Monday, November 26, 2012

What is Life Insurance?

Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money (the "benefits") upon the death of the insured person. Depending on the contract, other events such as terminal illness or critical illness may also trigger payment. The policy holder typically pays a premium, either regularly or as a lump sum. Other expenses (such as funeral expenses) are also sometimes included in the benefits.

The advantage for the policy owner is "peace of mind", in knowing that the death of the insured person will not result in financial hardship for loved ones and lenders.

Life policies are legal contracts and the terms of the contract describe the limitations of the insured events. Specific exclusions are often written into the contract to limit the liability of the insurer; common examples are claims relating to suicide, fraud, war, riot and civil commotion.

Insurance allows individuals, businesses and other entities to protect themselves against significant potential losses and financial hardship at a reasonably affordable rate. We say "significant" because if the potential loss is small, then it doesn't make sense to pay a premium to protect against the loss. After all, you would not pay a monthly premium to protect against a RM50 loss because this would not be considered a financial hardship for most. 

Insurance is appropriate when you want to protect against a significant monetary loss. Take life insurance as an example. If you are the primary breadwinner in your home, the loss of income that your family would experience as a result of our premature death is considered a significant loss and hardship that you should protect them against. 

It would be very difficult for your family to replace your income, so the monthly premiums ensure that if you die, your income will be replaced by the insured amount. The same principle applies to many other forms of insurance. If the potential loss will have a detrimental effect on the person or entity, insurance makes sense.

Insurance = Protection


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