What is an Insurance Market?
An insurance market simply means the buying and selling of insurance and includes the entities involved in the process as well as customers.
Insurance companies sell contracts that provide risk management to buyers.
The insurance buyer, or policyholder, pays the insurance company a premium in return for financial protection from a potential unfavorable event in the future. The insurance market is suitable for investors who prefer safety and gradual growth.
How are insurance companies structured?
With a few exceptions, insurance companies are categorized as either a mutual or stock ownership. In a mutual ownership structure, the policyholders are the owners of the company. They can vote on board meetings and are known as contractual creditors.
In a stock ownership structure, policyholders aren’t responsible for the company’s losses or profits and are not the owners. Instead, the company is owned by stockholders. To become a stock insurance company, companies must get permission from state regulators. Stock insurance companies can be privately or publicly owned.
What are the different types of insurance?
While the term “insurance market” covers a broad range of transactions, there are several different types of insurance.
Life insurance is intended for when a policy holder passes away. It covers costs like funeral planning and estate settling, and the purpose of it is to lessen the financial cost to the surviving family members.
- Health insurance is provided to cover or partially cover expenses like surgeries, hospital visits, medications, and doctor visits.
- Drivers are required to have car insurance, which covers them in the event of an accident or theft. Auto insurance companies cover things like physical injuries and vehicle damage.
- Homeowners and renters need insurance to protect them from accidental fires, natural disasters, and property damage.
- Travel insurance companies protect people from accidents, lost luggage, and trip cancellations.
- Companies also sell other types like pet insurance and flood insurance.
Umbrella insurance is intended for people who are already insured but who may not be financially protected as much as they’d like. If they’re sued for more than their existing policy covers, umbrella insurance covers the rest.
How do insurance companies produce revenue?
One way insurance companies make money is when the amount in premiums received exceeds the amount in claims paid to policyholders. This is known as underwriting income.
Underwriting profitability is measured through ratios like expense ratio and loss ratio. Expense ratio is the percent of income from premiums that is used to cover expenses. Loss ratio is the percentage amount in claims paid compared to the percentage amount in earned premiums. Underwriting income is larger when these two ratios are lower.
Insurance companies also make money through investments into securities like mutual funds, properties, annuities, and treasury bonds.
An insurance market refers to the buying and selling of insurance and the entities involved in these transactions.
Insurance is a risk management contract aimed to protect policyholders from unforeseen future events. Conservative investors like the insurance sector because of its safety and steady growth.
A mutual insurance company is one that is owned by its policyholders. A stock insurance company is held by stockholders. Insurance types include life, health, auto, homeowner, renter, travel, pet, flood, and umbrella insurance.
Insurance companies make money through underwriting income. Their effectiveness can be measured using expense and loss ratios. Insurance companies also make money through investment income.