Insurance is another important subsector of the financial services industry. Insurance services are available for protection against death or injury (e.g., life insurance, disability income insurance, health insurance), against property loss or damage (e.g., homeowners’ insurance, car insurance), or against liability or lawsuit.
In the United States, an insurance agent differs from a broker. The former is a representative of the insurance carrier, while the latter represents the insured and shops around for insurance policies. This is also the realm of the underwriter, who assesses the risk of insuring clients and also advises investment bankers on loan risk. Reinsurers are in the business of selling insurance to the insurers themselves to help protect them from catastrophic losses.
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.
FINANCIAL SERVICES can be defined as the products and services offered by institutions like banks of various kinds for the facilitation of various financial transactions and other related activities in the world of finance like loans, insurance, credit cards, investment opportunities and money management as well as providing information on the stock market and other issues like market trends.
Banks earn revenue primarily on the difference in the interest rates charged for credit accounts and the rates paid to depositors. Financial services like these primarily earn revenue through fees, commissions, and other methods like the spread on interest rates between loans and deposits.
HOW INSURANCE WORKS
There is a multitude of different types of insurance policies available, and virtually any individual or business can find an insurance company willing to insure them—for a price. The most common types of personal insurance policies are auto, health, homeowners, and life. Most individuals in the United States have at least one of these types of insurance, and car insurance is required by law.
INSURANCE POLICY COMPONENTS
When choosing a policy, it is important to understand how insurance works.
A firm understanding of these concepts goes a long way in helping you choose the policy that best suits your needs. For instance, whole life insurance may or may not be the right type of life insurance for you. There are three components of any type of insurance (premium, policy limit, and deductible) that are crucial.
A policy's premium is its price, typically expressed as a monthly cost. The premium is determined by the insurer based on your or your business's risk profile, which may include creditworthiness.
For example, if you own several expensive automobiles and have a history of reckless driving, you will likely pay more for an auto policy than someone with a single mid-range sedan and a perfect driving record. However, different insurers may charge different premiums for similar policies. So finding the price that is right for you requires some legwork.
The policy limit is the maximum amount an insurer will pay under a policy for a covered loss. Maximums may be set per period (e.g., annual or policy term), per loss or injury, or over the life of the policy, also known as the lifetime maximum.
Typically, higher limits carry higher premiums. For a general life insurance policy, the maximum amount the insurer will pay is referred to as the face value, which is the amount paid to a beneficiary upon the death of the insured.
POLICY LIMIT DEDUCTIBLE
The deductible is a specific amount the policyholder must pay out-of-pocket before the insurer pays a claim. Deductibles serve as deterrents to large volumes of small and insignificant claims.
Deductibles can apply per-policy or per-claim depending on the insurer and the type of policy. Policies with very high deductibles are typically less expensive because the high out-of-pocket expense generally results in fewer small claims.
With regard to health insurance, 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, less expensive access to medical care throughout the year may be worth the trade-off.