In 2019, the United States insurance industry’s net premiums equaled to approximately $1.32 trillion. As an industry, insurance permeates virtually every aspect of our lives. It may be used to cover damaged property, a lawsuit, illness, accident, business interruption, or premature death. Despite its pervasive role within American society, what is “insurance” exactly? The insurance sector is made up of countless parties, including insurance companies, individuals who develop and create insurance policies, and individuals who sell, administrate, and regulate these respective policies. These insurance companies offer insurance contracts as a form of risk management. Generally, these insurance contracts state that the insurer will guarantee payment for an uncertain future mishap. In turn, the policyholder pays a small premium to the insurer, for the insurer’s protection, in the event that an uncertain future mishap transpires.
At its core, insurance’s goal is to manage risk for both the insurance company and its policyholders. Insurance companies generally ensure that they collect enough capital in premiums, which is then used to help offset a customer’s claim while still maintaining a fair profit margin. Continue reading to learn more about the insurance sector.
What Are The Different Types of Insurance Companies?
As previously touched on, insurance policies can be used to cover a wide range of uncertain future mishaps. The majority of people in the United States hold at least one of these types of insurance policies. Furthermore, if a person operates a motor vehicle in the United States, they are required to have a car insurance policy by law. The types of insurance companies can be divided into several categories, including:
1. Life insurance or personal insurance
Simply put, life insurance insures the life of a human being. The insurance company will pay a fixed amount of insurance at the time of the policyholder’s death or at the expiry of a certain period. Life insurance can provide a safety net to the policyholder’s family, in the event of the policyholder’s premature death. In the latter scenario of a payout at the end of the expiry period, life insurance provides the policyholder with a sufficient amount at their older age, when their wage-earning abilities might be reduced. Personal insurance is made at the time of the accident. Comparable to life insurance, personal insurance is viewed as an “investment,” in the sense that it serves as a safety net to the family at the time of death or as a payout to the policyholder at the expiry period.
2. Property insurance
Property insurance policies cover against accidents of non-physical harm, such as lawsuits, damage to personal assets, car crashes, fire or marine perils, and theft of property or goods.
3. Marine insurance
While more common in certain areas than others, marine insurance protects against the loss of marine perils. Marine perils may include collision with a rock or ship, capture by pirates, or fire. These “perils” could potentially lead to damage, destruction, or disappearance of the ship and cargo, or non-payment of freight. Marine insurance is most commonly used to insure ships, cargo, and freight.
4. Fire insurance
As its name defines, fire insurance insures against fires. In the traditional notion, this will include any losses, such as property damage, arising from the fire. However, fire insurance may also extend to include consequential losses, such as war risk or riots.
5. Liability insurance
Liability insurance most often appears in the form of fidelity insurance, car insurance, and machine insurance. Policyholders are typically held liable for compensating any property damage or the “loss of persona.” Loss of persona refers to injury or death.
6. Guarantee insurance
Guarantee insurance covers the loss that arises from dishonesty, disappearance, or disloyalty of the employees or a second party. It should be noted that the second party MUST be a party in the insurance contract. One of the most common types of guarantee insurance is export insurance. Here, the insurer compensates the loss, if the importers fail to pay their debt.
7. Social insurance
Social insurance protects the “weaker” segments of society who cannot afford sufficient insurance premiums. This includes pension plans, disability benefits, unemployment benefits, sickness insurance, and industrial insurance.
Although an insurer may hold a policy, they must file a claim before reaping the benefits of their policy. While some policies may be straightforward and easy to understand, more often than not, the claims process is complicated and arduous. A Hope Public Adjuster helps expedite an insurer’s claims process, collecting any pertinent evidence, filling out the required paperwork, and obtaining the adequate compensation that a policyholder is entitled to. Having the necessary insurance policy is the first step. By utilizing the well-versed expertise of a public adjuster, an insurer can fully capitalize on their policy.
What Is The Difference Between A Stock And Mutual Insurance Company?
Insurance companies are typically classified as either stock or mutual. Their classification is contingent on the ownership structure of their business. It should be noted that there are some exceptions to this general structure rule, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield. A stock insurance company is a corporation owned by shareholders. In these structures, the main goal is to make a profit for its shareholders. Additionally, these companies must meet the basic requirements of corporations and must obtain approval from state regulators. On the other hand, mutual insurance companies are corporations owned by policyholders. Generally, the company’s operations are to benefit policyholders.
What Are The Different Types Of Financial Products Insurance Can Offer?
Insurance plans have traditionally been the top product of the insurance sector. However, recent trends have shown a growth in corporate pension plans to businesses and annuities to retirees. Corporate pension plans provide income in retirement. The income is contingent on the employee’s length of service at the company and salary history. Annuities have become particularly attractive with retirees since they pay out a fixed stream of payments at a time when these individuals are no longer earning. As a result, insurance companies are now in direct competition with traditional financial asset providers. In the past, the insurance sector was viewed as a risk management entity. Today, the insurance sector offers a wide range of services, from its traditional protection products to its full-service financial advisory, which includes investments, financial planning, and retirement planning. The insurance sector still holds onto its risk management core, while continuing to innovate and expand into financial advisory.