When a company insures an individual entity, there are basic legal requirements.
To "indemnify" means to make whole again, or to be reinstated to the position that one was in, to the extent possible, prior to the happening of a specified event or peril. Accordingly, life insurance is generally not considered to be indemnity insurance, but rather "contingent" insurance (i.e., a claim arises on the occurrence of a specified event).
Insurable interest - the insured typically must directly suffer from the loss. Insurable interest must exist whether property insurance or insurance on a person is involved. The concept requires that the insured have a "stake" in the loss or damage to the life or property insured. What that "stake" is will be determined by the kind of insurance involved and the nature of the property ownership or relationship between the persons. The requirement of an insurable interest is what distinguishes insurance from gambling.
Utmost good faith
Utmost good faith - the insured and the insurer are bound by a good faith bond of honesty and fairness. Material facts must be disclosed.
Contribution - insurers which have similar obligations to the insured contribute in the indemnification, according to some method.
Subrogation - the insurance company acquires legal rights to pursue recoveries on behalf of the insured; for example, the insurer may sue
Causa proxima, or proximate cause - the cause of loss (the peril) must be covered under the insuring agreement of the policy, and the dominant cause must not be excluded
Mitigation - In case of any loss or casualty, the asset owner must attempt to keep loss to a minimum, as if the asset was not insured.
To "indemnify" means to make whole again
To "indemnify" means to make whole again, or to be reinstated to the position that one was in, to the extent possible, prior to the happening of a specified event or peril. Accordingly, life insurance is generally not considered to be indemnity insurance, but rather "contingent" insurance (i.e., a claim arises on the occurrence of a specified event). There are generally two types of insurance contracts that seek to indemnify an insured:
1.an "indemnity" policy, and
2.a "pay on behalf" or "on behalf of" policy.
The difference is significant on paper, but rarely material in practice.
An "indemnity" policy will never pay claims until the insured has paid out of pocket to some third party; for example, a visitor to your home slips on a floor that you left wet and sues you for $10,000 and wins. Under an "indemnity" policy the homeowner would have to come up with the $10,000 to pay for the visitor's fall and then would be "indemnified" by the insurance carrier for the out of pocket costs (the $10,000).
An entity seeking to transfer risk (an individual, corporation, or association of any type, etc.) becomes the 'insured' party once risk is assumed by an 'insurer', the insuring party, by means of a contract, called an insurance policy. Generally, an insurance contract includes, at a minimum, the following elements: identification of participating parties (the insurer, the insured, the beneficiaries), the premium, the period of coverage, the particular loss event covered, the amount of coverage (i.e., the amount to be paid to the insured or beneficiary in the event of a loss), and exclusions (events not covered). An insured is thus said to be "indemnified" against the loss covered in the policy.
A loss for a specified peril
When insured parties experience a loss for a specified peril, the coverage entitles the policyholder to make a claim against the insurer for the covered amount of loss as specified by the policy. The fee paid by the insured to the insurer for assuming the risk is called the premium. Insurance premiums from many insureds are used to fund accounts rese
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Howard Roitman, Esq.
8921 W. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89117