guide to insurance

A Beginner's Guide to Insurance

To have a proper financial planning, it is crucial to get the right type of insurance. Some may have some form of insurance, only a few truly understand what it is or why they should possess it. For most people, insurance is a form of investment or an excellent means of tax savings. When you inquire from a average person about their investments, they will be glad to mention an insurance product as part of their major investment. Among the about 5% of people who are insured, the proportion of them who are very well insured is very low. A few policyholders think that insurance is just that alone. Probably no other financial product has seen such rampant fraudulent selling by agents overly eager to sell products that link insurance to investment, so as to earn huge commissions.

What is insurance?

Insurance is a method of dividing a tangible amount of financial risk from a single person or business concern to a large group of persons or business entities in the event of a predetermined unfortunate event. Insurance cost is the monthly or yearly compensation paid to an insurance firm. For insurance in its purest form, if an expected event does not take place until the specified period, the money paid as compensation will not be refunded. Insurance is an effective way to distribute risks among a group of insured persons and reduce the financial burden on them should a shock occur.

The Insurer and the insured

When you seek financial risk protection and contract with an insurance provider, the insurance company becomes your insurer and you become the insured.

Also Read: What type of life insurance policy should you get?

Reasons why you should purchase life Insurance

Sum assured

In life insurance, this is the amount of money the insurance company agrees to pay at the death of an insured before the predetermined time. This does not include additional bonuses in the case of non-temporary insurance. This amount guaranteed may be called insurance coverage in non-life insurance.


To protect against financial risks offered by the insurance company, the insured must pay a compensation referred to as premium. It can be paid quarterly, annually, monthly or as stipulated in the contract. The total amount of premiums paid is several times less than the insurance coverage or it will not make sense to ask for insurance. The factors that determine the premium are coverage, age of the insured (natural person, vehicle, etc.), and number of years for which insurance is required, to mention but a few.


The nominee is the beneficiary designated by the insured to receive the sum assured and other benefits, if any. In the case of life insurance, it must be someone other than the insured.


Some insurance policies may provide additional features as extras in addition to the actual coverage. It can be used by paying additional installments. If these features are purchased separately, they will be exorbitant. For example, with your life insurance you can add a personal accident rider.

Policy Term:

The term of the policy is the number of years you want protection for. The term is determined by the insured at the time of buying the insurance policy.

Paid-up Value and Surrender Value

If you want to leave a policy before the expiration of its term, you can stop it and get your money back. The amount the insurance company will pay you in this case is called the surrender value. The policy no longer exists. Alternatively, if you stop paying the premiums halfway through but don't withdraw the funds, the amount will be called as paid. At the end of the term, the insurance company pays you in proportion to the amount paid.

Now that you know the terminology, in plain English, this is how insurance works. The insurance company collects premiums for a large group of people who wants insurance against a certain type of losses. With the assistance of its actuaries, the company performs a statistical analysis of the possibility of an actual loss occurring in a certain number of people and determines the premiums taking into account other factors, as mentioned above. It is based on the fact that it is not every policyholder that will suffer losses at the same time and many of them may not suffer a loss at all during the time of the contract.

Whatever risks that can be quantified in terms of money is likely to be insured. In order to keep your loved ones safe from losing money because of a premature death, you can take out a life insurance policy. You can opt for a Mediclaim policy to protect yourself and your family from unexpected medical bills.


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