Types of Insurance
Types of Insurance
Any risk that can be quantified probably has a type of insurance to protect it. Among the different types of insurance are:
- Automobile insurance, also known as auto insurance, car insurance and in the UK as motor insurance, is probably the most common form of insurance and may cover both legal liability claims against the driver and loss of or damage to the vehicle itself. Over most of the United States purchasing an auto insurance policy is required to legally operate a motor vehicle on public roads. Recommendations for which policy limits should be used are specified in a number of books. In some jurisdictions, bodily injury compensation for automobile accident victims has been changed to No Fault systems, which reduce or eliminate the ability to sue for compensation but provide automatic eligibility for benefits.
- Boiler insurance (also known as Boiler and Machinery insurance or Equipment Breakdown Insurance)
- Casualty insurance insures against accidents, not necessarily tied to any specific property.
- Credit insurance pays some or all of a loan back when certain things happen to the borrower such as unemployment, disability, or death.
- Financial loss insurance protects individuals and companies against various financial risks. For example, a business might purchase cover to protect it from loss of sales if a fire in a factory prevented it from carrying out its business for a time. Insurance might also cover failure of a creditor to pay money it owes to the insured. Fidelity bonds and surety bonds are included in this category.
- Health insurance covers medical bills incurred because of sickness or accidents.
- Liability insurance covers legal claims against the insured. For example, a homeowner's insurance policy provides the insured with protection in the event of a claim brought by someone who slips and falls on the property, and brings a lawsuit for her injuries. Similarly, a doctor may purchase liability insurance to cover any legal claims against him if his negligence (carelessness) in treating a patient caused the patient injury and/or monetary harm. The protection offered by a liability insurance policy is two-fold: a legal defense in the event of a lawsuit commenced against the policyholder, plus indemnification (payment on behalf of the insured) with respect to a settlement or court verdict.
- Life insurance provides a cash benefit to a decedent's family or other designated beneficiary, and may specifically provide for burial and other final expenses.
- Annuities provide a stream of payments and are generally classified as insurance because they are issued by insurance companies and regulated as insurance. Annuities and pensions that pay a benefit for life are sometimes regarded as insurance against the possibility that a retiree will outlive his or her financial resources. In that sense, they are the complement of life insurance.
- Total permanent disability insurance provides benefits when a person is permanently disabled and can no longer work in their profession, often taken as an adjunct to life insurance.
- Locked Funds Insurance is a little known hybrid insurance policy jointly issued by governments and banks. It is used to protect public funds from tamper by unauthorised parties. In special cases, a government may authorize its use in protecting semi-private funds which are liable to tamper. Terms of this type of insurance are usually very strict. As such it is only used in extreme cases where maximum security of funds is required.
- Marine Insurance covers the loss or damage of goods at sea. Marine insurance typically compensates the owner of merchandise for losses sustained from fire, shipwreck, etc., but excludes losses that can be recovered from the carrier.
- Nuclear incident insurance - damages resulting from an incident involving radioactive materials is generally arranged at the national level. (For the United States, see Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act.)
- Political risk insurance can be taken out by businesses with operations in countries in which there is a risk that revolution or other political conditions will result in a loss.
- Professional Indemnity Insurance is normally a mandatory requirement for professional practitioners such as Architects, Lawyers, Doctors and Accountants to provide insurance cover against potential negligence claims. Non licensed professionals may also purchase malpractice insurance, it is commonly called Errors and Omissions Insurance and covers a service provider for claims made against them that arise out of the performance of specified professional services. For instance, a web site designer can obtain E&O insurance to cover them for certain claims made by third parties that arise out of negligent performance of web site development services.
- Property insurance provides protection against risks to property, such as fire, theft or weather damage. This includes specialized forms of insurance such as fire insurance, flood insurance, earthquake insurance, home insurance, inland marine insurance or boiler insurance.
- Terrorism insurance
- Title insurance provides a guarantee that title to real property is vested in the purchaser and/or mortgagee, free and clear of liens or encumbrances. It is usually issued in conjunction with a search of the public records done at the time of a real estate transaction.
- Travel insurance is an insurance cover taken by those who travel abroad, which covers certain losses such as medical expenses, lost of personal belongings, travel delay, personal liabilities.. etc.
- Workers' compensation insurance replaces all or part of a worker's wages lost and accompanying medical expense incurred due to a job-related injury.
A single policy may cover risks in one or more of the above categories. For example, car insurance would typically cover both property risk (covering the risk of theft or damage to the car) and liability risk (covering legal claims from say, causing an accident). A homeowner's insurance policy in the US typically includes property insurance covering damage to the home and the owner's belongings, liability insurance covering certain legal claims against the owner, and even a small amount of health insurance for medical expenses of guests who are injured on the owner's property.
Potential sources of risk that may give rise to claims are known as "perils". Examples of perils might be fire, theft, earthquake, hurricane and many other potential risks. An insurance policy will set out in details which perils are covered by the policy and which are not.
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