Insurance is a contract, represented by a policy, in which an individual or entity receives financial protection or reimbursement against losses from an insurance company. The company pools clients risks to make payments more affordable for the insured.
Insurance policies are used to hedge against the risk of financial losses, both big and small, that may result from damage to the insured or her property, or from liability for damage or injury caused to a third party.
Insurance Policy Components
When choosing a policy, it is important to understand how insurance works. Two of the most important components of all insurance policies are the premium and the deductible. A firm understanding of these two concepts goes a long way to helping you choose the policy that is best for you. A policys premium is simply its price, typically expressed as a monthly cost. The premium is determined by the insurance company based on your, or your business, risk profile. For example, if you own several expensive automobiles and have a history of reckless driving, you pay more for an auto policy than someone with a single mid-range sedan and a perfect record. However, different insurers may charge different premiums for similar policies, so finding the price that is right for you requires some legwork. The second important policy component is the deductible. Whenever you make a claim, you are required to meet a minimum out-of-pocket expense, or deductible, before the insurance company pays for your losses. Deductibles can apply per-policy or per-claim depending on the insurer and the type of policy. Policies with very high deductibles are typically cheaper because the high out-of-pocket cost means insureds are less likely to make small claims. When it comes to health insurance, for example, people who have chronic health issues or need regular medical attention should look for policies with lower deductibles. Though the annual premium is higher than a comparable policy with a higher deductible, cheaper access to medical care throughout the year may be worth the trade-off.