Life insurance is a mainstay of the U.S. economy, providing financial security to 75 million American families and accounting for 20 percent of long-term savings. The industry pays out $1.5 billion every day in the United States, which compares with $1.9 billion in daily Social Security benefits.
So, maybe it shouldn’t surprise anyone that some of the best known companies and institutions in the United States owe their existence to life insurance. This LifeHealthPro slideshow will give you all the interesting details, but here’s a quick rundown:
- Disneyland – Walt Disney financed much of his California amusement park by borrowing from a cash-value life policy.
- McDonald’s – Ray Kroc borrowed money from two life insurance policies to pay employees and fund a marketing campaign in the early days of the fast food franchise.
- Stanford University – The widow of Leland Stanford used the death benefit from her husband’s life insurance policy to pay the university’s employee salaries and operating expenses at the turn of the 20th century.
- J.C. Penney – James Cash Penney borrowed against the cash value of his life insurance policy to keep the company going after the stock market crash of 1929.
- The Pampered Chef – Doris Christopher started the company with $3,000 borrowed from a life insurance policy.
- Foster Farms – Max and Verna Foster borrowed $1,000 against a life policy to start a poultry farm that grew into the international business.