THE MEANING OF INSURANCE
The term insurance is refers to as the means of protection from financial loss. It is a form or risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss. Insurance is a term in law and economics. It is something people buy to protect themselves from losing money.
It refers to a contractual arrangement in which one party, i.e. insurance company or the insurer, agrees to compensate the loss or damage sustained to another party, i.e. the insured, by paying a definite amount, in exchange for an adequate consideration called as premium.
Insurance is also a contract, represented by a policy in which an individual or entity receives financial protection or reimbursement against losses from an insurance company. The company pools client’s risks to make payments more affordable for the insured.
An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer, insurance company, insurance carrier or underwriter.
A person or entity who buys insurance is known as an insured, or policyholder.
TYPES OF INSURANCE
Specific kinds of risk that may give rise to claims are known as perils. An insurance policy will set out in detail which perils are covered by the policy and which are not. Below are non-exhaustive lists of the many different types of insurance that exist. A single policy that may cover risks in one or more of the categories set out below.
This kind of insurance is a contract between an insurer and a policyholder in which the insurer guarantees payment of a death benefit to named beneficiaries upon the death of the insured. Life insurance is a contract between an insurance company and yourself in which you agree to pay a premium in return for the insurance company’s commitment to paying a set amount of money to a person(s) of your choice upon your death.
The policyholder typically pays a premium, either regularly or as one lump sum. Other expenses, such as funeral expenses, can also be included in the benefits.
Life policies are legal contracts and the terms of the contract describe the limitations of the insured events. Specific exclusions are often written into the contract to limit the liability of the insurer; common examples are claims relating to suicide, fraud, war, riot, and civil commotion.
There are two main types of life insurance which are term life insurance and permanent life insurance.[adinserter name=”Block2″]
TERM LIFE INSURANCE: is simple, straightforward, and inexpensive life insurance. It covers you only when you need it most, and you get to choose how long the insurance policy will be in effect.
PERMANENT LIFE INSURANCE: This is more expensive than a term life insurance policy. If you want to see how much more expensive, check out our life insurance rates by age. Permanent life has more complexity because it comes with a cash value that acts a bit like a savings or investment account and grows as you pay your premiums. As the name implies, the benefit of a permanent life insurance policy is that it covers you for, well, life.[adinserter name=”Block2″]
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GET LIFE INSURANCE
The main reason to get life insurance is to secure a lifestyle or wealth for your family or a chosen beneficiary after you die. There are other advantages as well. Here are the most common reasons to get life insurance:
- To transfer wealth and take advantage of various tax breaks for the beneficiary when receiving the death benefit. Life insurance can provide many tax-free advantages.
- To build wealth, as can be seen when using life insurance with investment options.
- To leave an inheritance, donate funds to a charitable cause, provide funds for college, or pay off a mortgage.
- To pay for funeral expenses, unpaid medical bills, student debt, or other debts remaining after death so that your family does not need to assume the burden.
- To leave money behind to your family or spouse so that they can maintain the lifestyle they were accustomed to.
- To pay for estate taxes so your family does not have to use the inheritance to cover these taxes.
THE COSTS OF LIFE INSURANCE
Life insurance can be as inexpensive as a few dollars a month to several hundred. Most life insurance companies offer various payment options to help make payments affordable. However, 44% of millennia’s overestimate the cost of life insurance, which may feed into the growing hesitation to get it.
The cost of life insurance will depend on a few factors such as:
- Medical conditions or health, including if you are a smoker or not; you may have to pass a life insurance medical exam to be eligible for life insurance
- The term of insurance: permanent life insurance is significantly more expensive than term life
- Whether or not the policy has cash values or not
- The amount of the death benefit
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Overall, the younger and healthier you are, the less expensive life insurance is.
The Background of Fire Insurance
Fire insurance has not a long history. The real establishment of fire insurance came only after the Great Fire of London in 1066.
This fire lasted for four days and nights burning, over 436 acres of ground and destroying over 13,000 buildings was the most disastrous fire in history and forcibly awakened the people to the necessity for a form of protection against such calamities.
The main cause of its late development was the slow progress of trade and commerce. After a certain period when the business and commerce ran high, fire insurance received a real fillip. Previously there was no basis on which the premium could be based. There were a few concerns that made remarkable progress.
Gradually as they gained experience the data went on accumulating and the premium rates became more equitable and scientific.
The Meaning of Fire Insurance:
This kind of insurance an agreement, whereby one party in return for a consideration undertakes to indemnify the other party against financial loss which the latter may sustain because of certainly defined subject-matter being damaged or destroyed by fire or other defined perils up to an agreed amount. Fire Insurance, provision against losses caused by fire, lightning, and the removal of property from premises endangered by fire. The insurer agrees, for a fee, to reimburse the insured in the event of such an occurrence. The standard policy limits coverage to the replacement cost of the property destroyed less a depreciation allowance. Indirect loss, such as that resulting from the interruption of business, are excluded but may be covered under a separate contract. Insurance rates are influenced by the quality of fire protection available where the building is located, the type of building instruction the kind of activity conducted within the building, and the degree to which the building is exposed to losses originating outside it.
The Function of Fire Insurance:
The main function of fire insurance is to make good the financial loss suffered as a result of the fire. It is not the function of fire insurance to replace the economic loss termed the ‘fire waste’.
Such damage apart from causing financial loss to the owners dislocates the economic activity of the community. In spite of sustained efforts made by human ingenuity to achieve complete mastery of fire, material property continue to be liable in varying degree to destruction or damage by the escape of fire from its contract.
Some of the insurable properties are buildings, electrical installation, contents of building such as machines plant and equipment accessories, etc. goods such as raw materials, goods in process, finished goods, goods in the open or in the premises, contents in dwellings, shops, hotels furniture, fixture and fitting and other movable and immovable properties.
Fire insurance is a device to compensate for the loss consequent upon destruction by fire.
Thus the fire insurer shifts the burden of fire losses from their actual victims over to all the members of the society.
It is a cooperative device to share the loss. It relieves the insured from the horror of the fire losses to which he is exposed.
How Fire Insurance Works
Fire insurance covers a policyholder against fire loss or damage from a number of sources. Sources include fires brought about by electricity, such as faulty wiring and explosion of gas, as well as those caused by lightning and natural disasters. Bursting and overflowing of a water tank or pipes may also be covered by the policy. Most policies provide coverage regardless of whether the fire originates from inside or outside of the home. The limit of coverage depends on the cause of the fire.
Property insurance provides protection against risks to property, such as fire, theft or weather damage. This may include specialized forms of insurance such as fire insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance, home insurance, inland marine insurance or boiler insurance. The term property insurance may, like casualty insurance, be used as a broad category of various subtypes of insurance, some of which are listed below:
US Airways Flight 1549 was written off after ditching into the Hudson River
- Aviation insurance protects aircraft hulls and spares, and associated liability risks, such as passenger and third-party liability. Airports may also appear under this subcategory, including air traffic control and refuelling operations for international airports through to smaller domestic exposures.
- Boiler insurance (also known as boiler and machinery insurance, or equipment breakdown insurance) insures against accidental physical damage to boilers, equipment or machinery.
- Builder’s risk insurance insures against the risk of physical loss or damage to property during construction. Builder’s risk insurance is typically written on an “all-risk” basis covering damage arising from any cause (including the negligence of the insured) not otherwise expressly excluded. Builder’s risk insurance is coverage that protects a person’s or organizations insurable interest in materials, fixtures or equipment being used in the construction or renovation of a building or structure should those items sustain physical loss or damage from an insured peril.
- Crop insurance may be purchased by farmers to reduce or manage various risks associated with growing crops. Such risks include crop loss or damage caused by weather, hail, drought, frost damage, insects, or disease. Index-based insurance uses models of how climate extremes affect crop production to define certain climate triggers that if surpassed have high probabilities of causing substantial crop loss. When harvest losses occur associated with exceeding the climate trigger threshold, the index-insured farmer is entitled to a compensation payment.
- Earthquake insurance is a form of property insurance that pays the policyholder in the event of an earthquake that causes damage to the property. Most ordinary home insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. Earthquake insurance policies generally feature a high Rates depend on location and hence the likelihood of an earthquake, as well as the construction of the home.
- Fidelity bond is a form of casualty insurance that covers policyholders for losses incurred as a result of fraudulent acts by specified individuals. It usually insures a business for losses caused by the dishonest acts of its employees.
Hurricane Katrina caused over $80 billion of storm and flood damage
- Flood insurance protects against property loss due to flooding. Many U.S. insurers do not provide flood insurance in some parts of the country. In response to this, the federal government created the National Flood Insurance Program which serves as the insurer of last resort.
- Home insurance, also commonly called hazard insurance or homeowners insurance (often abbreviated in the real estate industry as HOI), and provides coverage for damage or destruction of the policyholder’s home. In some geographical areas, the policy may exclude certain types of risks, such as flood or earthquake that require additional coverage. Maintenance-related issues are typically the homeowner’s responsibility. The policy may include inventory, or this can be bought as a separate policy, especially for people who rent housing. In some countries, insurers offer a package which may include liability and legal responsibility for injuries and property damage caused by members of the household, including pets.
- Landlord insurance covers residential or commercial property that is rented to tenants. It also covers the landlord’s liability for the occupants at the property. Most homeowners’ insurance, meanwhile, covers only owner-occupied homes and no liability or damages related to tenants.
- Marine insurance and marine cargo insurance cover the loss or damage of vessels at sea or on inland waterways, and of cargo in transit, regardless of the method of transit. When the owner of the cargo and the carrier are separate corporations, marine cargo insurance typically compensates the owner of cargo for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc., but excludes losses that can be recovered from the carrier or the carrier’s insurance. Many marine insurance underwriters will include “time element” coverage in such policies, which extends the indemnity to cover loss of profit and other business expenses attributable to the delay caused by a covered loss.
- Renters’ insurance, often called tenants’ insurance, is an insurance policy that provides some of the benefits of homeowners’ insurance but does not include coverage for the dwelling, or structure, with the exception of small alterations that a tenant makes to the structure.
- Supplemental natural disaster insurance covers specified expenses after a natural disaster renders the policyholder’s home uninhabitable. Periodic payments are made directly to the insured until the home is rebuilt or a specified time period has elapsed.
- Surety bond insurance is a three-party insurance guaranteeing the performance of the principal.
The demand for terrorism insurance surged after 9/11
- Volcano insurance is a specialized insurance protecting against damage arising specifically from volcanic eruptions.
- Windstorm insurance is an insurance covering the damage that can be caused by wind events such as
This type of insurance is any insurance that is not determined to be life insurance. Insurance contracts that do not come under the ambit of life insurance are called general insurance. The different forms of general insurance are fire, marine, motor, accident and other miscellaneous non-life insurance.
General insurance or non-life insurance policies, including automobile and homeowners policies, provide payments depending on the loss from a particular financial event. It is called property and casualty insurance in the U.S and Canada and non-life insurance in Continental Europe.
In the UK, insurance is broadly divided into three areas: personal lines, commercial lines and London market.
The London Market insures large commercial risks such as supermarkets, football players and other very specific risks. It consists of a number of insurers, reinsurers, P&I Clubs brokers and other companies that are typically physically located in the City of London. Lloyd’s of London is a big participant in this market. The London Market also participates in personal lines and commercial lines, domestic and foreign, through reinsurance.
How does the concept of General Insurance work?
Insurance is a concept that applies to a large group of people who may suffer the same risk in the same conditions or region. The money collected as the premium can be called as a pool and when anyone faces a loss, the person is paid from that pool.
Still, perplexed at how does a general insurance policy come into play? Consider that your mother suffered a heart attack suddenly and she needs a transplant. At the same time, your daughter’s college fee was due. It definitely is a huge expense to be made at the same time and none can be preferred over the other. In this time of stress, the family’s health insurance policy can save your burden and the fees can be paid from the savings. A General Insurance Policy here works to save your burden for money.
Once we’ve understood what General Insurance is, let us understand how and when the policy will apply.
LONG-TERM DISABILITY COVERAGE INSURANCE
This is the one insurance most we think we will never need, as none of us assumes we will become disabled. Yet, statistics from the Social Security Administration show that three in 10 workers entering the workforce will become disabled and will be unable to work before they reach the age of retirement. Of the population, 12% are currently disabled in some form and nearly 50% of those workers are in their working years.
Even those workers that have great health insurance, a nice nest egg and a good life insurance policy never prepare for the day when they might not be able to work for weeks, months or may not ever be able to return to the job. While health insurance pays for your hospitalization and medical bills, where is money coming from to pay those daily expenses that your paycheck covers? Here are a few very sobering statistics regarding disability:
- Disability Causes Nearly 50% of all Mortgage Foreclosures, 2% are Caused by Death
- Close to 90% of Disabling Accidents and Illnesses Are not Work-Related
- In the Last 10 Minutes, 498 Americans Became Disabled
If you are injured and off work for even three months, would you have enough in savings to cover your living expenses? Consider what you might face financially if you suffer a major medical condition such as cancer and were unable to work for over a year.
Many employers offer both short-term and long-term disability coverage as part of their benefits package. This would be the best option for securing affordable disability coverage. If they don’t, seek out a private insurer. If you aren’t sure how much coverage you need, AARP offers a very good disability insurance calculator to help you.
A policy that guarantees income replacement is the optimal policy; more usual terms are replacement of 50 to 60% of your income. The cost of disability insurance is based on many factors including age, lifestyle and health. For group or employer coverage, the average rate in 2009 was about $238 per year or approximately $5 per week. A small price to pay if you are faced with a devastating illness or injury. Disability insurance will guarantee that you will have some income when you can’t work.
PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE
Liability insurance is a very broad superset that covers legal claims against the insured. Many types of insurance include an aspect of liability coverage. For example, a homeowner’s insurance policy will normally include liability coverage which protects the insured in the event of a claim brought by someone who slips and falls on the property; automobile insurance also includes an aspect of liability insurance that indemnifies against the harm that a crashing car can cause to others’ lives, health, or property. The protection offered by a liability insurance policy is twofold: a legal defence in the event of a lawsuit commenced against the policyholder and indemnification (payment on behalf of the insured) with respect to a settlement or court verdict. Liability policies typically cover only the negligence of the insured, and will not apply to results of wilful or intentional acts by the insured.
The subprime mortgage crisis was the source of many liability insurance losses
- Public liability insurance or general liability insurance covers a business or organization against claims should its operations injure a member of the public or damage their property in some way.
- Directors and officers liability insurance (D&O) protects an organization (usually a corporation) from costs associated with litigation resulting from errors made by directors and officers for which they are liable.
- Environmental liability or environmental impairment insurance protects the insured from bodily injury, property damage and cleanup costs as a result of the dispersal, release or escape of pollutants.
- Errors and omissions insurance (E&O) is business liability insurance for professionals such as insurance agents, real estate agents and brokers, architects, third-party administrators (TPAs) and other business professionals.
- Prize indemnity insurance protects the insured from giving away a large prize at a specific event. Examples would include offering prizes to contestants who can make a half-court shot at a basketball game, or a hole-in-one at a golf
- Professional liability insurance, also called professional indemnity insurance (PI), protects insured professionals such as architectural corporations and medical practitioners against potential negligence claims made by their patients/clients. Professional liability insurance may take on different names depending on the profession. For example, professional liability insurance in reference to the medical profession may be called medical malpractice
Often a commercial insured’s liability insurance program consists of several layers. The first layer of insurance generally consists of primary insurance, which provides first dollar indemnity for judgments and settlements up to the limits of liability of the primary policy. Generally, primary insurance is subject to a deductible and obligates the insured to defend the insured against lawsuits, which is normally accomplished by assigning counsel to defend the insured. In many instances, a commercial insured may elect to self-insure. Above the primary insurance or self-insured retention, the insured may have one or more layers of excess insurance to provide coverage additional limits of indemnity protection. There are a variety of types of excess insurance, including “stand-alone” excess policies (policies that contain their own terms, conditions, and exclusions), “follow form” excess insurance (policies that follow the terms of the underlying policy except as specifically provided), and “umbrella” insurance policies (excess insurance that in some circumstances could provide coverage that is broader than the underlying insurance).
There were over ten million traffic accidents in the U.S. in 2009 (latest available data) and 33,808 people died in motor vehicle crashes in those accidents, according to data released by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). The number one cause of death for American’s between the ages of five and 34 were auto accidents. Over two million drivers and passengers received treatment in emergency rooms in 2009 and the costs of those accidents including deaths and disabling injuries were around $70 billion.
While all states do not require drivers to have auto insurance, most do have requirements regarding financial responsibility in the event of an accident. Many states do periodic random checks of drivers for proof of insurance. If you do not have coverage, the fines can vary by state and can range from the suspension of your license to points on your driving record to fines from $500 to $1,000.
If you drive without auto insurance and have an accident, the fines will probably be the least of your financial burden. Your car, like your home, is a valuable asset you use every day. If your car is damaged in an accident and you have no auto insurance, you will have no way to replace that vehicle unless you have a large savings account and you don’t really want to tap into that savings when auto insurance could cover the cost.
If you, a passenger or the other driver is injured in the accident, your auto insurance will pay those expenses and help guard you against any litigation that might result from the accident. Auto insurance also protects your vehicle against theft, vandalism or a natural disaster such as a tornado or other weather-related incidents.
Again, as with all insurances, your individual circumstances will determine the price of your auto insurance. The best advice is to seek out several rate quotes, read the coverage provided carefully and check periodically to see if you qualify for lower rates based on age, driving record or the area where you live.
Auto insurance protects the policyholder against financial loss in the event of an incident involving a vehicle they own, such as in a traffic collision.
Gap insurance covers the excess amount on your auto loan in an instance where your insurance company does not cover the entire loan. Depending on the company’s specific policies it might or might not cover the deductible as well. This coverage is marketed for those who put low down payments, have high-interest rates on their loans, and those with 60-month or longer terms. Gap insurance is typically offered by a finance company when the vehicle owner purchases their vehicle, but many auto insurance companies offer this coverage to consumers as well.
Health insurance policies cover the cost of medical treatments. Dental insurance, like medical insurance, protects policyholders for dental costs. In most developed countries, all citizens receive some health coverage from their governments, paid through taxation. In most countries, health insurance is often part of an employer’s benefits.
Credit insurance repays some or all of a loan when the borrower is insolvent.
- Mortgage insurance insures the lender against default by the borrower. Mortgage insurance is a form of credit insurance, although the name “credit insurance” more often is used to refer to policies that cover other kinds of debt.
- Many credit cards offer payment protection plans which are a form of credit insurance.
- Trade credit insurance is business insurance over the accounts receivable of the insured. The policy pays the policyholder for covered accounts receivable if the debtor defaults on payment.
- Collateral protection insurance (CPI) insures property (primarily vehicles) held as collateral for loans made by lending institutions.
Casualty insurance insures against accidents, not necessarily tied to any specific property. It is a broad spectrum of insurance that a number of other types of insurance could be classified, such as auto, workers compensation, and some liability insurances.
- Crime insurance is a form of casualty insurance that covers the policyholder against losses arising from the criminal acts of third parties. For example, a company can obtain crime insurance to cover losses arising from theft or embezzlement.
- Terrorism insurance provides protection against any loss or damage caused by terrorist In the United States in the wake of 9/11, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act 2002 (TRIA) set up a federal program providing a transparent system of shared public and private compensation for insured losses resulting from acts of terrorism. The program was extended until the end of 2014 by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act 2007 (TRIPRA).
- Kidnap and ransom insurance is designed to protect individuals and corporations operating in high-risk areas around the world against the perils of kidnap, extortion, wrongful detention and hijacking.
- Political risk insurance is a form of casualty insurance that can be taken out by businesses with operations in countries in which there is a risk that revolution or other political conditions could result in a loss.
Burial insurance is a very old type of life insurance which is paid out upon death to cover final expenses, such as the cost of a funeral. The Greeks and Romans introduced burial insurance c. 600 CE when they organized guilds called “benevolent societies” which cared for the surviving families and paid funeral expenses of members upon death. Guilds in the Middle Ages served a similar purpose, as did friendly societies during Victorian times.
- All-risk insurance is an insurance that covers a wide range of incidents and perils, except those noted in the policy. All-risk insurance is different from peril-specific insurance that covers losses from only those perils listed in the policy. In-car insurance, all-risk policy includes also the damages caused by the own driver.
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High-value horses may be insured under a bloodstock policy
- Bloodstock insurance covers individual horses or a number of horses under common ownership. Coverage is typically for mortality as a result of accident, illness or disease but may extend to include infertility, in-transit loss, veterinary fees, and prospective foal.
- Business interruption insurance covers the loss of income, and the expenses incurred after a covered peril interrupts normal business operations.
- Defence Base Act(DBA) insurance provides coverage for civilian workers hired by the government to perform contracts outside the United States and Canada. DBA is required for all U.S. citizens, U.S. residents, U.S. Green Card holders, and all employees or subcontractors hired on overseas government contracts. Depending on the country, foreign nationals must also be covered under DBA. This coverage typically includes expenses related to medical treatment and loss of wages, as well as disability and death benefits.
- Expatriate insurance provides individuals and organizations operating outside of their home country with protection for automobiles, property, health, liability and business pursuits.
- Legal expenses insurance covers policyholders for the potential costs of legal action against an institution or an individual. When something happens which triggers the need for legal action, it is known as “the event”. There are two main types of legal expenses insurance: before the event insurance and after the event insurance.
- Livestock insurance is a specialist policy provided to, for example, commercial or hobby farms, aquariums, fish farms or any other animal holding. The cover is available for mortality or economic slaughter as a result of accident, illness or disease but can extend to include destruction by government order.
- Media liability insurance is designed to cover professionals that engage in film and television production and print, against risks such as
- Nuclear incident insurance covers damages resulting from an incident involving radioactive materials and is generally arranged at the national level. (See the nuclear exclusion clause and, for the United States, the Price–Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act.)
- Pet insurance insures pets against accidents and illnesses; some companies cover routine/wellness care and burial, as well.
- Pollution insurance usually takes the form of first-party coverage for contamination of insured property either by external or on-site sources. Coverage is also afforded for liability to third parties arising from contamination of air, water, or land due to the sudden and accidental release of hazardous materials from the insured site. The policy usually covers the costs of cleanup and may include coverage for releases from underground storage tanks. Intentional acts are specifically excluded.
- Purchase insurance is aimed at providing protection on the products people purchase. Purchase insurance can cover individual purchase protection, warranties, guarantees, care plans and even mobile phone insurance. Such insurance is normally very limited in the scope of problems that are covered by the policy.
- Tax insurance is increasingly being used in corporate transactions to protect taxpayers in the event that a tax position it has taken is challenged by the IRS or a state, local, or foreign taxing authority
- Title insurance provides a guarantee that title to real property is vested in the purchaser or mortgagee, free and clear of liens or encumbrances. It is usually issued in conjunction with a search of the public records performed at the time of a real estate transaction.
- Travel insurance is an insurance cover taken by those who travel abroad, which covers certain losses such as medical expenses, loss of personal belongings, travel delay, and personal liabilities.
- Tuition insurance insures students against involuntary withdrawal from cost-intensive educational institutions
- Interest rate insurance protects the holder from adverse changes in interest rates, for instance for those with a variable rate loan or mortgage
- Divorce insurance is a form of contractual liability insurance that pays the insured a cash benefit if their marriage ends in divorce.
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