Insurance is a form of risk management in which the insured transfers the cost of potential loss to another entity in exchange for monetary compensation known as the premium. Insurance allows individuals, businesses and other entities to protect themselves against significant potential losses and financial hardship at a reasonably affordable rate. We say "significant" because if the potential loss is small, then it doesn't make sense to pay a premium to protect against the loss. After all, you would not pay a monthly premium to protect against a Rs. 1000 loss because this would not be considered a financial hardship for most. In one form or another, we all own insurance. Whether its auto, medical, liability, disability or life, insurance serves as an excellent risk-management and wealth-preservation tool. Having the right kind of insurance is a critical component of any good financial plan. While most of us own insurance, many of us don't understand what it is or how it works. In this tutorial, we'll review the basics of insurance and how it works, then take you through the main types of insurance out there. In today’s age of consumerism, insurance requirements have expanded to keep pace with the increasing risks. Gone are the days when life insurances ruled the roost; today we have a wide assortment of risk coverage commencing from health insurance to travel insurance to theft insurance to even a wedding insurance. With affluence and spending capacity on the surge there is a growing trend to fulfill needs, deal with responsibilities and secure one’s possessions, be it good health or worldly wealth. We shall now look specifically at the General Insurance category which includes the main topic of discussion – Marine Insurance.
Insurance other than ‘Life Insurance’ falls under the category of General Insurance. General Insurance comprises of insurance of property against fire, burglary etc, personal insurance such as Accident and Health Insurance, and liability insurance which covers legal liabilities. There are also other covers such as Errors and Omissions insurance for professionals, credit insurance etc. In law and economics, general insurance is defined as a form of risk management basically used to hedge against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss. General insurance is also defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment. An insurer is an institution or a company selling the insurance; an insured or policyholder is the person or entity who is buying the insurance policy. The general insurance rate is a factor used to determine the amount to be charged for a particular amount of insurance coverage, called the premium. Risk management, the practice of appraising and controlling risk, has come out as a discrete field of study and practice. Non-life insurance companies have products that cover property against Fire and allied perils, flood storm and inundation, earthquake and so on. There are products that cover property against burglary, theft etc. The non-life companies also offer policies covering machinery against breakdown, there are policies that cover the hull of ships and so on. A Marine Cargo policy covers goods in transit including by sea, air and road. Further, insurance of motor vehicles against damages and theft forms a major chunk of non-life insurance business. In respect of insurance of property, it is important that the cover is taken for the actual value of the property to avoid being imposed a penalty should there be a claim. Where a property is undervalued for the purposes of insurance, the insured will have to bear a ratable proportion of the loss. For instance if the value of a property is Rs.100 and it is insured for Rs.50/-, in the event of a loss to the extent of say Rs.50/-, the maximum claim amount payable would be Rs.25/- (50% of the loss being borne by the insured for underinsuring the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document