Insurance began thousands of years ago when traders who carried goods over long distances using beasts of burden and paid financiers a sum of money to compensate them if their goods were lost. Over the intervening centuries insurance services have grown in number and complexity and today insurance is a huge multi-billion dollar industry that spans the globe. From ocean liners to a dancer’s legs, from business profits to a family pet, there is almost nothing that the wide range of insurance services does not cover.
When planning to purchase insurance it must be clearly understood what it is meant for. Insurance cannot protect you from injury or loss. It can only make compensation after the damage has occurred to help you recover and get back on your feet. Insurance services will not be able to return your life to the pre-loss stage – they can only provide you with the tools to create your own recovery.
These tools are in one form only – money. The insurance policies you buy and the insurance services available to you all come down to how much you are entitled to claim under them. It may seem obvious that the greater the coverage, in terms of the amount of compensation available, the better. But the wide range of insurance services and polices available and the cost associated with them means that, unless you have an unlimited budget, insurance coverage must be planned to be cost-effective.
Life insurance services offer a good example of how important it is to select the right insurance policy and coverage. A single person with no dependents may feel he does not need life insurance as no one will suffer financially if he should die. But the situation may change in the future and he may have dependents. Since age is a major influence on premium costs, taking the policy at a young age will make it cheaper. Also the longer the duration of the policy, the lower the cost. So a single person with no family should consider getting life insurance to meet future obligations in the most economical manner.
Then there is the question of what type of life insurance to get – term or whole life? Term insurance refers to a policy where if the insured dies during the tenure of the policy, the amount insured is payable to the beneficiaries. But if he survives, the money paid as premium is lost. In the case of whole life, death during the validity of the policy will also result in the insured amount being paid out, but if the insured person survives, then he will be eligible for payment of the insured amount at the end of the policy period. It may seem that the whole life option makes far more sense, but in fact, it is term insurance that is the most popular of life insurance services. That is because the cost of these policies is much lower than whole life and the aim is risk coverage and not to save and make a profit by surviving the policy.
The same variables in terms of cost versus compensation exist in all types of personal and business insurance services and it is always good to either study the subject before investing or to consult an expert.