John Dunt. Informa, Marine insurance legislation.
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Robert Merkin et al. Marine insurance fraud. Cases and materials on marine liability law: a legal and economic analysis. Mohammed Ma'sum Billah. Springer, Marine insurance: law and practice. F D Rose, Stephen Watterson. Insurance war: sovereignity, security and risk.
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Atiq Siddiqui and Manish Verma. Insuring maritime trade with the enemy in the Napoleonic Era. James Oldham, Su Jin Kim. Texas International Law Journal.
Summer, Vol. Knut K. Mar, Vol. The earliest insurance contract: a new discovery. Journal of risk and insurance. Jun72, Vol. Fact files, reports, technical articles and dissertations Staying afloat? Liz Booth. Delay in marine insurance law.
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Aysegul Bugra. University of Southampton, Navigating recent developments in marine and airline insurance. Swiss Re. Sigma, No4 Keeping the world on the move. The Journal, June-July , pp Utmost good faith in marine insurance: a comparative study of English and Chinese law. Feng Shi, Gotthard Gauci. University of Plymouth, Insurance can influence the probability of losses through moral hazard , insurance fraud , and preventive steps by the insurance company. Insurance scholars have typically used moral hazard to refer to the increased loss due to unintentional carelessness and insurance fraud to refer to increased risk due to intentional carelessness or indifference.
While in theory insurers could encourage investment in loss reduction, some commentators have argued that in practice insurers had historically not aggressively pursued loss control measures—particularly to prevent disaster losses such as hurricanes—because of concerns over rate reductions and legal battles.
Salvors, Finders, Good Samaritans and Other Rescuers: An Economic Study of Law and Altruism
However, since about insurers have begun to take a more active role in loss mitigation, such as through building codes. According to the study books of The Chartered Insurance Institute, there are variant methods of insurance as follows:. The business model is to collect more in premium and investment income than is paid out in losses, and to also offer a competitive price which consumers will accept.
Profit can be reduced to a simple equation:. The most complicated aspect of the insurance business is the actuarial science of ratemaking price-setting of policies, which uses statistics and probability to approximate the rate of future claims based on a given risk. After producing rates, the insurer will use discretion to reject or accept risks through the underwriting process. At the most basic level, initial ratemaking involves looking at the frequency and severity of insured perils and the expected average payout resulting from these perils.
Thereafter an insurance company will collect historical loss data, bring the loss data to present value , and compare these prior losses to the premium collected in order to assess rate adequacy. Rating for different risk characteristics involves at the most basic level comparing the losses with "loss relativities"—a policy with twice as many losses would therefore be charged twice as much.
More complex multivariate analyses are sometimes used when multiple characteristics are involved and a univariate analysis could produce confounded results. Other statistical methods may be used in assessing the probability of future losses. Upon termination of a given policy, the amount of premium collected minus the amount paid out in claims is the insurer's underwriting profit on that policy.
Insurance companies earn investment profits on "float". Float, or available reserve, is the amount of money on hand at any given moment that an insurer has collected in insurance premiums but has not paid out in claims. Insurers start investing insurance premiums as soon as they are collected and continue to earn interest or other income on them until claims are paid out.
Some insurance industry insiders, most notably Hank Greenberg , do not believe that it is forever possible to sustain a profit from float without an underwriting profit as well, but this opinion is not universally held. Reliance on float for profit has led some industry experts to call insurance companies "investment companies that raise the money for their investments by selling insurance. Naturally, the float method is difficult to carry out in an economically depressed period. Bear markets do cause insurers to shift away from investments and to toughen up their underwriting standards, so a poor economy generally means high insurance premiums.
This tendency to swing between profitable and unprofitable periods over time is commonly known as the underwriting, or insurance, cycle. Claims and loss handling is the materialized utility of insurance; it is the actual "product" paid for.
Claims may be filed by insureds directly with the insurer or through brokers or agents. The insurer may require that the claim be filed on its own proprietary forms, or may accept claims on a standard industry form, such as those produced by ACORD. Insurance company claims departments employ a large number of claims adjusters supported by a staff of records management and data entry clerks. Incoming claims are classified based on severity and are assigned to adjusters whose settlement authority varies with their knowledge and experience.
The adjuster undertakes an investigation of each claim, usually in close cooperation with the insured, determines if coverage is available under the terms of the insurance contract, and if so, the reasonable monetary value of the claim, and authorizes payment.
The policyholder may hire their own public adjuster to negotiate the settlement with the insurance company on their behalf. For policies that are complicated, where claims may be complex, the insured may take out a separate insurance policy add-on, called loss recovery insurance, which covers the cost of a public adjuster in the case of a claim. Adjusting liability insurance claims is particularly difficult because there is a third party involved, the plaintiff , who is under no contractual obligation to cooperate with the insurer and may in fact regard the insurer as a deep pocket.
The adjuster must obtain legal counsel for the insured either inside "house" counsel or outside "panel" counsel , monitor litigation that may take years to complete, and appear in person or over the telephone with settlement authority at a mandatory settlement conference when requested by the judge. If a claims adjuster suspects under-insurance, the condition of average may come into play to limit the insurance company's exposure.
In managing the claims handling function, insurers seek to balance the elements of customer satisfaction, administrative handling expenses, and claims overpayment leakages. As part of this balancing act, fraudulent insurance practices are a major business risk that must be managed and overcome. Disputes between insurers and insureds over the validity of claims or claims handling practices occasionally escalate into litigation see insurance bad faith. Insurers will often use insurance agents to initially market or underwrite their customers.
Agents can be captive, meaning they write only for one company, or independent, meaning that they can issue policies from several companies. The existence and success of companies using insurance agents is likely due to improved and personalized service. Any risk that can be quantified can potentially be insured. Specific kinds of risk that may give rise to claims are known as perils. An insurance policy will set out in detail which perils are covered by the policy and which are not. Below are non-exhaustive lists of the many different types of insurance that exist.