What is General Insurance?

Insuring anything other than human life is called general insurance. Examples are insuring property like house and belongings against fire and theft or vehicles against accidental damage or theft. Injury due to accident or hospitalisation for illness and surgery can also be insured. Your liabilities to others arising out of the law can also be insured and is compulsory in some cases like motor third party insurance.

Insurance other than 'Life Insurance' falls under the category of General Insurance. General Insurance comprises of insurance of property against fire, burglary etc, personal insurance such as Accident and Health Insurance, and liability insurance which covers legal liabilities. There are also other covers such as Errors and Omissions insurance for professionals, credit insurance etc.

Non-life insurance companies have products that cover property against Fire and allied perils, flood storm and inundation, earthquake and so on. There are products that cover property against burglary, theft etc. The non-life companies also offer policies covering machinery against breakdown, there are policies that cover the hull of ships and so on. A Marine Cargo policy covers goods in transit including by sea, air and road. Further, insurance of motor vehicles against damages and theft forms a major chunk of non-life insurance business.

In respect of insurance of property, it is important that the cover is taken for the actual value of the property to avoid being imposed a penalty should there be a claim. Where a property is undervalued for the purposes of insurance, the insured will have to bear a rateable proportion of the loss. For instance if the value of a property is Rs.100 and it is insured for Rs.50/-, in the event of a loss to the extent of say Rs.50/-, the maximum claim amount payable would be Rs.25/- ( 50% of the loss being borne by the insured for underinsuring the property by 50% ). This concept is quite often not understood by most insureds

Advantage of General Insurance
  • Protect one's belongings and assets against financial loss.

Policies Under General Insurance

  • Annual Policy - They last for one year.
  • Longer periods Policy - They are fire insurance for residences
  • Shorter periods - They are insurance for goods transportation or for emergency medical treatment during foreign travel.
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