Car insurance is both required and a major item in the budget of many households. The idea of insuring cars against accidents began this month in 1898 when the Traveler’s Insurance Company issued a policy to Dr. Truman Martin of Buffalo. His policy cost $12.25 and gave him $5,000 in coverage. Martin was chiefly concerned about accidents between his automobile — one of less than 4,000 in the entire country at the time — and horses, which numbered about 18 million. Now, cars and trucks vastly outnumber horses, there are nearly 14,000 property and casualty insurance firms, and nearly $240 billion worth of insurable automotive assets are manufactured annually. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at <www.census.gov>.