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 fewer than 4,000 in the entire country at the time — and horses, which numbered about 18 million on farms alone. Now, cars and trucks vastly outnumber horses. There are nearly 15,000 property and casualty insurance firms in the U.S., and nearly $80 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>.