What does insurance do? Simply put, it pays the insured party when something happens that they are not responsible for. The insurance company takes this risk and in turn, collects premiums from many people. These premiums are saved in liquid assets to help pay for operations and claims. Ideally, the premiums collected by insurance companies are greater than their costs, so they can show the premiums as revenue. This earned premium is based on the period and duration of a policy.
The initial rate-making process includes analyzing the frequency and severity of insured perils and assessing the expected payouts. Insurance companies also gather historical loss data and compare the amount of premium they collect with their past losses. This is referred to as loss ratios and expense loads. The insurers use these data and indicators to create a risk-relative rating. In some cases, this rating may use multiple risk characteristics to determine a more accurate rate.
Another way to purchase insurance is through agents. Some agents are tied to a specific insurer, while others sell policies from multiple insurance companies. The difference between agents and brokers lies in the conflict of interest. Because agents work directly for an insurance company, they are likely to recommend policies that benefit the insurance company they represent. The difference between agents and brokers is that agents cannot provide as broad a selection as brokers. And because they are paid by commissions, insurance brokers are a conflict of interest.
Some insurance companies may decide to adjust their rates because the area they are charging is not a profitable one. Depending on the industry, a company may adjust their premiums based on a new actuarial study of the area. When this happens, the company must raise their rates to stay in business. This may result in more people seeking insurance from other companies in the area. The trick is to choose an insurance company that is willing to insure you based on risk factors specific to you.
Insurers use data from the Red Book and Blue Book to determine the value of a car. The Blue Book provides the book value of an automobile. Insurers use these books to determine the cost of insuring a car. The insurance premiums may be as much as several times what the insurer is expecting to recover in claims. The insurance premiums are only worthwhile if the protection offered is truly worth paying for. And that is not always the case.
Insurers have certain standards to satisfy when insuring a car or other property. First, an insurable loss must be pure. This means that it is the result of an event that merely involves an opportunity for a profit. An event with speculative components, such as a stolen identity, is not considered to be insurable. Hence, it is vital to understand the definitions of insuring terms and conditions.