Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of RISK MANAGMENT primarily used to HEDGE against the risk of a contingent, uncertain loss.
An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer, insurance company, or insurance carrier. A person or entity who buys insurance is known as an insured or policyholder. The insurance transaction involves the insured assuming a guaranteed and known relatively small loss in the form of payment to the insurer in exchange for the insurer’s promise to compensate the insured in the event of a covered loss. The loss may or may not be financial, but it must be reducible to financial terms, and must involve something in which the insured has an INSURABLE INTREST established by ownership, possession, or preexisting relationship.
The insured receives a CONTRACT called the INSURANCE POLICY which details the conditions and circumstances under which the insured will be financially compensated. The amount of money charged by the insurer to the insured for the coverage set forth in the insurance policy is called the premium. If the insured experiences a loss which is potentially covered by the insurance policy, the insured submits a claim to the insurer for processing by a CLAIMS ADJUSTER.
Methods for transferring or distributing risk were practiced by CHINESE and BABYLOANIUM traders as long ago as the3RD and 2ND MILLENNIA BC, respectively. Chinese merchants travelling treacherous river rapids would redistribute their wares across many vessels to limit the loss due to any single vessel’s capsizing. The Babylonians developed a system which was recorded in the At some point in the 1st millennium BC, the inhabitants of created the ‘. This allowed groups of merchants to pay to insure their goods being shipped together. The collected premiums would be used to reimburse any merchant whose goods were jettisoned during transport, whether to storm or sinkage.
Separate insurance contracts (i.e., insurance policies not bundled with loans or other kinds of contracts) were invented in in the 14th century, as were insurance pools backed by pledges of landed estates. The first known insurance contract dates from GENOA in 1347, and in the next century maritime insurance developed widely and premiums were intuitively varied with risks. These new insurance contracts allowed insurance to be separated from investment, a separation of roles that first proved useful in MARINE INSURANCE
If the Insured has a “reimbursement” policy, the insured can be required to pay for a loss and then be “reimbursed” by the insurance carrier for the loss and out of pocket costs including, with the permission of the insurer, claim expenses.
Under a “pay on behalf” policy, the insurance carrier would defend and pay a claim on behalf of the insured who would not be out of pocket for anything. Most modern liability insurance is written on the basis of “pay on behalf” language which enables the insurance carrier to manage and control the claim.