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# Insurable And Non-Insurable Risks

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• 1. Insurable And Non-Insurable RisksWhen we talk of insurance, we are referring to risks in all forms. Hence, having for an insurancepolicy is just a way of sharing our risks with other people with similar risks.However, while some risks can be insured (i.e. Insurable risks), some cannot be insured according totheir nature (i.e. NOn-insurable risks).Insurable RisksInsurable risks are the type of risks in which the insurer makes provision for or insures againstbecause it is possible to collect, calculate and estimate the likely future losses. Insurable risks haveprevious statistics which are used as a basis for estimating the premium. It holds out the prospect ofloss but not gain. The risks can be forecast and measured e.g. Motor insurance, marine insurance,life insurance etc.This type of risk is the one in which the chance of occurrence can be deduced, from the availableinformation on the frequency of similar past occurrence. Examples of what an insurable risk is asexplained:Example1: The probability (or chance) that a certain vehicle will be involved in an accident in year2011 (out of the total vehicle insured that year 2011) can be determined from the number of vehiclesthat were involved in accidents in each of some previous years (out of the total vehicle insured thoseyears).Example2: The probability (or chance) that a man (or woman) of a certain age will die in the ensuringyear can be estimated by the fraction of people of that age that died in each of some previous years.Non-insurable RisksNon-insurable risks are type of risks which the insurer is not ready to insure against simply becausethe likely future losses cannot be estimated and calculated. It holds the prospect of gain as well asloss. The risk cannot be forecast and measured.Example1: The chance that the demand for a commodity will fall next year due to a change inconsumers taste will be difficult to estimate as previous statistics needed for it may not be available.Example 2: The chance that a present production technique will become obsolete or out-of-date bynext year as a result of technological advancement.Other examples of non-insurable risks are:1. Acts of God: All risks involving natural disasters referred to as acts of God such asa. Earthquakeb. Warc. FloodIt should be noted that any building, property or life insured but lost during an occurrence of any act ofGod (listed above) cannot be compensated by an insurer. Also, this non-insurability is being extendedto those in connection with radioactive contamination.2. Gambling: You cannot insure your chances of losing a gambling game.3. Loss of profit through competition: You cannot insure your chances of winning or losing in a
• 2. competition.4. Launching of new product: A manufacturer launching a new product cannot insure the chancesof acceptability of the new product since it has not been market-tested.5. Loss incurred as a result of bad/inefficient management: The ability to successfully manage anorganization depends on many factors and the profit/loss depends on the judicious utilization of thesefactors, one of which is efficient management capability. The expected loss in an organization as aresult of inefficiency cannot be insured.6. Poor location of a business: A person situating a business in a poor location must know that theprobability of its success is slim. Insuring such business is a sure way of duping an insurer.7. Loss of profit as a result of fall in demand: The demand for any product varies with time andother factors. An insurer will never insure based on expected loss due to decrease in demand.8. Speculation: This is the engagement in a venture offering the chance of considerable gain but thepossibility of loss. A typical example is the action or practice of investing in stocks, property, etc., inthe hope of profit from a rise or fall in market value but with the possibility of a loss. This cannot beinsured because it is considered as a non-insurable risk.9. Opening of a new shop/office: The opening of a new shop is considered a non-insurable risk.You dont know what to expect in the operation of the new shop; it is illogical for an insurer to acceptin insuring a new shop for you.10. Change in fashion: Fashion is a trend which cannot be predicted. Any expected change infashion cannot be insured. A fashion house cannot be insured because the components of thefashion house may become outdated at any point in time.11. Motoring offenses: You cannot obtain an insurance policy against expected fines for offensescommitted while on wheels.However, it should be noted that there is no clear distinction between insurable and non-insurablerisks. Theoretically, an insurance company should be ready to insure anything if a sufficiently highpremium would be paid. Nevertheless, the distinction is useful for practical purposes.Over 50 life insurance