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What is Insurance?

Insurance is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or an uncertain loss. Insurance is defined as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another, in exchange for payment.
An insurer is a company selling the insurance; an insured or policyholder is the person or entity buying the insurance policy. The insurance rate is a factor used to determine the amount to be charged for a certain amount of insurance coverage, called the premium.

Risk management, the practice of appraising and controlling risk, has evolved as a discrete field of study and practice.An insurance contract promises to make good to the insured a certain sum in consideration for a payment in the form of premium from the insured.

The insured receives a contract called the insurance policy which details the conditions and circumstances under which the insured will be compensated. Market integration among the world economies has largely benefited the financial market.
Congruously, the insurance industry over the world has grown very rapidly. The statistics on the world insurance conducted by Swiss Re shows that world insurance premium reached $4.3 trillion in 2010. Premium collections from both life and non-life sources have increased by 3.2 and 2.1 percent respectively.

Insurance business and premiums for 2010 in leading countries is as follows:

Countries Non-Life Premiums
(USD bn)
Life Premiums
(USD bn)
Total Amount
(USD bn)
U.S. 660 506 1,166
Japan 116 441 557
U.K. 96 214 310
France 88 192 280
Germany 125 115 240
China 72 143 215
Italy 52 122 174
India 11 68 79
Brazil 31 33 64
Russia 41 1 42

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