shipping of goods from the port of London to Leghorn’s harbour, to the contracts which (in the first years of the seventeenth century) started to use a pre-printed form.
And then the policies embellished with elegant etchings, mostly English from the end of the eighteenth century, and, although this list is by no means exhaustive, slaves’ life insurance policies, French ones against the risk of being recalled to serve in the armed forces or some more recent ones specifically drawn up for the purpose of investing the Balillas’ small savings.
Also worthy of notice are some collections of maritime insurance policies, which largely originate from single marketplaces over a short period of time and can therefore supply precise information on insurance customs from that period. Not to forget the policies (from the second half of the eighteenth century) taken out for cod fishing vessels sailing the route from St. Malo to the coasts of Canada, those of Compagnia del Commercio, which operated in Genoa from 1780 to 1800 and other 250 policies with which, in seven years (1853-1860), 56 Maltese companies had in turn insured the ships departing from Valletta.