Insurance an Overview


Insurance: An Overview

3.1 Introduction

Insurance plays an extremely important part in ensuring the economic well being of the country, but it does not have a high profile and therefore many people have little idea of the full role it plays. For many, a knowledge of insurance is limited to their own personal house, motor or life insurance. These forms of domestic insurances are all important, but are a relatively small part of the overall activity within the insurance industry. We will see in this chapter that the insurance service provided to industry, and individuals, has far reaching benefits, both for those who insure and for the country as a whole.


3.2 Definitions

Insurance can be defined in several ways and probably no one brief definition does autistic to its many new features. It may be defined from economic, legal, business, social and mathematical point of views. In economic sense, for instance, insurance is a mechanism of providing certainty or predictability of loss with regard to pure risk. It accomplishes these by policy or charity of risk. By reducing uncertainty in the business environment, it will create peace of mind that enables businessmen focus on their primary activities instead of worrying about the existence of possibility of loss so that societies can grow more.

From legal point of view, insurance is a contract whereby, a consideration (price) paid to a party adequate to the risk, becomes security to the other that he shall not suffer loss, damage or prejudice by the happening of risks specified in the contract for which he may be exposed to. The contracting parties are the insured, who is responsible to pay the price for obtaining the security (premium), and the insurer, who will assume the risk transferred. This makes insurance a means of transferring risk for a premium (price) from one party known as the insured to another called insurer.

From business perspective insurance is defined as a cooperative device to spread the loss caused by a particular risk over a number of persons who are exposed to and who agree to ensure themselves against that risk. Every risk involves the loss of one or other kind. The function of insurance is to spread the loss over a large number of persons who agreed to cooperate each other at the time of loss. The risk cannot be averted but loss occurring due to a certain peril can be distributed amongst the agreed persons. They agree to share the loss because the chance of loss, i.e, the time and amount, to a person is not known.

Any of the insureds may suffer loss to a given risk; so, the rest of the persons who have agreed will share the loss. The larger the number of such persons, the easier the process of distribution of loss. In fact, they share the loss by payment of premium, which is calculated on the basis of probability of loss.

From the social point of view insurance is defined as a device to accumulate funds to meet uncertain losses of capital, which is carried at through the transfer of the risk of many individual to one person or, to a group of persons.

Mathematically, insurance is the application of certain actuarial principles (insurance mathematics). Law of probability and statistical techniques are used to achieve predictability.

In summary insurance is an economic system for reducing uncertainty of loss through pooling of losses together, a legal method of transferring risk from the insured to the insurer in a contract of indemnity, a business undertaking for profit that provides many jobs in a free enterprise economy, a social device in which the loss of few is covered by the contribution of many, or an actuarial system of applied mathematics.


3.3 The Functions of Insurance

The functions of insurance can be studied in two parts: primary and secondary functions.

   3.3.1 Primary Functions

Insurance executes the following functions primarily.

  1. Providing certainty. Insurance provides certainty of payment at the uncertainty of loss. The uncertainty of loss can be reduced by better planning and administration. Insurance removes all uncertainties and assurance is given to payment of compensation at the time of loss. The insurer charges premium for providing the said certainty.
  2. Protection. The main function of insurance is to provide protection against the probable chances of loss. Insurance guarantees the payment of loss and this protects the assured from sufferings.
  3. Risk-sharing. When the risk takes place, all the persons who are exposed to the risk share the loss.

   3.3.2 Secondary Functions

In addition to the aforementioned primary functions, insurance plays the following:

  1. Prevention of loss. Insurance is primarily concerned with the financial consequences of losses, but it would be fair to say that insurers have more than a passing interest in loss control. It could be argued that insurers have no real interest in the complete control of loss, as this would inevitably lead to an end to their business. This is a rather shortsighted view. Insurers do have an interest in reducing the frequency and the severity of loss. In a practical way, buyers of insurance will normally come into contact with the loss control services offered by an insurer when they meet the surveyor. The surveyor may be employed by the insurer, or indeed the insurance broker, and part of his job is to give advice on loss control. Many insurers employ specialist surveyors in fire, security, liability and other types of risk; others will employ people with broader, but less detailed, knowledge.

    The surveyor will assess the extent of the risk to which the insurance company is exposed. In doing so he will also offer advice, which could take the form of pre-loss control (minimizing the chance that something will happen) or post-loss control (after an event has occurred). Traditionally, the expertise of surveyors was concentrated on risks for which commercial insurance was available. Increasingly, risk control surveyors employed by insurers and insurance brokers have extended the services they offer to include identification and control of all risks faced by organizations, as part of a wider risk management service.

    The best time for a surveyor to be consulted is at the planning stage of a project. He can then incorporate features which may minimize risk and control loss. A good example of this is the installation of automatic fire-sprinkler systems. It is obviously far simpler and cheaper to include a sprinkler system in the design of a building, rather than to alter a building once it has been constructed to add sprinklers. Most builders are alert to the value of fire prevention and control, but the same principle applies to safety and security.

    The insurance assist financially to the fire brigade, educational institutions and other organizations, which are engaged in preventing the losses. In short, the function of insurance is not merely compensating those who suffered loss at the time the risk materializes. However, insurance must make sure that adequate loss prevention and loss control mechanisms were implemented by the insured to minimize the probability and severity of the loss.

  2. Providing Capital. Insurance companies have, at their disposal, large amounts of money. This arises due to the fact that there is a time gap between the receipt of a premium and the payment of a claim. A premium could be paid in January and a claim may not occur until December, if it occurs at all. The insurer has this money and can invest it. In fact, the insurer will have the accumulated premiums of all insureds, over a long period of time.
    We have listed investment as one of the benefits of insurance in later discussions and the benefit lies in the use to which the money is put. Insurers invest in a wide range of different forms of investment. By having spread of investments, the insurance industry helps national and international businesses in their borrowing. It also helps industry and commerce, by making various forms of loan and by taking up shares which are offered on the open market. Insurers make up part of what are termed the institutional investors; the others include banks, building societies and pension funds. Investment is also made in property.


3.4 The Roles and Importance of Insurance

The role and importance of insurance can be discussed in three phases:

  1. Uses to individual
  2. Uses to special group of individuals, business or industry
  3. Uses to the society


i.Uses to an individual

  1. Insurance provides security and safety. Insurance reduces the physical and mental stress that insureds face concerning the possibility of death, disability and financial loss. Insureds, through transfer of their risk to the insurer reduce their worry about any financial loss they may face due to accidental misfortune. This means that insureds are to a large extent certain that the loss, if at all occurs will be recovered from the insurer. Insurance provides security against loss due to fire in fire insurance. In other types of insurance, security is provided against loss at a given contingency. Moreover it provides safety and security against the loss of earning at damage, destructions or disappearance of property, goods, furniture etc.
  2. Insurance affords peace of mind. The knowledge that insurance exists to meet the financial consequences of certain risks provides a form of peace of mind. This is important for private individuals when they insure their car, house, possessions and so on, but it is also of vital importance in industry and commerce.
    The security provided by insurance banishes fear and uncertainty of fire, windstorm, automobile accident and damage that are almost beyond the control of a human being. The possibility of occurrence of any of these may frustrate or weaken the human mind that would otherwise be obsessed with productive areas. The existence of insurance helps individuals to have peace of mind and give them relief that eventually makes them stimulated to more work.
  3. Insurance protects mortgaged property. At the death of the owner of the mortgaged property, or at the time of damage or destruction of the property, the insurer will provide an adequate amount to the dependents at the early death of the owner to pay off the unpaid loans, or the mortgage gets a deflated amount at the destruction of the property.

ii.Uses to Business

  1. Reduction of uncertainty
    Why should a person put money into a business venture when there are so many risks which could result in the loss of the money? Yet, if people did not invest in businesses then there would be fewer jobs, less goods, the need for even higher imports and a general reduction in wealth. Buying insurance allows the entrepreneur to transfer at least some of the risks of being in business to an insurer, in the manner we have described earlier. Uncertainty of business losses is reduced in the world of business. In commerce and industry a huge number of properties are employed.
    With a slight carelessness or negligence, they may be turned in to ashes. Owners of the business or managers might foresee contingencies that would bring great loss. To meet such situations, they might decide to put aside annual reserve, but it may not be economical for the money could have been invested in other activities. Instead, by making an annual or even immediate payment, insurance policy can be taken.
  2. Increasing business efficiency
    Insurance also acts as a stimulus for the activity of businesses which are already in existence. This is done through the release of funds for investment in the productive side of the business, which would otherwise require to be held in easily accessible reserves to cover any future loss. Medium sized and larger firms could certainly create reserves for emergencies such as fires, thefts or serious injuries. However, this money would have to be accessible reasonably quickly and hence the rate of interest which the company could obtain would be much less than the normal rate. Quite apart from this is the fact that the money would not be available for investment in the business itself.
    Business efficiency is increased with insurance when the owner of a business is free from botheration of losses, hence, certainly devote much time to the business. The carefree owner can work better for the maximization of profit. The uncertainty of loss, damage, destruction or disappearance of a property, may affect the mind of the businessmen adversely. The insurance, removing the uncertainty, stimulates businesspersons to work hard.


iii.Uses to society 

  1. Wealth protection
    With the advancement of the society, the wealth or the property of the society attracts more hazards resulting in the creation of new types of insurance invented to protect them against the possible losses. The present, future and potential property resources are well – protected through insurance in which each and every member will have financial security against damage and destruction of wealth. Through prevention of losses, insurance protects the society against degradation of resources and ensure stabilization and expansion of business and industry.
  2. Economic growth
    Insurance provides strong hand and mind and protection against loss of property. In addition to these, insurance companies accumulate large sum of money available for investment purpose. Such money accumulated may be invested by the insurance companies themselves or lent to others to produce more wealth. This will have its contribution to the economic growth of a country.
    The fact that the owner of a business has the funds available to recover from a loss provides the stimulus to business activity that we noted earlier. It also means that jobs may not be lost and goods or services can still be sold. The social benefit of this is that people keep their jobs, their sources of income are maintained and they can continue to contribute to the national economy. We all know the effects on a community when a large employer moves or ceases operation; the area runs the risk of being depressed, people have less money to spend and the consequences of this can be far reaching.
    To a lesser extent, a major loss resulting in the closure of a business can have the same impact on a community. It may not be as noticeable as the shut-down of a coal mine or large factory, but when losses are aggregated throughout the country the effect is considerable. It is not suggested that insurance alone keeps people in jobs, but it does play a significant role in ensuring that there are not unnecessary economic hardships.

The three dimensions of benefits that we have already looked at, all follow on from the protection offered by insurance. These benefits may be to the buyer of insurance or to the economy as a whole, but they relate in some way to the basic idea of providing a risk transfer mechanism.


3.5 Insurance, Gambling and Speculations

   3.5.1   Insurance and Gambling

The essential feature about gambling is that it creates a risk where there existed none hitherto. When a gambler buys a lottery ticket, for instance, or places a bet on a horse, he puts money at risk that was not in jeopardy before. The difference between insurance and gambling can be illustrated as follows.

  • The man who gambles creates a risk, which did not exist previously whereas the man who purchases insurance minimizes a risk which was already in being and which is not in his power to avoid.
  • The gambler with hope of gain, goes out his way to bring a risk into being while the man who insures, for the purpose of avoiding loss, goes out of his way to hedge against a risk which already exists.
  • The man who gambles accepts deliberately the risk of loss in exchange for the possibility of profit: the man who insures accepts deliberately the certainty of a small loss in exchange for the freedom from risk of devastating catastrophic loss.
  • The gambler bears the risk while the insured transfers the risk.

Considering the many risks we are exposed to in our daily life, such as fire, motor accident, etc there is certainly no complete escape from the hazards, and the man who gamble, by not insuring against them is gambling against frightful odds. The man who insures pays a fixed, certain and relatively small loss (the premium), and in doing so, doesn’t gamble which would have been ruinous to his and his family.


   3.5.2   Insurance and Speculation

Speculation on the other hand involves doing some kind of activity with the expectation of profit in the future. For instance, a businessman who purchases and sells goods, stocks and shares, etc with the risk of loss and hope of profit through changes in their market value is a clear case of speculation. Through speculation individuals create a risk deliberately in the anticipation of profits. However, an insurance transaction normally involves the transfer of risks that are insurable, since the requirements of an insurable risk generally can be met. On the contrary, speculation is a technique for handling risks that are typically uninsurable, such as protection against a substantial decline in the price of agricultural products and raw material.

The other difference between the two is that insurance can reduce the objective risk of an insurer by application of the law of large numbers. In contrast, speculation typically involves only risk transfer, not risk reduction. The risk of an adverse price fluctuation is transferred to a speculator who feels he or she can make a profit because of superior knowledge of forces that affect market price. The risk is transferred, not reduced, and the speculator’s prediction of loss generally is not based on the law of large numbers.

At this point, we may ask ourselves if insurance is a charity. Is insurance a charity?

Charity is given without consideration but insurance is not possible without premium. Insurance is a profession of providing certainty and predictability and safety to the individual, business or society. It provides adequate finance at the time of damage only by charging a normal premium for the service.


3.6 Legal principles of insurance contracts

Insurance is affected by legal agreements called contracts or policies. A contract cannot be complete in effect, but must be interpreted in light of the social environment of the society in which it is made. The legal principles of insurance that are generally applicable are discussed as follows.

i.The principle of insurable interest. A fundamental legal principle underlying all insurance contracts is insurable interest. Under this principle an insured must demonstrate the existence of financial relationship to the subject matter insured; otherwise the insured will be unable to collect amounts due when the insured peril occurs. The principle applies to both life and non-life insurance. The subject matter insured may include property of value, life of a person, or an event that may cause a legal liability. For instance, in the case of a property, the owner has a financial interest in the safety of the property for he will suffer a financial loss in the event of destruction of the property by accidental misfortune. In the case of life insurance, a clear example is the insurable interest of a wife in the life of a husband and the vice versa. In the business environment a creditor has a financial interest in the life of a debtor. Thus he has the right to purchase life insurance policy for the life of the debtor to protect his financial interest. The doctrine of insurable interest is also necessary to prevent insurance from becoming a gambling contract.

Insurance follows the person insured and not the property. A policy can be written covering a certain piece of property and an individual may be named as the one who would suffer a financial loss if the perils were to occur and cause damage. However, if at the time of the loss the individual named no longer had an interest in the property, there would be no liability under the policy. For example suppose that A owns and insured a car, later he sells his car to B and shortly there after the car is destroyed. A cannot collect under the policy, because he has no further financial interest in the car.

   When the insurable interest must exist?

In property and liability insurance it is possible to effect coverage on property in which the insured doesn’t have an insurable interest at the time the policy is written, but in which such an interest is expected in the future. In marine insurance a shipper often obtains coverage on cargo it has not yet purchased in the anticipation of buying cargo for a return trip. As a result the courts generally hold that in property insurance, insurable interest need exist only at the time of the loss and not at the time in caption of the policy. Whereas in life insurance, the insurable interest should exist at the time of inception of the policy.

ii. Principle of indemnity.   The principle of indemnity states that a person may not collect more than the actual loss in the event of damage caused by an insured peril. Thus, while a person may have purchased coverage in excess of the value of the property, the person cannot make a profit by collecting more than the actual loss of the property that is destroyed. Many insurance practices result from this important principle. In general only contracts in property and liability insurance are subjected to this doctrine, although there are exceptions where statutes have modified its application.

The principle of indemnity is closely related to insurable interest. The problem in insurable interest is to determine whether any loss is suffered by a person insured, where as in indemnity the problem is to obtain a measure of that loss. In the basic fire insurance contracts, the measure of “actual cash loss” is the current replacement cost of destroyed property loss plus an allowance for estimated depreciation. The whole purpose is to restore the insured to his former financial position before the happening of the loss. Thus, the principle eliminates the intention of gambling that incorporates profit motive. Indemnity can take different forms: cash payment, replacement of the property or reinstatement of the property.

iii.The principle of subrogation. Under the principle of subrogation, one who has indemnified another loss is entitled to recover from liable third parties, if any, who are responsible. Subrogation is corollary to the principle of indemnity. Consequently, it doesn’t apply to life and personal accident insurance. The essence is that the insurer, after claiming the amount of loss suffered obtains the legal right to take the place of the insured and demand for a recovery to the loss, wholly or in part, from the third party responsible for the loss. The objective behind such transfer of right from the insured to the insurer is to eliminate the profit motive i.e. to prohibit the insured from collecting double payments: from the insurer and from the third party. Thus if Mr. D negligently causes damage to Mr. E’s property, E’s insurance company will indemnify E to the extent of its liability for E’s loss and then have the right to proceed against D for any amount it has paid out under Es policy. One of the important reasons for subrogation is to reinforce the principle of indemnity that is to prevent the insured from collecting more than the actual cash loss. If E’s insurer didn’t have the right to subrogation it would be possible for E to recover from the policy and then recover again in a legal action against D. In this case E would collect twice. It would be possible for E to arrange an accident with D, collect twice, and split the profit with D. A moral hazard would exist and the contract would tend to become an instrument of fraud.

iv. The principle of contribution. This also supports the principle of indemnity. It is applied to a situation where a person or firm, for some reasons, purchase insurance from two or more insurers to cover the same subject matter against loss or damage. Under such circumstance, the insured cannot collect compensation from each insurer. If this happen, insurance becomes a profit making mechanism. So, the insured is paid only to the extent of the loss he has suffered. But, each insurer will make contribution to settle the claim. The contribution may be a proportional amount based on the sum insured under the respective insurers. However, to know if an insured has more than one insurer for the same risk, especially in countries like ours could be difficult.

v. The principle of utmost good faith.  Insurance is said to be a contract of utmost good faith. In effect, this principle imposes a higher standard of honesty on parties of insurance agreement than is imposed on ordinary commercial contracts. Insurance contracts are based on mutual trust. This means that both the insured and the insurer must make full disclosure of material facts that have a bearing on the assessment of the risk. Intentional concealment, misrepresentations and fraud may lead to the avoidance of the insurance contract. The insured is bound to give all the facts having material effect on the assessment of risk. The application of this principle can be expressed in representation, concealment and warranties.


3.7 Classification of Insurance

From business point of view, insurance can be classified in to two categories. They are: life insurance and  non life insurance.

   3.7.1 Life Insurance

Definition 1

Life insurance is a contract whereby the insurer for certain sum of money or premium proportionate to the age, profession, health and other circumstances of the person whose life is insured engage that if such person dies with in the period specified in the policy the insurer will pay the amount specified by the policy according to the term there of to the person in whose favor the policy was entered to.

Definition 2

Life insurance is a social and economic devise by which a group of persons may cooperate to ameliorate the loss resulting from the premature death of members of the group. The insuring organization collect contributions from each member, invest this contribution, grants both their safety and a minimum interest return and distribute benefits to the estates of the members who die.


The main purpose of life insurance is financial protection to the dependants of the insured upon the premature death of the insured. The sum assured is, then, upon the death of the insured will be paid to the beneficiaries. The financial compensation will provide security for a certain period of time.

The insured may also purchase life insurance policy with such objectives as settling personal loans and other debts. If the insured dies before settling his debts, the insurer will settle the debt outstanding to the creditors, hence protecting the family from financial loss.

Life insurers are generally engaged in the provision of both protection and saving. The protection is against financial loss difficulty and is acquired for a consideration called premium, which is the price that keeps the policy in force. The protection given by the insurer is death benefits to the beneficiary of the insured, or in the case of survival of the insured, other financial benefits in accordance with the policy contract. Essential Features of Life Insurance

  • The benefits are determined in advance. The insured decides for himself the amount of insurance protection he needs. The insurer will then decide on the corresponding reasonableness of the amount of coverage and sets the corresponding premium.
  • The amount of money required to pay the death benefits in a given period are to be collected in advance so that there should not be shortage of funds to pay claims as they occur.
  • Each insured in the group should be charged an appropriate premium, which reflects the amount of risk he brings to the group. In other words, losses are to be distributed among the group of insureds in an equitable manner.
  • The probability of claim increases with the passage of time since insureds exhibit deteriorating health condition as they grow old.
  • In addition to protection against uncertainty, life insurance has the function of accumulation of money/saving.

Life insurance is not strictly a contract of indemnity for the value of a person cannot be precisely put in financial terms. The provision of life assurance is a quite different process from the provision of non-life insurance. The main distinction is that in life assurance the event being assured is either certain to happen, in the case of those policies paying on death, or scientifically calculable, in the case of policies not paying a benefit on death.

In addition to these there are a number of special features, which are worth mentioning at this stage:

  1. Premium payments. Life assurance premiums are payable by level amounts throughout the period of the policy. This means that each person pays the same amount throughout, that amount being determined by his age on effecting the policy. Premiums can be paid annually, half-yearly, quarterly or monthly and are often met by standing orders with banks whereby the policyholder instructs his bank to make the appropriate payments at the correct times. It is also possible for the insured to pay premiums for a specified period of time or even a single payment at lump sum at the time the policy is purchased. (This will be discussed in detail in later section).
  2. Participation in profits. Life assurance companies value their assets and liabilities at regular intervals, say every year or others every three years. This valuation of their operation allows them to determine whether any surplus exists after calculating all future liabilities and allowing for other contingencies. Should such a surplus exist, it is distributed among those policyholders who have 'with-profits' or 'participating' policies. Such policies allow the policyholder to participate in any profits the company makes. It does not guarantee a bonus to each policyholder, as the company may not have a surplus, but it does mean that any available surplus will be distributed.
    The policyholder pays an additional amount for the privilege of participating in profits. The bonuses are then added to the sum assured and payable at the maturity date. They can be either simple reversionary bonuses, that are computed at a rate percent on the basic sum assured, or compound reversionary bonuses, that are computed at a rate percent of the basic sum assured plus any existing bonus payments already declared.
  3. Surrender values. When a person no longer wants his policy, or for some reason cannot continue the premiums, he can ask for the surrender value. (this is discussed in later sections).
  4. Investments.We have already identified the life assurance industry as being of considerable size by considering the number of policies in force and the value of premiums paid each year. These vast amounts of money are held by companies to meet future liabilities and are termed life assurance funds. These funds do not lie dormant waiting for claims to come in; rather they are invested to provide income for the companies and so assist policyholders and shareholders. Not only do these two groups benefit, but the country as a whole benefits, as we have already seen in section 2 of this unit. Basic Types of Life Insurance

There are three basic types of life insurance

1. Whole Life Insurance

In this kind of life insurance, the sum assured is payable on the death of the life assured whenever it occurs. Premiums are payable either throughout the life of the assured or can cease at a certain age, often 80 or 85.

This policy provides protection to the dependants of the insured upon the event of his/her death. I.e. the sum assured is payable only upon the death of the insured. One option is that the insured pays annual premiums as long as he lives. The second option is that premium payments are made for a specified number of years or up to a certain age limit, normally up to the age of retirement. Premium payments after retirement are discontinued because of a decline in the income of the insured. The policy provides permanent protection to the insured’s dependants in the case of death. Besides this protection, whole life insurance allows for the accumulation of savings over the life of the insured. In essence, the policy encourages saving.

Whole life policy acquires cash value after two or three years of premium payment. When a person no longer wants his policy, or for some reason cannot continue the premiums, he can ask for the surrender value. He ceases payment and receives not a proportion of the sum assured, but a proportion of the premiums already paid. Not all policies allow a surrender value and surrender within the first few years of any policy will not normally produce an amount for the policyholder. This is because surrender value is calculated using the premiums paid, less expenses incurred in issuing and renewing the policy, and less the cost of the life assurance cover provided during the years it was in force. In view of the level premium system, any surrender value in the early years will be low, if any accrues at all.

The cash value gradually grows to equal the sum assured upon maturity or at the time the insured attains age 100. If the assured, for some reasons, discontinues premium payments after the policy accumulates cash value, then the cash value can be used to keep the policy in force under the automatic premium loan provision. Moreover, the assured can apply for loans when the policy acquires cash value. In some cases, an alternative to the surrender value is the paid-up policy. The premiums cease and the policy continues, but on maturity a smaller sum than would originally have been paid will be due to the policyholder. Depending on the policy and the company concerned, these paid-up policies may or may not continue to participate in profits.

In general, whole life insurance has two salient features:

  1. Protection – It protects the insured in the case of premature death. If the insured died prematurely the face amount is paid to the beneficiary.
  2. Saving - premium will accumulate with interest till the date of maturity of the policy (age 100) the face value of the policy will be paid to the beneficiary.

Depending upon the manner of premium payments, whole life insurance contracts are classified as: straight life, limited pay and single pay policies.

A.  Straight life insurance

It is also called ordinary life insurance. Under this policy, premiums are to be paid at regular interval until the death of the insured or until the achievement of a specified age limit, say 100 years. Such policy gives permanent protection at the lower cost

B.  Limited pay life insurance

Under this insurance scheme, premiums are paid for a definite period of time which is determined in advance. That is for 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30, years or up to age 85. After the expiration of the specified time, the policy is said to be paid-up, which means that no more premiums are to be paid to keep the policy in force until the time of death of the insured at which time compensation amounting the face value of the initial policy is to be made to the insured’s beneficiary. This policy is desirable when one intends to stop payment of premiums after reaching a given age level, usually upon retirement, but wants to continue with the insurance protection till the end of his life. Since premiums are to be paid for a limited period, they are usually higher than those under the straight life policy. Similarly, the cash values under the limited whole life insurance are higher than the straight-line policy.

C.  Single payment life insurance

Here, premium payment is made in one lump sum at the time of purchase of the whole life insurance. In most cases, insurance buyers do not prefer this type of arrangement (mode of payment).


2.   Term life insurance

This insurance scheme provides compensation to the beneficiary if the insured dies within the stated period mentioned in the policy. If the insured survives beyond the specified time limit in the policy, the policy will expire and there will be no payment made by the insurer. Term life policy gives temporary protection and there is no saving element involved. Since the policy is taken for a specified period to deal with premature death, the cost of this policy is relatively low. It is a form of temporary life insurance.

This is the simplest and oldest form of assurance and provides for payment of the sum assured on death, provided death occurs within a specified term. Should the life assured survive to the end of the term then the cover ceases and no money is payable. Depending on the age of the life assured, this is a very cheap form of cover and would be suitable, for example, in the case of a young married man with medium to low income who wants to provide a reasonable sum for his wife in the event of his death.

Term policies do not provide the insured with loans, cash surrender or non-forfeiture options. Insurance coverage terminates at the end of the period unless it provides an option for conversion into other insurance schemes.

Term life policies can be single or level premium policy. Single premium policy requires the insured to pay premiums at the time the policy is purchased at lump sum while level premium requires the payment of equal amount of premiums at definite intervals. Most of the term policies are level premium. More appropriately, term contracts can be classified as: level term, renewable term or decreasing term.

A.  Level term policy

Level term policy provides a constant sum assured throughout the term of the policy. For example, under a 15-year term policy of birr 30,000, the amount of payment to the insured will be birr 30,000 if the insured dies at any time during the policy period. Level term policies can be convertible or nonconvertible.

   I.  Convertible term policy

Convertible term policy is a term policy that gives the policyholder the option to convert his term policy into the other types during the tenure of the term policy. No new evidence of insurability is required upon conversion. If conversion is not made, the policy lapses at the end of the term. The term contract can be converted into whole life or endowment insurance. Conversion may be effected using either the attained age at the time of conversion of the term policy or using the date of the initial term policy issued. In the case of the latter, premiums are calculated retroactively, and the insured would be required to make up the difference in premiums including interest, through lump-sum payment at the time of conversion. This is similar to term assurance but includes a clause in the contract which allows the life assured to convert the policy into an endowment or whole life contract at normal rates, without medical evidence. A young person can therefore purchase low-cost life cover and convert it into the more expensive types as his career progresses and he can afford more suitable contracts.

To eliminate anti-selection problem, the following requirements are expected upon conversion.

  1. There will not be an increase in the sum assured.
  2. The option will have to be exercised within a specified period.

   II.  Nonconvertible term policy

Under this scheme, the term policy cannot be converted into other forms of life insurance contracts. The policy terminates upon maturity. However, it could be renewable.


B.  Renewable term policy

This is a term life insurance which can be renewed upon expiration. No new evidence of insurability is required, but the premium charges are adjusted to reflect the standard premium at the attained age. Accordingly, yearly renewable term policies require renewal every year. Similarly, a 5-year term policy may be renewed upon its maturity. In most cases, group policies fail under this category.


C.  Decreasing term insurance

In a decreasing term insurance, the sum assured decreases periodically. These policies are usually issued to cover the outstanding claims (debts) of a creditor (debtor) in the event of accidental death of the debtor. The outstanding claims (debts) diminish periodically as installment payments are made by the debtor at regular intervals. In its basic form this is a type of decreasing term assurance, with the benefit on death paid out by installments every month or quarter. It is intended to replace the income which the life assured would have produced for his family if he or she were still alive.

In each case, under the basic term, decreasing term, convertible term, or family income policy, the benefit is only paid if the life assured dies within the term of the policy. It should be noted that all these types of policy can also be coupled with an endowment assurance. This is particularly true of decreasing term assurance, where the combination can be used in conjunction with a standing mortgage. In this case, the benefit will be paid on death within the policy period, or the endowment part only on survival to the end of the period.

This type of policies provides financial protection to the policyholder (creditor) and the family (dependants) of the debtor. The dependants of the insured are saved from raising funds or selling certain property in order to pay the outstanding loans.

Premiums for a decreasing term insurance are made in a lump-sum payment at the beginning (single payment).


3.  Endowment insurance

This policy provides payment if the insured manages to live till the end of the endowment period specified in the policy, or upon the death at the time during the term of the policy or whichever occurs first. The period of this policy is shorter than that for whole life insurance, and hence the premiums are higher than for the same age level. The shorter the endowment period the higher the premium. The sum assured is payable in the event of death within a specified period of, say 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. However, if the life assured survives until the end of this period (until the 'maturity date') the sum assured will also be paid. For a given level of cover, the endowment has the highest premium because the life assurance company is guaranteeing to pay out the sum assured at a given date, or before it if the person dies. The maturity date is usually no later than the date when the life assured will reach age 65.

The whole life assurance, mentioned earlier, will be slightly cheaper than a long-term endowment because the average policy will not become a claim by death until a person is in his or her seventies. The company has the premiums to invest for a longer period and can charge lower premiums. The shorter the term of an endowment policy, the more expensive per sum assured it becomes, since the company has fewer years in which to collect premiums.

Those buying houses can use endowment assurance. The assurance policy is taken out for the amount of the loan, or mortgage if a building society is involved, and written in such a way that the sum assured is payable to the lender or society. The borrower then pays the interest and the premium. At the end of the term of the loan, the endowment policy matures and repays the amount borrowed (the capital sum) to the lender. In the event of the borrower dying prior to the end of the repayment period, the interest to date will have been paid and the endowment policy will payout to repay the capital sum.

This can be an expensive method of protecting a loan for house purchase, and therefore many building societies accept modifications involving convertible or decreasing term and endowment combinations, which are considerably less expensive, but still provide the same security.

In addition to the above-indicated types of life insurance contracts, the following can also be considered.


4.  Group life assurances

Employers sometimes arrange special terms for life assurance for their employees, with the sum assured being payable in the event of death of an employee during his term of service with the employer. Membership of the scheme is open to all employees working on the inception date, or the anniversary date in future years.

One policy is issued to the firm and each employee is given a certificate of membership. Many people wish to make special arrangements for their children, and two common schemes are the child's deferred assurance and the school fees policy.

Under a child's deferred assurance, a policy is effected on the life of a parent with an 'option' date normally coinciding with the child's eighteenth birthday. Should the parent survive until the option date, the child has the option of continuing the policy in his own name from then on, as either an endowment or whole life. The policy can be continued without further medical examination and this can be extremely important where a child has contracted an illness which would otherwise make effecting a policy difficult or extremely expensive. Alternatively, a lump sum can be taken at the option date rather than continue cover. In the event of the parent dying before the option date the policy is continued, with out payment of premiums, until the option date. Should the child die before the stated age, the premiums can be returned to the parent or the policy is continued.


5.   Insured pension schemes

These schemes provide a variety of benefits for members, but their main aim is to ensure that some form of pension is available on retirement. Life assurance companies perform a vital role in running pension schemes. Those constructing a scheme may approach a company to:

  • organize the whole scheme, receive premium contributions, invest the funds and administer the pensions;
  • manage the fund of a pension scheme; or
  • provide life assurance benefits for widows of scheme members who die before retirement or widowers.

Many employers' pension schemes are insured by means of group or master policies issued to the employer or to the trustees of the scheme. These provide retirement pensions and other benefits in respect of the employees who are eligible for the scheme, usually related to their service and salary.

A record-keeping and administration service is usually provided in association with the issue of the policy. The contract may be based on one of the types of policy used in ordinary life assurance, for example endowment assurances, or annuities (as described later), or it may be specially devised for the purpose. The extent to which there is a transfer of risk varies considerably, and in some cases the main emphasis is on the provision of an investment service by the insurance company.

In association with the provision of retirement benefits, policies are usually issued insuring death in service benefits for those employees who do not reach retirement age. These may be in the form of group life assurance, as described earlier, or of widows' pensions.


6. Annuities                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Certain of the assurances mentioned above have had the aim of ensuring an income of one form or another. An annuity is a method by which a person can receive a yearly sum in return for the payment to an insurance company of a sum of money. This is not life assurance as we have described it, but it is dealt with by life assurance companies and is based on actuarial principles.

When a person has a reasonably large sum of money and wants to provide an income for himself after he retires, or at some other time, he can approach a life assurance company and purchase an annuity. The annuity may start at once, an immediate annuity, also sometimes called annuity due, or may start at some date in the future, a deferred annuity. Regardless of when it starts it can take various forms. It may provide an annuity for the life of the person, the annuitant, or it may be payable irrespective of death for a certain period, as in the case of the annuity certain. The guaranteed annuity is similar in that it provides the annuity for a guaranteed period or until the annuitant dies, whichever is later. The reversionary annuity provides for payment to the annuitant, say the wife, on the death of another named person, say the husband. The joint and last survivor annuity is payable while two people, husband and wife, are alive and on the death of one will continue at the same or smaller rate on the life of the survivor.   Life Insurance Premium Calculations

Dear student, before any extended discussion on life insurance premium calculation, it seems quite logical for you to know about the types of premiums available in life insurance. To this effect, we have mentioned two types of life insurance premiums.

  1. Net premium. The determination of net premium considers only the mortality rate and rate of interest. It ignores operating costs charged by the insurer. N.B. Net premium provides the insurer only with the amount of money required to pay death claims. The net premium to be paid could be single or level premium. Net single premium is the net premium to be paid as a single sum at the beginning of the contract while a net level premium is a premium charge that doesn't change from year to year throughout the term of the policy.
  2. Gross Premium. The insurer's costs of operating the business are added to the net premium, which is called loading.  Loading is the act of adding costs of running business to the net premium costs including operating expenses, commissions, advertisement expenses, etc.


   3.7.2.  Non life Insurance

As insurance has developed, the various types of cover have been grouped into several classes, which have come about by practice within insurance company offices, and by the influence of legislation controlling the financial aspects of transacting insurance. Insurance offices are generally split up into departments or sections, each of which will deal with types of risk, which have an affiliation with each other. There is a very wide variety in the way in which companies organize their business, but the following divisions are not unusual:

  • Fire, including business interruption; 

  • Accident, including theft, all risks, goods in transit, glass, money, credit, fidelity
  • Liability, including employers' liability, public liability, products and professional indemnity;
  • Motor; engineering; marine and aviation; life and pensions.

A discussion on the above non life insurance will be made as follows;

   Personal Accident Insurance

This type of cover is devised to compensate the insured that is temporarily or totally disabled from engaging in his usual occupation due to sickness. Personal accident and sickness policies are renewable annually and, if a claim has occurred, which could be of a recurring nature, the cover may be restricted at renewal or in severe cases renewal may not be offered. Permanent Health Insurance

This type of cover has been devised to overcome the limitation of the personal accident and sickness policies. It provides benefits for those who are disabled for longer periods or who, due to accident or illness, have to change to a lower paid occupation. It may also be called long term disability insurance.

It is usual to arrange cover to exclude the first month, six months or twelve months of disablement with appropriate discounts in the premium rates, since many people will receive a substantial part of their salaries for a certain period when off-work. Cover cannot continue beyond age 65 and in order to save premium some people elect for cover to cease at age 55 or 60. The maximum benefit payable is usually 66 per cent or 75 per cent of earnings, less any other disability benefits payable.

The intention of the basic policy is to provide compensation in the event of an accident causing death or injury. What are termed capital sums are paid in the event of death or certain specified injuries, such as the loss of limbs or sight as may be defined in the policy.

The policy is usually extended to include a weekly benefit for up to 104 weeks, or compensation if the insured is temporarily totally disabled due to an accident and a reduced weekly benefit if he is temporarily only partially disabled from carrying out his normal duties. In the event of permanent total disablement (other than loss of eyes or limbs) an annuity is paid.

In addition to the purchase of personal accident insurance by individuals, it is also possible for companies to arrange coverage on behalf of their employees and many organizations arrange 'group schemes' to this end. Motor Insurance

The minimum requirement by law is to provide insurance in respect of legal liability to pay damages arising out of injury caused to any person. Policies with various levels of cover are available:

  • Third party only: provides cover in respect of liability incurred through death or injury to a third party, or damage to third party property.
  • Third party, fire and theft: provides cover as above and in addition includes cover for damage to the vehicle from fire or theft.
  • Comprehensive: provides cover as above and in addition including cover for accidental loss of, or damage to, the vehicle itself. This is the most common form of policy.

Private car insurance applies to private cars used for social and domestic purposes and/or business purposes. Comprehensive policies issued to individuals also include personal accident benefits for the insured and spouse, medical expenses and loss of, or damage to, rugs, clothing and personal effects.

Vehicles used for commercial purposes (including lorries, taxis, vans, hire cars, milk floats and police cars) are not insured under private car policies, but under special contracts known as commercial vehicle policies.

Separate cover is available for motorcycles. The type of policy depends upon the machine, whether it is a moped or a high-powered motorcycle, and on the age and experience of the cyclist. The cover is comparatively inexpensive relative to motorcar insurance.

Special policies are offered to garages and other people within the motor trade, to ensure that their liability is covered while using vehicles on the road. Damage to vehicles in garages and showrooms can also be included under such policies.

In addition to private cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles, there are a number of vehicles which fall into a category known to insurers as 'special types'. These will include forklift trucks, mobile cranes, bulldozers and excavators. Such vehicles may travel on roads as well as building sites and other private ground. Where these vehicles are not used on roads and are transported from site to site, it is more appropriate to insure the liability under a public liability policy, since the vehicle is really being used as a 'tool of trade' rather than a motor vehicle and include fire, theft, collision and a wide range of other perils. Marine and Transport Insurance

I.  Marine cargo

Marine policies relate to three areas of risk: the hull, cargo and freight. While hull and cargo are self explanatory, the word freight may not be: it is the sum paid for transporting goods, or for the hire of a ship. When goods are lost by marine perils then freight, or part of it, is lost; hence the need for cover.

The risks against which these items are normally insured are collectively termed 'perils of the sea' Cargo is usually insured on a warehouse (of departure) to warehouse (of arrival) basis and frequently covering all risks.  Terms of sale and conditions of carriage have important implications for cargo insurers where goods may change ownership and pass through the hands of more than one shipper or haulier. It is vitally important in cargo insurance to establish who is responsible for the insurance cover and to work out when the risk passes from the consignor to the consignee.

Insurers often rely on inadequate packing/loading to modify claims under cargo covers. Where appropriate insurers will pay claims and then seek recoveries from carriers.


II. Marine liabilities

The custom has been to provide insurance for three-quarters of the ship owner’s liability for collisions at sea under a marine policy. The remaining quarter, and all other forms of liability, are catered for by associations set up for the purpose by ship owners and known as Protecting and Indemnity Clubs (P and I clubs). It should be noted that the P and I clubs can now insure hull and machinery as well as liabilities.


III. Aviation insurance

The use of aircraft as a means of transport is increasing each year and because of the specialist and technical nature of the risks associated with it, plus the high potential cost of accidents, all aviation risks, from component parts to complete jumbo jets, are insured in the aviation insurance market.

Most policies are issued on an 'all risks' basis, subject to certain restrictions. The buyers of these policies include the large commercial airlines, corporate aircraft owners, private owners and flying clubs. Usually a comprehensive policy is issued covering the aircraft itself (the hull), the liabilities to passengers and the liabilities to others.

Liability for accidents to passengers is governed by a maze of international agreements and national laws around the world. The main ones are the Warsaw Convention 1929, which made signatories liable to passengers without negligence, subject to certain maximum amounts, and the Hague Protocol 1955, which raised some of these limits. The national laws may place higher limits on domestic flights. For domestic flights within the UK the provisions of the Carriage by Air Act 1961 apply together with Orders made under it. You will find reference to limits of liability in the small print, which forms part of the standard airline ticket.

The position has been made more complex by some governments imposing on their national airlines increased limits of liability, which do not have worldwide approval. Although the appropriate rules for calculation of legal liability are normally determined by reference to the country at point of departure and the country of destination recorded on the ticket, an airline disaster may produce claims from passengers of many nationalities.

It is interesting to note that in Goldman v. Thai Airlines International (1981), it was held that the limits did not apply when the aircrews were 'reckless' in flying the aircraft. In the aftermath of the Lockerbie disaster, there have been a number of attempts at securing much higher compensation than the agreements laid down. Some claims have been settled for higher amounts, especially when the limits have appeared low in relation to the earning capacity of the passenger.

There have been unsuccessful efforts to increase the Warsaw/Hague limits. Change will only be piecemeal without the support of the major airline operating countries, notably the United States of America.

The two international agreements also place limits on liability for goods carried by air. Unless of special risk or value, cargo is usually insured 'all risks' in the marine or general markets rather than in the aviation market. Other groups of persons requiring aviation liability cover are aircraft and aircraft component manufacturers, and airport authorities. Fire and Other Property Damage Insurance

There are a number of different ways in which property can be damaged. One needs only to think of a small factory unit to imagine all that can be damaged and all the ways in which damage can be sustained. Fire and theft probably come to mind first, but then there are very many different forms of accidental damages.

I.  Fire Insurance

In most commercial policies the insured will require cover for buildings, machinery and plant, and stock. These are the three main headings under which property is insured and in some cases a list of such items can run to many pages, depending upon the size of the insured company.

In addition to these areas it may be necessary to arrange cover for property while it is still being built, that is buildings in course of erection, but this form of cover is gradually giving way to a policy known as 'contractors all risks' which will be discussed later.

A standard fire policy is used for almost all business insurances, with Lloyd's of London also issuing a standard fire policy that is slightly different in its wording. The basic intention of the fire policy is to provide compensation to the insured person in the event of there being damage to the property insured. It is not possible, in the commercial world, to issue a policy that will provide compensation regardless of how the damage occurs. The insurance companies, the insurers, have to know which perils they are insuring against.

The standard fire policy covers damage to property caused by fire, lightning or explosion, where this explosion is brought about by gas or boilers not used for any industrial purpose.

This is limited in its scope because property can be damaged in other ways and, to meet this need, a number of extra perils (known as special perils) can be added on to the basic policy. These perils are:

  • Storm, tempest or flood;
  • Burst pipes;
  • Earthquake;
  • Aircraft;
  • Riot, civil commotion;
  • Malicious damage;
  • Explosion;
  • Impact.

It is important to remember that these additional perils must result in damage to the property, and it is as well to precede each by saying 'damage to the property caused by special peril element'.


II. Theft insurance

Theft policies have the same aim as the standard fire policy, in that they intend to provide compensation to the insured in the event of loss of the property insured.

The property to be insured, for a commercial venture, will be the same as under the fire policy, of course except for the buildings. The theft policy will, in addition, show a more detailed definition of the stock. The reason for this is that fire is indiscriminate, whereas a thief is not, so the insurers charge more for stock which is attractive to thieves.

The law has its own definition for theft having an impact on insurance companies, as it defined the term 'theft'. The legal definition was wider than that which the companies were prepared to offer, especially for business premises, because the definition did not mention any need for there to be force and violence in committing a theft. This meant that shoplifting, for example, was 'theft' and this kind of risk had traditionally been uninsurable. To remedy the problem, insurance companies included in their policies a phrase to the effect that theft, within the meaning of the policy, was to include force and violence either in breaking into or out of the premises of the insured. Comprehensive Insurances

A step on from issuing combined policies, which is only the combination of separate policies within the one folder, is the comprehensive policy. This form of insurance represents a widening in the scope of cover. It is also sometimes called a 'package' policy and is an attempt by insurers to have a single policy section detailing the policy cover, exclusions and conditions. For example, the household comprehensive policy covers the basic perils mentioned above and also includes cover against damage caused by collapse of television aerials, leakage of central heating oil, the breakage of underground water pipes, sanitary fittings and many more risks.

This widening of scope of the perils insured has been accompanied by alterations in the basic method of providing cover, so that today it is possible to arrange a household comprehensive policy which provides cover against damage caused by almost any event and with the amount being paid representing what it will actually cost to replace the damaged property.

This widening in cover has not been without its problems and many insurers have experienced large losses on their household insurance business, as a result of which substantial increases in premiums have been introduced.

Comprehensive policies are also available for offices and shops, where cover is provided as a package. This is an efficient and relatively inexpensive way of providing cover for small offices and shops.


3.8 Limitation of Insurance

In our daily lives, we all face problems that are risky. People know there is always a risk that some times may include very dangerous results in a future period. To deal with various kinds of risks, people may purchase insurance policies. However, insurance is not a cure for all ills. This is because the scope of insurance is limited due to the following points.

General Limitations

Every insurance policy is constrained by the following limitations.

Limitation By Pecuniary value. Loss or damage covered by insurance must be capable of being expressed in the terms of pecuniary payment. An article may have little commercial value but may be highly priced by its owner for certain associations. Such peculiar personal value is not capable of being expressed in pecuniary terms and compensation in money isn't feasible.

Limitation by law. A person cannot insure against the consequences accorded to him of his own deliberate act. A Murderer who had effected an insurance on the life of his victim could not himself collect the money.

  1. Limitation by insurable interest. There must be an insurable interest to be protected, where there is no insurable interest, the agreement between the parties is nothing more than a waiver. Although a waiver is legal, courts don't enforce it, and it is illegal when it is done by cloak of insurance.
  2. Limitation by insufficiency of knowledge. There are certain risks that insurance companies will not undertake. Perhaps the most important of these risks is the risk of loss of profit through market fluctuations in prices and alterations in cost of production, i.e. trade risk. The loss of profit by reasons of market fluctuations is certainly capable of being expressed in pecuniary terms.
  3. Limitations by public policy. Certain risks can't be insured because to do so would be against public policy. Public policy refers to those recognized by responsible authorities as controlling the relationships between men and women in the country.


These five considerations limit the scope of insurance whether it is life insurance, car insurance, marine insurance or any other insurance. In speaking of limitations, every insurance policy has its own limitations. The limits of each type of insurance polices are identified as follows.


II. Limitations By Policy

a. Personal Accident Policy. This insurance coverage is for a person who is insured from many perils like death, disability, chance of survival to a specified age, accidents etc. The part that this policy doesn't cover is death or disablement consequent up on:

  • War, civil war rebellion, revolution, insurrection, mutiny, martial law, invasion act by foreignness hostilities. Naval, military or air force service operations. Hunting, race driving, winter sport
  • Suicide, attempted suicide or intentional self injury
  • Child birth or pregnancy in women
  • The insured suffering from any pre existing physical defect or infirmity
  • The insured being in / entering into / alighting of / falling from aircrafts that aren't fully licensed.

The insurance company in order to take responsibility must see some conditions first. These conditions are:

  • Notice in writing of any accident occurring to the insured during the occurrence with full particulars of the injuries must be given to the insurer as soon as possible. In no condition will the insurer be liable to pay compensation to the insured or to his representatives unless the medical advisor appointed by the insurer examine the insured or the event of death.
  • Under no circumstances will the insurer be liable for any claims unless notice has been of be received with in a specified period of time after the occurrence of the accident.

b. Work Men's compensation policy. This insurance is purchased by industrialists to secure their personnel. This insurance covers loss to workers while working in the factory, losses might be death, disability, sickness and diseases due to work area conditions and from the work itself. The Ethiopian law forces employers to pay compensation for losses incurred on their workers caused due to working conditions. However, the insurer will not be liable to the following conditions.

  • Any accident or occupational disease resulting from any contravention of regulation to which the workers attention has been specially drawn to in writing.
  • Any sum which the insured would have been entitled to recover from any party but for an agreement between the insured and such party.
  • Any liability directly/indirectly caused by intentional self injury, suicide or attempted suicide, provoked assault
  • While traveling in any air craft except a fair paying passenger over established air lines routes in a fully standard type aircraft owned by recognized air transport. In this policy, permanent disabilities are first determined by their scale which shows their seriousness. The scale for permanent disablement is shown as follows.

c. Fire and lightening Policy

This insurance covers losses caused by fire and lightning. The losses are only property losses, this insurance doesn't cover items that can be covered by other insurance polices like life insurance for life. This policy doesn't cover the following aspects. Loss or damage to property occasioned by its own fermentation, natural heating, spontaneous combustion, or by its under going any heating or drilling process.

Loss or damage in consequence of the burning of property by order of any public authority or subterranean fire. Loss caused directly or indirectly by nuclear weapons’ material ionizing radiations, contamination by radio activity or waste from combustion of nuclear fuel. Loss caused by natural perils, invasion, war, mutiny, riots, strikes, martial law etc.

  • Loss occasioned by the burning of forests, bushes jungle, etc.
  • Loss occurring due to goods held in trust.

d. Commercial vehicle policy

This policy covers losses to vehicles. The losses that are not covered by this policy are losses arising out side the stated geographical area.

  • Wear and tear, depreciation of the vehicle, Mechanical or electrical break down.
  • Loss due to over-loading or strain
  • Loss due to racing, pace making and speed testing.
  • Loss caused due to driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drug.
  • Loss due to explosion.
  • Loss due to damage on any bridge or road caused by load of vehicle.
  • Loss due to damage on any bridge or road caused by load of vehicle.
  • Loss due to natural perils, war, invasion, mutiny strikes martial law, riots etc.

e. Private Vehicle Policy

This policy is the same as the commercial vehicle policy but only with additional perquisites. This policy in addition to the commercial vehicle polices doesn't cover:

  • Loss occurring in connection with bodily injury if the number of persons exceeds the sitting capacity.
  • Loss directly occasioned by aircrafts or other aerial factors while traveling at sonic/supersonic speeds.

f. Burglary and house breaking Policy

This policy covers losses from burglary and housebreaks. This policy doesn't cover the following losses.

  • Losses due to war, invasion, mutiny, riots, strikes, civil commotions, military / popular rising, insurrection rebellion and martial law.
  • Loss arising from ionizing radiations /contamination by radioactivity from any nuclear fuel / nuclear waste from combustion of nuclear fuel.
  • Loss caused by nuclear weapon material
  • Loss from material alteration with out consent from the firm.
  • Loss of property that can be insured under another policy unless otherwise specifically provided.

g. Consequential loss policy

This insurance covers buildings or any other property used for the purpose of business that is destroyed or damaged by fire, lighting or explosion (in a building in which gas is not generated). This policy does not cover loss occasioned by:-

  • burning of property by order of government authority subterranean fire
  • explosion except as stated
  • due to burning of forests, bush, prairie, pampas, jungle
  • clearing of lands by fire
  • nuclear weapons material ionizing radiations
  • natural perils, atmospheric disturbances
  • war, invasion, act of foreign enemy or war like operations.
  • Mutiny, riots, strikes, civil commotions, insurrection rebellion,
  • revolution, martial law, terrorism, the overthrow of government by force.

h. Money Policy

This policy covers the loss of money to the insured. Money means cash, bank notes, currency notes, checks (except crossed checks, postal orders, money orders, current postage and revenue stamps). This policy doesn't cover loss.

  • Direct or indirect war, invasion, hostilities, warlike operations, civil war, mutiny, riots, strikes civil commotions, military rising, insurrection, rebellion, martial law, terrorism, armed or unarmed robbery, overthrow of government by force.
  • Arising from dishonesty of any messenger.
  •  Shortage due to errors or omissions and loss due to depreciation in value.
  • Contributed by nuclear weapon material, ionizing radiation, and contamination by radioactivity from any nuclear fuel.
  • From an attend vehicle
  • Loss insured by any policy except with respect to any excess beyond the amount which would have been payable under such other policy, had this insurance not existed.

i. All Risk Policy

This policy covers any property or any part there of lost or damaged by accident or misfortune. This policy does not cover loss arising from moth, vermin, insects, wear and tear damp, mildew, light, atmospheric or climatic conditions or any other gradually operating cause. It also includes loss occasioned by cleaning, dyeing, alternation, repairing or restoring.

  • Damage to products due to their brittle or fragile nature unless thieves or fire causes such damage. Damage caused by over winding, mechanical or electrical breakdown.
  • Loss caused by order of government officials.
  • Loss to property dispatched by air or ship other than in which the insured is traveling         unless specially agreed up on by the corporation.
  • Loss due to theft or attempted theft by a relative of insured or by the willful act of the insured.
  • Loss due to warlike operations, civil war, strikes, mutiny, martial law, revolution, rebellion.
  • Loss not reported with in a specified period of time after occurrence.
  • Loss of plan specifications, blue prints, models, deeds, bonds, bills of exchange, promissory notes money securities and all legal documents.
  • Loss to any photographic equipment insured while being used for professional purposes.

There can be also limitations on the insurer's liability. The sum insured stipulated limit of the insures liability to the insured. There may also be a single article limit or limitation on the amount of revocable, in all, on items of special type. For example, the sum applicable to valuable items may be limited to one- third of the total sum insured under a household policy. If an item is specifically insured with a separate sum allocated there to, then that sum is the extent of the insured liability with respect to the item concerned. When the insurer instructs adjusters to deal with a claim, their fees are payable in addition to any payment to the insured.

Under some type of polices there may be different limits to the insurers’ liability under different section. Under most house hold policies on buildings, the sum insured is the limit of the amount revocable but loss of rent is usually payable in addition up to a certain percentage of the sum insured similarly, there is a separate public liability section with a limit of a specific amount on any accidents.

Public liability policies as a rule contain a limit of liability for any one occurrence, but legal costs and expenses are payable in addition to that limit. Occasionally, the indemnity is unlimited in amount and this is always so under employers liability policies.

Another factor affecting the limitations of the insurers liability is the use of average. The application of average is a means where by insurers seek to defeat under insurance its effect to make the insured his own insurer to some extent when "under insurance " exists. The insurer will only pay the proportion of the loss that the sum insured bears to the total volume of the property insured.

From the point of the insurance supervision, the most critical challenge is how to prevent insolvency of insurance companies. Insolvency in insurance business is not a sudden phenomenon, rather, the impairment takes place gradually. The ultimate disaster of insolvency can be averted through timely corrective actions.



A number of important features have been introduced in this unit. The functions of insurance, the benefits to the individual and the economy, a brief account of the historical development of insurance and a description of the main classes of insurance currently known have all been covered. This is a lot of material to cover, but it is an essential groundwork for anyone who intends to make a serious study of insurance.



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