WHAT IS INSURANCE?
How did the idea of insurance develop?
How has insurance changed?
The basic idea is for a group of people to each put money aside to be used in case one of these people suffer a loss. The original idea was to have someone be responsible for taking care of the money and that person would be entitled to some payment for time and effort.
The amount of money that each person paid in would be adjusted from time to time based on the amount and number of claims. An effort is made to have a pool of money available that is more than would be neeeded for any given year.
Making the right calculations important! Not having enough in the reserve is disastrous.
Insurance companies have been regulated over the years in an effort to make sure that the money taken in was actually used to pay claims and that the fees charged were based on the real risk-the amount likely to be paid out rather than some arbitrary number.
Insurance serves its purpose when both the person making the claim and the insurance company act in good faith. The injured party needs to verify that their claim is valid and the insurance representative needs to make a honest effort to pay all that the injured party is entitled to. The adjusters who represent the insurance company have the responsibility to pay the amount of the loss-not some lesser amount that they can "negotiate" down to.
Profit motive has caused some insurance companies to put more and more presssure on their agents to pay as few claims as possible and to pressure people to take as little as possible. ("little as possible" is not the same as the amount of the actual loss)
Claims are no longer looked at on an individual basis. Computers are used to determine the "average" amount of damage someone should receive from an accident and that is the maximum amount of the claim. The maximum amount is not the amount offered to the injured party. The goal is to get them to take an amount that is as far less than the "maximum" whenever possible.