The process of insurance has been evolved to safeguard the interest of people from uncertainty by providing certainty of payment at a given contingency.
The insurance principle comes to be more and more used and useful in modern affairs. Not only does it serve the ends of individuals, or of special groups of individuals, it tends to pervade and to transform our modern social order, too.
The role and importance of insurance, here, has been discussed in three phases:
(i) uses to individual
(ii) uses to a special group of individuals, viz, to business or industry, and
(iii) uses to the society
Use of Insurance to an Individual
1. Insurance provides Security and Safety
The insurance provides safety and security against the loss on a particular event. In case of life insurance payment is made when death occurs or the term of insurance is expired.
The loss to the family at a premature death and payment in old age are adequately provided by insurance. In other words, security against premature death and old age sufferings are provided by life insurance.
Similarly, the property of insured is secured against loss on a fire in fire insurance. In other insurance, too, this security is provided against the loss at a given contingency.
The insurance provides safety and security against the loss of earning at death or in olden age, against the loss at fire, against the loss at damage, destruction or disappearance of property, goods, furniture and machines, etc.
2. Insurance affords Peace of Mind
The security wish is the prime motivating factor. This is the wish which tends to stimulate to more work, if this wish is unsatisfied, it will create a tension which manifests itself to the individual in the form of unpleasant reaction causing reduction in work.
The security banishes fear and uncertainty, fire, windstorm, auto-mobile accident, damage and death are almost beyond the control of human agency and in occurrence of any of these events may frustrate or weaken the human mind.
By means of insurance, however, much of the uncertainty that centers about the wish for security and its attainment may be eliminated.
3. Insurance protects Mortgaged Property
At the death of the owner of the mortgaged property, the property is taken over by the lender of money and the family will be deprived of the uses of the property.
On the other hand, the mortgagee wishes to get the property insured because at the damage or destruction of the property he will lose his right to get the loan repayed.
This insurance will provide adequate amount to the dependents at the early death of the property-owner to pay off the unpaid loans.
Similarly, the mortgage gets adequate amount at the destruction of the property.
4. Insurance eliminates dependency
At the death of the husband or father, the destruction of family need no elaboration. Similarly, at destruction of, property and goods, the family would suffer a lot.
It brings reduced standards of living and the suffering may go to any extent of begging from the relatives, neighbors or friends.
The economic independence of the family is reduced, or , sometimes , lost totally.
What can be more pitiable condition than this that the wife and children are looking others more benevolent than the husband and father, in absence of protection against such dependency.
The insurance is here to assist them and provides adequate amount at the time of sufferings.
5. Life Insurance encourages saving
The elements of protection and investment are present only in case of life insurance.
In property insurance, only protection element exists. In most of the life policies elements of saving predominates.
These policies combine the programs of insurance and savings. The saving with insurance has certain extra advantages :
(i) Systematic saving is possible because regular premiums are required to be compulsorily paid. The saving with a bank is voluntary and one can easily omit a month or two and then abandon the program entirely.
(ii) In insurance the deposited premium cannot be withdrawn easily before the expiry of the term of the policy. As contrast to this, the saving which can be withdrawn at any moment will finish within no time.
(iii) The insurance will pay the policy money irrespective of the premium deposited while in case of bank-deposit, only the deposited amount along with the interest is paid.
The insurance , thus, provides the wished amount of insurance and the bank provides only the deposited amount.
(iv) The compulsion or force to premium in insurance is so high that if the policy-holder fails to pay premiums within the days of grace, he subjects his policy to lapsation and may get back only a very nominal portion of the total premiums paid on the policy.
For the preservation of the policy, he has to try his level best to pay the premium. After a certain period, it would be a part of necessary expenditure of the insured.
In absence of such forceful compulsion elsewhere life insurance is the best media of saving.
6. Life Insurance provides profitable Investment
Individuals unwilling or unable to handle their own funds have been pleased to find an outlet for their investment in life insurance policies.
Endowment policies, multipurpose policies, deferred annuities are certain better form of investment.
The elements of investment, i.e., regular saving , capital formation, and return of the capital along with certain additional return are perfectly observed, in life insurance.
In India the insurance policies carry a special exemption from income-tax, wealth tax, gift tax and estate duty.
An individual from his own capacity cannot invest regularly with enough of security and profitability.
The life insurance fulfils all these requirements with a lower cost. The beneficiary of the policy-holders can get a regular income from the life-insurer, if the insured amount if left with him.
7. Life Insurance fulfils the needs of a person
The needs of a person are divided into :
(a) Family needs
(b) Old-age needs
(c) Re-adjustment needs
(d) Special needs
(e) The clean-up needs
(a) Family Needs
Death is certain, but the time is uncertain. So, there is uncertainty of the time when the sufferings and financial stringencies may be fall on the family.
Moreover, every person is responsible to provide for the family. It would be a more pathetic sight in the world to see the wife and children of a man looking for some one more considerate arid benevolent than the husband or the father, who left them unprovided.
Therefore, the provision for children up to their reaching earning period and for window up to long life should be made. Any other provision except life insurance will not adequately meet this financial requirement of the family. Whole life policies are the better means of meeting such requirements.
(b) Old-age needs
The provision for old-age is required where the person is surviving more than his earning period.
The reduction of income in old-age is serious to the person and his family. If no other family member starts earning, they will be left with nothing and if there is no property, it would be more piteous state.
The life insurance provides old age funds alongwith the protection of the family by issuing various policies.
(c) Re-adjustment Needs
At the time of reduction in income whether by loss of employment , disability, or death, adjustment in the standard of living of family is required.
The family members will have to be satisfied with meagre income and they have to settle down to lower income and social obligations.
Before coming down to the lower standard and to be satisfied with that, they require certain adjustment income so that the primary obstacles may be reduced to minimum.
The life insurance helps to accumulate adequate funds. Endowment policy, anticipated endowment policy and guaranteed triple benefit policies are deemed to be a good substitute for old age and needs.
(d) Special Needs
There are certain special requirement of the family which is fulfilled by the earning member of the family. If the member becomes disable to earn the income due to old age or death, those needs may remain unfulfilled and the family will suffer.
(i) Need for Education : There are certain insurance policies, and annuities which are useful for education of the children irrespective of the death or survival of the father or guardian.
(ii) Marriage : The daughter may remain unmarried in case of father’s death or in case of inadequate provision for meeting the expenses of marriage. The insurance can provide funds for the marriage if policy is taken for the purpose.
(iii) Insurance needs for settlement of children : After education , settlement of children takes time and in absence of adequate funds, the children cannot be well placed and all the education go to waste.
(e) Clean-up funds
After death, ritual ceremonies, payment of wealth taxes and income taxes are certain requirements which decrease the amount of funds of the family member.
Insurance comes to help for meeting these requirements. Multipurpose policy, education and marriage policies, capital redemption policies are the better policies for the special needs.
Use of Insurance to Business
The insurance has been useful to the business society also. Some of the uses are discussed below:
1. Uncertainty of business losses is reduced
In the world of business, commerce and industry a huge number of properties are employed.
With a slight slackness or negligence, the property may be turned into ashes. The accident may be fatal not only to the individual or property but to the third party also.
New construction and new establishment are possible only with the help of insurance.
In absence of it, uncertainty will be to the maximum level and nobody would like to invest a huge amount in the business or industry.
A person may not be sure of his life and health and cannot continue the business up to longer period to support his dependents.
By purchasing policy, he can be sure of his earning because the insurer will pay a fed amount at the time of death.
Again, the owner of a business might foresee contingencies that would bring great loss.
To meet such situations they might decide to set aside annually a reserve, but it could not be accumulated due to death. However, by making an annual payment, to secure immediately, insure policy can be taken.
2. Business-efficiency is increased with insurance
When the owner of a business is free from the botheration of losses, he will certainly devote much time to the business.
The care free owner can work better for the maximization of the profit. The new as well as old businessmen are guaranteed payment of certain amount within the insurance policies at the death of the person; at the damage, destruction or disappearance of the property of goods.
The uncertainty of loss may affect the mind of the businessmen adversely. The insurance, removing the uncertainty, stimulates the businessmen to work hard.
3. Key Man Indemnification
Key man is that particular man whose capital, expertise, experience, energy, ability to control, goodwill and dutifulness make him the most valuable asset in the business and whose absence will reduce the income of the employer tremendously and up to that time when such employee is not substituted.
The death or disability of such valuable lives will, in many instances, prove a more serious loss than that by fire or any hazard.
The potential loss to be suffered and the compensation to the dependents of such employee require an adequate provision which is met by purchasing an adequate life-policies.
The amount of loss may be up to the amount of reduced profit, expenses involved in appointing and training, of such persons and payment to the dependents of the key man.
The Term Insurance Policy or Convertible Term Insurance Policy is more suitable in this case.
4. Enhancement of Credit
The business can obtain loan by pledging the policy as collateral for the loan. The insured persons are getting more loan due to certainty of payment at their deaths.
The amount of loan that can be obtained with such pledging of policy, with interest thereon will not exceed the cash value of the policy.
In case of death, this value can be utilized for setting of the loan alongwith the interest.
If the borrower is unwilling to repay the loan and interest, the lender can surrender the policy and get the amount of loan and interest thereon repaid.
The redeemable debentures can be issued on the collateral of capital redemption policies. The insurance properties are the best collateral and adequate loans are granted by the lenders.
5. Business Continuation
In any business particularly partnership business may discontinue at the death of any partner although the surviving partners can restart the business, but in both the cases the business and the partners will suffer economically.
The insurance policies provide adequate funds at the time of death. Each partner may be insured for the amount of his interest in the partnership and his dependents may get that amount at the death of the partner.
With the help of property insurance, the property of the business is protected against disasters and the chance of disclosure of the business due to the tremendous waste or loss.
6. Welfare of Employees
The welfare of employees is the responsibility of the employer. The former are working for the latter. Therefore, the latter has to look after the welfare of the former which can be provision for early death, provision for disability and provision for old age.
These requirements are easily met by the life insurance, accident and sickness benefit, and pensions which are generally provided by group insurance.
The premium for group insurance is generally paid by the employer.
This plan is the cheapest form of insurance for employers to fulfil their responsibilities. The employees will devote their maximum capacities to complete their jobs when they are assured of the above benefits. The struggle and strife between employees and employer can be minimized easily with the help of such schemes.
Use of Insurance to Society
Some of the uses of insurance to society are discussed in the following sections.
1. Wealth of the society is protected
The loss of a particular wealth can be protected with the insurance. Life insurance provides loss of human wealth.
The human material, if it is strong, educated and care-free, will generate more income.
Similarly, the loss of damage of property at fire, accident, etc., can be well indemnified by the property insurance; cattle, crop, profit and machines are also protected against the accidental and economic losses.
With the advancement of the society, the wealth or the property of the society attracts more hazardous and, so new types of insurance are also invented to protect them against the possible losses.
Each and every member will have financial security against old age, death, damage, destruction and disappearance of his wealth including the life wealth.
Through prevention of economic losses, instance protects the society against degradation. Through stabilization and expansion of business and industry, the economic security is maximized.
The present, future and potential human and property resources are well-protected.
The children are getting expertised education, working classes are free from botherations and older people are guiding at ease. The happiness and prosperity are observed everywhere with the help of insurance.
2. Economic Growth of the Country
For the economic growth of the country, insurance provides strong hand and mind, protection against loss of property and adequate capital to produce more wealth.
The agriculture will experience protection against losses of cattle, machines, tools and crop.
This sort of protection stimulates more production in agriculture, in industry, the factory premises, machines, boilers and profit insurances provide more confidence to start and operate the industry welfare of employees create a conducive atmosphere to work : Adequate capital from insurers accelerate the production cycle.
Similarly in business, too, the property and human material are protected against certain losses, capital and credit are expanded with the help of insurance.
Thus, the insurance meets all the requirements of the economic growth of a country.
3. Reduction in Inflation
The insurance reduces the inflationary resource in two ways. First, by extracting money in supply to the amount of premium collected and secondly, by providing sufficient funds for production narrow down the inflationary gap.
With reference to Indian context it has been observed that about 0.5 per cent of the money in supply was collected in form of premium.
The share of premium contributed to the total investment of the country was about 10.0 per cent. The two main causes of inflation, namely, increased money in supply and decreased production are properly controlled by insurance business, Insurance Need and Selling.