• In general Insurance, the property can be insured against any contingency i.e. fire, earthquake etc.
  • The uncertainty due to fire, accident, death, illness, disability in the human life, is compensated financially by general insurance.
  • Insurance is the only way to assist and provide adequate cover at the time of sufferings.
  • General Insurance provides only protection to the human life and property respectively.


Companies conducting insurance business are known as ‘Insurers’. Insurers bring together persons exposed to the same risk by collecting premium from them and pay compensation to those who suffer. The insurer on the lines explained in examples determines premium. Insurer’s role is that of a trustee and has to ensure that nobody takes undue advantage of the arrangement.In a nutshell both underwriting and claim settlement are to be done with great care.


Various laws, passed by the state for this purpose involve the use of insurance, compulsory or voluntary, as a tool of social security. The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948 provides for the Employees State Insurance Corporation to pay the expenses of sickness, disability, maternity and death and for the maintenance of hospitals, dispensaries, etc. for the benefit of industrial employees and their families, who are insured persons.The scheme operates in certain industrial areas as notified by the government.

Social security is an obligation of the state. Subject has been included in list III of the seventh schedule of the constitution of India as “Social Security and Social Insurance” and “Welfare of labour including, inter alia, liability for workmen’s compensation, etc.” Further, Article 41 of the Directive Principles of State Policy called upon the state to make provision for public assistance in the case of, inter alia, sickness and disablement and in othercases of undeserved want.

Insurers play an important role in the social security schemes sponsored by the government i.e. Solatium Fund, the Personal Accident Social Security Scheme and the Hut Insurance Scheme. The Crop Insurance Scheme (RKBY) is also of social significance.

Rural insurance schemes are designed to provide social security to the rural families. The insurance companies have introduced special insurance schemes, at subsidised rates of premium to cover cattle and other livestock for the beneficiaries of IRDP and various other government sponsored programmes and financial institutions.

Companies of their own also offer on commercial basis insurance covers, which have the objective of social security. Examples: Janata Personal Accident, Jan Arogya, Bhavishya Arogya, Raj Rajeshwari Mahila Kalyan Yojna, etc.


Insurers play a vital role in mobilizing funds for economic developments of the country. Savings out of insurance fund are utilized in investments for economic growth.

Strength of insurance company lies in that of huge amount collected and pooled together. This so collected amount is called premiums. This is known as pooling of risks.

The very existence of risk that is uncertainty concerning the future is a severe handicap in economic activities. Insurance removes the fear, worry and anxiety associated this future uncertainty and thus encourages free investment of capital in business enterprises and promotes efficient use of existing resources. Thus insurance encourages commercial and industrial development and thereby contributes to a vigorous economy and increased national productivity.

These days organization of industries, commerce and trade depends on insurance, because no bank or financial institutions lend money without having insurance cover as collateral security. Insurers are closely associated with agencies and institutions engaged in fire loss prevention, cargo loss prevention, and Industrial and road safety. Insurers have established Loss Prevention Association of India with intention of creating awareness of need of loss prevention and implementing loss prevention measure in various sectors.

Before acceptance of risk, insurer arranges for the survey and inspection of the property to be insured by a qualified engineer and other experts not only to evaluate but also to suggest improvements to avoid losses, which in turn, not only reduces the rates but also reduces the loss potentials.

Insurance ranks with export trade, shipping and banking services as earner of foreign exchange to the country. Insurers are also operating in foreign countries and earning foreign exchange and represent invisible export.

Cattle and other livestock and also equipment like pump sets are rural business. Various rural schemes provide necessary financial protection against loss or damage to poor farmers and other peoples of weaker section of society.

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