Types of insurance - Any risk that can be quantified can potentially be insured. Specific kinds of risk that may give rise to claims are known as "perils". An insurance policy will set out in detail which perils are covered by the policy and which are not. Below are (non-exhaustive) lists of the many different types of insurance that exist. A single policy may cover risks in one or more of the categories set out below. For example, auto insurance would typically cover both property risk (covering the risk of theft or damage to the car) and liability risk (covering legal claims from causing an accident). A homeowner's insurance policy in the U.S. typically includes property insurance covering damage to the home and the owner's belongings, liability insurance covering certain legal claims against the owner, and even a small amount of coverage for medical expenses of guests who are injured on the owner's property.
Business insurance can be any kind of insurance that protects businesses against risks. Some principal subtypes of business insurance are (a) the various kinds of professional liability insurance, also called professional indemnity insurance, which are discussed below under that name; and (b) the business owner's policy (BOP), which bundles into one policy many of the kinds of coverage that a business owner needs, in a way analogous to how homeowners insurance bundles the coverages that a homeowner needs.
Auto insurance protects you against financial loss if you have an accident. It is a contract between the insured and the insurance company. You agree to pay the premium and the insurance company agrees to pay losses as defined in the policy. Auto insurance provides property, liability and medical coverage:
- Property coverage pays for damage to or theft of the car.
- Liability coverage pays for the legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage.
- Medical coverage pays for the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses.
An auto insurance policy comprises six kinds of coverage. Most countries require you to buy some, but not all, of these coverages. If you're financing a car, the lender may also have requirements. Most auto policies are for six months to a year.
In the United States, the insurance company should notify you by mail when it’s time to renew the policy and to pay the premium.
Home insurance provides compensation for damage or destruction of a home from disasters. In some geographical areas, the standard insurances exclude certain types of disasters, such as flood and earthquakes, that require additional coverage. Maintenance-related problems are the homeowners' responsibility. The policy may include inventory, or this can be bought as a separate policy, especially for people who rent housing.
In some countries, insurers offer a package which may include liability and legal responsibility for injuries and property damage caused by members of the household, including pets.