We all know the story behind the tragic ship known as the Titanic. The largest and most spectacular ship of its day was build and this masterpiece was supposed to be unsinkable. However the unthinkable happened and it struck an iceberg and sank. This is the most famous maritime disaster ever recorded because of the magnitude of its destruction and the many lives that were lost. It was the biggest insurance claim of its day.
The Titanic was insured for £1m and the White Star (the company that owned the Titanic was paid out within 30 days of it sinking). There were lots of companies out there, all willing to insure the
Titanic however one company refused to insure it as it claimed the vessel sat too low in the water and deemed it unsafe.
The life insurance policy pay out to the wife of a wealthy businessman, who drowned when the Titanic went down, was the largest of its time – she received $50,000. Bizarrely she died on exactly the same day – 15th April – 32 years later in 1944.
The first person to receive their pay out for the loss of life was for $20,000, which was huge sum of money at that time. However, the claims escalated and some were fighting for $1 million. There were also people claiming they lost loved ones in the disaster to try to gain financial reward. One fraudster went to court and lost the case and was given three months in prison with hard labour.
Many believe the Titanic was an insurance scandal. The sister ship of the Titanic called the Olympia had been damaged during one of its voyages and it was said that the ship was totally unseaworthy.
The theory is that the Titanic was actually the Olympia and upon inspection it was believed to have been proved that it was indeed its sister ship.
So are we just hanging onto the hull of this theory like a barnacle hanging onto the Titanic? How can this ever be proved with the carcass of the beautiful ship lying at the bottom of the ocean 12,600 feet below sea level? Whenever there is a huge disaster of this magnitude it is human nature to start to think that there is a cover up or a conspiracy theory.
However, it is probably just a very unfortunate disaster that should never have cost so many lives.