Life is full of uncertainties. The chances of occurrence of an event causing losses are quite uncertain. There are risks of death and disability for human life; fire and burglary risk for property; perils of the sea for shipment of goods and, so on. If any of these takes place. the individuals and/or organizations may suffer a great loss, sometimes beyond their capacities to bear the same. It is to minimize the impact of such uncertainties that there is a need for insurance.
Investment in factory buildings or heavy equipments or other assets is not possible unless there is arrangement for covering the risks, with the help of insurance. Keeping this in mind, people facing common risks come together and make small contributions to a common fund, which helps to spread the loss caused to an individual by a particular risk over a number of persons who are exposed to it.
Insurance is thus a device by which the loss likely to be caused by an uncertain event is spread over a number of persons who are exposed to it and who prepare to insure themselves against such an event. It is a contract or agreement under which one party agrees in return for a consideration to pay an agreed amount of money to another party to make a loss, damage or injury to something of value in which the insured has a pecuniary interest as a result of some uncertain event. The agreement/contract is put in writing and is known as ‘policy’. The person whose risk is insured is called ‘insured’ and the firm which Insures the risk of loss is known as insurer/ assurance underwriter.