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By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain how insurance works
  • Identify and evaluate various forms of government and social insurance
  • Discuss the problems caused by moral hazard and adverse selection
  • Analyze the impact of government regulation of insurance

Insurance is a method that households and firms use to prevent any single event from having a significant detrimental financial effect. Generally, households or firms with insurance make regular payments, called premiums . The insurance company prices these premiums based on the probability of certain events occurring among a pool of people. Members of the group who then suffer a specified bad experience receive payments from this pool of money.

Many people have several kinds of insurance: health insurance that pays when they receive medical care; car insurance that pays if they are the driver in an automobile accident; house or renter’s insurance that pays if possessions are stolen or damaged by fire; and life insurance, which pays for the family if the principal dies. [link] lists a set of insurance markets.

Some insurance markets
Type of Insurance Who Pays for It? It Pays Out When . . .
Health insurance Employers and individuals Medical expenses are incurred
Life insurance Employers and individuals Policyholder dies
Automobile insurance Individuals Car is damaged, stolen, or causes damage to others
Property and homeowner’s insurance Homeowners and renters Dwelling is damaged or burglarized
Liability insurance Firms and individuals An injury occurs for which you are partly responsible
Malpractice insurance Doctors, lawyers, and other professionals A poor quality of service is provided that causes harm to others

All insurance involves imperfect information in both an obvious way and in a deeper way. At an obvious level, future events cannot be predicted with certainty. For example, it cannot be known with certainty who will have a car accident, become ill, die, or have his home robbed in the next year. Imperfect information also applies to estimating the risk that something will happen to any individual. It is difficult for an insurance company to estimate the risk that, say, a particular 20-year-old male driver from New York City will have an accident, because even within that group, some drivers will drive more safely than others. Thus, adverse events occur out of a combination of people’s characteristics and choices that make the risks higher or lower and then the good or bad luck of what actually happens.

How insurance works

A simplified example of automobile insurance might work this way. Suppose that a group of 100 drivers can be divided into three groups. In a given year, 60 of those people have only a few door dings or chipped paint, which costs $100 each. Another 30 of the drivers have medium-sized accidents that cost an average of $1,000 in damages, and 10 of the drivers have large accidents that cost $15,000 in damages. For the moment, let’s imagine that at the beginning of any year, there is no way of identifying the drivers who are low-risk, medium-risk, or high-risk. The total damage incurred by car accidents in this group of 100 drivers will be $186,000, that is:

Questions & Answers

what are the shapes of an indifference curve?
Ovensi Reply
division of labour is simply the breaking of job functions so that each individual is engage to one set or the other for easy delivery
EMMANUEL Reply
What is division of labor
peter Reply
it is also simply the breaking down of work into various part so that each individual is entitle to one for easy delivery
EMMANUEL
it is the simplifying of tasks into smaller easily workable divisions where each person specialises on what they understand better
cabs
ok
EMMANUEL
thanks for your briefing and time
EMMANUEL
what are the sources of monopoly power?
Winnerman Reply
the first source, are informations
amine
political power and influence in monetary institutions
Shahul
what is imperfect competition ?
SHAH Reply
the situation in which elements of monopoly ( R&D, EOS and stability of prices etc.) allow individual producers or consumers to exercise some control over market prices
Ghulam
how to find shut down
Sowmya Reply
where p is less than avc
Koushik
s
Shahul
which is the best public finance economics text book?
Shahul
hello
shafiullah
hello
Shahul
Yes hi
Pov
....
SHAH
what are the alternatives various of economic system
olaleye Reply
what is microeconomics
Ayedun
Micro-economics refers to the branch of economics which deals with smaller unit or element of the economy.
Amadu
or Is the study of individual economic unit in a economy..
Neriel
micro economis is the studay of how Households and firms make decision and they interecr it.
mahad
what is financial intermediaries?
Imran Reply
financial intermediaries are those who are link between borrowers and lenders for.eg bank... Bank is a financial intermediary
Ajit
tnx a lot of u
Imran
most welcome
Ajit
why do you here ? why do you want to learn economics
Ajit
والله العظيم انا ماعاوز اتعلمها
انا باخدها غصب عني في الكليه حضرتك
لس كدااا
I am student of ecnomics ,
Imran
Imran
Abdi
yes Abdi temam
Imran
am good too see you
Abdi
tnx why not
Imran
b/c im student
Abdi
great, now I am sleeping see u nex time ok
Imran
ok
Abdi
OK
Ajit
what is the law of dimis
Toyin Reply
what is the feature of public ownership of production factors
Toyin
what is the demand for commodity that posses identical utilities called
Toyin
law of diminishing utility...as the quantity consumed of a commodity increases,the utility derived from each successive unit goes on decreasing... condition___ consumption of other commodities remaining the same.
Malik
sorry it's...Law of diminishing marginal utility
Malik
demand for commodities that posses identical utilities? The commodities having identical utilities are perfect substitutes...and the demand for such type of commodities is called "Competitive Demand".
Malik
thanks
Toyin
Why many people can't differentiate Economists and financial analysts
Hatimu
what is the function of the central bank in an economic?
Toyin
the central bank may lend some money to banks if necessary
konglan
what economics
Toyin Reply
Is this a question?
Tala
is the study of how societies allocate and manage their scare resources
Neriel
What is populatiin
Azer Reply
Population is a number of people living in a particular area within a particular time
Rabby
Population is the number of people living in a particular geographical area within a particular time
Rabby
how does this chat work
Dalaya
ya the ideas are good thanks friends
South
so what's the next question?
South
what is demand schedule
Toyin Reply
is a tabular representation of the quantity demanded of a particular product at a particular price over a given period of time
Loveth
thanks
Toyin
you are welcome
Loveth
ok
Hassan
What is Monetary Mass
Acha Reply
who is product of traditional economy
jamal Reply
what is elasticity
Suqlain Reply
change in quantity due to change in its price
sj
degree of responsiveness of quantity demanded or supplied due to price.change
Loveth

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Source:  OpenStax, Principles of economics. OpenStax CNX. Sep 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11613/1.11
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