Insurance is an effective way of protection against financial loss due to sudden illness, injury or death. It’s a basic form of risk management, mainly utilized to mitigate the inherent risk of a unpredictable or contingent gain. For many people, insurance is an irreplaceable part of their financial planning. While this is true for most people, it’s also the case that for some people, the right insurance policy can actually work against your financial interests.
In order to understand whether a policyholder’s interests are properly safeguarded, you need to think in terms of risk and investment. Insurance is an investment, just like stocks and bonds. If you purchase insurance products with guaranteed returns, that is, returns that cannot be touched by the policyholder, then there is no security or guarantee regarding the value of the policyholder’s funds. In this context, the insurance products you choose should be able to produce a guaranteed minimum return over a given period, determined by you. This minimum return should be more than enough to compensate for any risks involved in the chosen policy. In this manner, insurance products become investments.
To illustrate the point, consider automobile insurance. An insurer pays a certain amount of money to the insurer each year in exchange for assuming a certain risk. The risk refers to the probability of accidents or the likelihood of an automobile hitting other cars. Since there is no guarantee that your automobile will not hit another car, the insurer assumes that the probability is high and thus compensates you for the increased risk that it faces. If the insured vehicle were to hit a car driven by an uninsured driver, the insurer would have to absorb the cost of the damages. If the insured car were to hit a car driven by an uninsured driver who is at fault, then the insurer would be required to absorb the costs of damages that exceed the amount of money that you paid to acquire the policy, assuming you had maintained the required deductible.
The insurer has a certain degree of risk. There is no guarantee that you will never be involved in an accident or that you will never damage the car of an uninsured driver. The same holds true for other risks associated with the insured’s vehicle. However, if you are willing to take the risk associated with higher premiums, you can lower your premiums substantially. You can do so by insuring your vehicle more adequately. You can improve the security of your vehicle by installing anti-theft devices such as immobilizers and steering wheel locks.
The longer your insurance policy term, the lower your premiums will be. For this reason, many people choose to purchase insurance policies that are for a year or two. Insurance premiums for one year terms are significantly higher than premiums for five year terms. The reason for this is that the insurer is less likely to change policies because the person will be paying the same amount each year regardless of how much she has insured her vehicle. This is true even when you are still paying down your loan on your car.
You can also make your monthly premium payments a little cheaper by choosing a larger deductible. If you have a higher deductible, your monthly premium will be lower. However, the larger deductible means you will pay more out of your pocket should you get into an accident or be injured in some way. It is all about weighing the pros and cons of your current insurer versus the benefits you will receive by switching to another insurer. Insurance prices vary from insurer to insurer, so you should shop around for the best rate.