This is a form of risk mitigation or management whereby an entity (insured or an individual or company or government) undertakes to safeguard against future financial losses. It is a form of proactive measure to redirect lost to an entirely different entity (insurer or insurance company or government). Any risk that can be measure and quantify in financial terms can be insured.
This involves the insured assuming a guaranteed and known small loss in the form of fee to the insurer in exchange for the insurer’s promise to compensate the insured in the event of a covered loss. The compensation or fee depends on the probability and severity of the event occurring. The insurance may be financial (a bank insured its liquid cash) or may not be financial (property or auto insurance) in whatever case it most have financial value.
To establish a legal relationship between the insured and insurer generally involves a contract known as the insurance policy. This policy details the conditions (with respect to the legislature of the country) and circumstances under which the insured will be financially compensated and also the insured may charge an amount of money for the coverage. Most insurance coverage is time bound (the insurer set a time frame within which the policy is valid). After this time, the insured may be required to renew the policy or buy another.
Private insurance company insured risk that the loss takes place at a known time, in a known place, and from a known cause example is car accident. The event that constitutes the trigger of the claim should be fortuitous, factual, real and can be verify, or at least outside the control of the beneficiary of the insurance. The lost must be pure in other words it should result from an even for which there is only the opportunity for cost or beyond the control of the insured (not intentional). The size of the lost must be meaningful, realistic and cover by the insurance policy.
Insurance premiums need to cover both the expected cost of losses, together with the cost of issuing and administering the policy, adjusting losses, and supplying the needed capital to reasonably assure that the insurer will pay the claims. If the probability of an insured event is so high, or the cost of the event so large, that the resulting premium is larger than the amount of protection offered, then it is not likely that the insurance will be purchased, even if on offer.
(It should be noted that, if the probability of is so high or catastrophic like in earthquakes zones that several losses may occurred simultaneously, only the government sale out insurance policy).
Insurable losses are normally independent and non-catastrophic, meaning that the losses do not happen all at once and individual losses are not severe enough to bankrupt the insurer. The majority of insurance policies are provided for individual members of large classes where predictable losses are similar to the actual losses.
Insurance may have various effects on society through the way that it changes who bears the cost of the losses or damage. It main aim of implementation is to help societies and individuals prepare for catastrophes and mitigate the effects of losses on both the households and societies. This may be misunderstood by some individuals thereby affecting their moral conducts.
Individuals may feel because they are not the ones bearing the loss, change the way they handle their insured properties thereby increasing the probability of damage, For example, driving an insured car at an uncontrollable speed, setting up an old out dated car or building on fire. Insurers attempt to address carelessness through inspections, policy provisions requiring certain types of maintenance, and possible discounts for loss mitigation efforts.
Many insurance companies do not keep to the insurance policy thereby introducing insurance fraud. They do not compensate within stated policy timing neither do they pay the stipulated amount. In most cases, they insurer tries to play with the exact financial value of the insured risk leading to a dubious situation and maybe the insured may not be financially capable to sue them for bridge of confidence, the insurer may go couth free.
There exist varied types of insurance ranging from property, automobile to liability, life insurance.
Property insurance: This provides protection against risks to property (example building), such as fire, theft, aging or weather damage.
Auto insurance: this provides coverage to the policyholder against financial loss in the event of an accident involving their vehicle, such as in traffic collision.
School fee insurance: Most parents deem it wish to insured their children education by buying this insurance policy. This enables their children to continue studies even when they are incapacitated or deseed.
Health insurance: This insurance policy covers the cost of medical treatments. In most developed countries, citizens receive some percentage of health coverage from their governments, paid for by taxation in others health insurance is normally part of an employee's benefits pay for by his/her employer.
Life insurance: This provides a financial benefit to a decedent's family or other designated beneficiary, and may specifically provide for income to an insured person's family, burial, funeral and other final expenses. Life insurance policies usually allow the option of having the claim paid to the beneficiary either in a lump sum cash payment or an annuity.
Insurance can be implemented through the following methods;
Co-insurance (risks shared between insurers)
Dual insurance (risk having two or more policies with coverage - a concept named contribution. Both the individual policies would not pay separately but will contribute percentages to make up the policyholder’s claim. However, in case of contingency insurances like Life insurance, dual payment is allowed)
Reinsurance (Insurer passes some part of or all risks to another Insurer called Reinsurer).
It is worth mentioning that insurance is the best way to mitigate risk and a proactive means to secure the future of any damage or catastrophe.