Insurance is the means of protection from financial loss, it is a form of risk management used to hedge against the risk of an uncertain loss.
Insurance is provided by insurers and insurance companies and individuals purchase policies in exchange for cover. When an insurance policy is created a contract is drawn up which outlines all of the conditions for the insurance cover and outlines the premium for the cover. If the individual covered by the insurance policy experiences a loss, the submit a claim to the insurer and requests for a claim for the item.
The insurability of a policy and the risk involved in each policy is focused around a set of common characteristics which include:
Accidental loss - when a claim is outside the control of the individual who has taken out the policy. Definite loss - The loss takes place at a known time, in a known place and from a known cause - ie. life insurance policies, accidents and worker injuries. Large amount of similar exposure units - large numbers of members experience the same occurrence. Large loss - the size is meaningful for the insured individual and makes an impact on their life. Affordable premium - if the insured event is likely to happen, then insurance will be so high it is not likely to be taken up. Calculable loss - this risk is focused on the probability of loss and the attendant cost. Limited risk of catastrophically large losses - insurable losses are independent and non-catastrophic and will not bankrupt the insured individual.
There are a range of types of insurance policies which can be taken out by individuals as well as businesses. Insurance types include:
Auto insurance - this protects the policyholder against financial loss in the event of a car accident the policy usually covers property, liability and medical coverage. Health insurance - this protects the individual and their family members if the policy is a family policy as the policy covers the cost of medical treatments. Health insurance has a range of options and may include hospital based on the premium. Income protection insurance - this insurance has a range of policy options including disability insurance, total permanent disability insurance and workers compensation. Life insurance - this policy provides a monetary benefit to a decendant’s family or beneficiaries in the event of the insured individual’s death. Property insurance & home insurance - protects your property from unexpected damage from weather and also fire, flood and earthquake. Home insurance protects the contents of your home and personal effects that are insured under the policy. Liability insurance - covers legal claims against the parties insured and may include public liability, directors and officers liability insurance, professional liability insurance and other policies likely to cover the liability of an individual or business.
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