The importance of non-life insurance industry is rarely appreciated. But in this modern age, one cannot imagine a world without non-life insurance.
When you buy your first house with a loan from a bank or financial institution, you are required to get a fire insurance policy. That’s non-life insurance.
When you buy your first car to make you more mobile and productive, you are also required to get a Compulsory Third Party Liability policy to answer for injury or death of a third party. That’s again non-life insurance.
If the car is financed, the car owner is further required to get another policy with a wider coverage in case of damage or loss. Again, this is non-life insurance.
Businesses who avail of long-term financing from banks are also required to insure the mortgaged property or collateral before their loans are approved.
Importers and exporters first get marine cargo insurance before they are issued letters of credit by banks. And to release their imported goods, a surety bond is required by Customs authorities.
In the construction business, bidding will not take off unless competing contractors put up bidders bonds to guarantee that the winner will not back out.
After this, the winning contractor will get a performance bond to ensure the completion of the project on the basis of the signed contract.
But before starting work, the contractor will purchase an all-risk policy and a comprehensive accident coverage for his workers.
All these are forms of non-life insurance.
And we’re not stopping there. In commercial airlines and inter-island vessels, it’s mandatory to get insurance to cover potential liability to paying passengers.
Without insurance, no aircraft will be allowed to fly and no sea vessel will be allowed to sail. Imagine, therefore, the economic implications if air and sea travel are grounded because of lack of non-life insurance.
In the halls of justice, judicial surety bonds are imposed on various types of court cases. That’s non-life insurance, too, and it is called suretyship. Suretyship plays an important role in business and the justice system as it touches every type of human responsibility.
In recent years, liability insurance has expanded to include the responsibility of professionals to their clients. Doctors, accountants, architects, and other professionals can buy insurance to protect them from legal actions.
Ah, yes, those who play golf, either professionally or as a hobby, can buy golf insurance, too. It will protect them should their ball hit a person or a car inside or outside the golf course.
What we’ve enumerated are all forms of non-life insurance. We rarely take notice of them, until disaster strikes.