Unknown Stories of WNY: First Auto Insurance Policy

BUFFALO, N.Y.- It was an age of innovation. The 1890's saw Edison and Tesla battling it out over the most effective means of electrical transmission, the infancy of motion pictures, the assembly line, and household gadgets for just about everything.

The zipper, the bottle cap, the mouse trap, even shredded wheat, all were invented in the 1890's. But another thing that has become a household necessity was born in the 1890's, right here in the Queen City, auto insurance.

Dr. Truman Martin was a well known Buffalo physician who in 1897 became one of Buffalo's first automobile owners when he purchased a Columbia Electric to use for visiting patients. On February 1, 1898 , Dr. Martin entered the history books when he purchased the nation's first automobile insurance policy from Travelers Insurance Company, of Hartford, Connecticut.


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