An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer, insurance company, insurance carrier or underwriter. A person or entity who buys insurance is known as an insured or as a policyholder. The insurance transaction involves the insured assuming a guaranteed and known relatively small loss in the form of payment to the insurer in exchange for the insurer's promise to compensate the insured in the event of a covered loss. The loss may or may not be financial, but it must be reducible to financial terms, and usually involves something in which the insured has an insurable interest established by ownership, possession, or pre-existing relationship.

In the United States, the underwriting loss of property and casualty insurance companies was $142.3 billion in the five years ending 2003. But overall profit for the same period was $68.4 billion, as the result of float. Some insurance industry insiders, most notably Hank Greenberg, do not believe that it is forever possible to sustain a profit from float without an underwriting profit as well, but this opinion is not universally held. Reliance on float for profit has led some industry experts to call insurance companies "investment companies that raise the money for their investments by selling insurance."[28]


At the most basic level, initial ratemaking involves looking at the frequency and severity of insured perils and the expected average payout resulting from these perils. Thereafter an insurance company will collect historical loss data, bring the loss data to present value, and compare these prior losses to the premium collected in order to assess rate adequacy.[24] Loss ratios and expense loads are also used. Rating for different risk characteristics involves at the most basic level comparing the losses with "loss relativities"—a policy with twice as many losses would therefore be charged twice as much. More complex multivariate analyses are sometimes used when multiple characteristics are involved and a univariate analysis could produce confounded results. Other statistical methods may be used in assessing the probability of future losses.
When it comes to any type of insurance, there is always one rule that applies – the higher your deductible, the more that you’ll save. That’s because you’re less likely to make a claim if you have a higher deductible since you’ll be required to pay for small claims out of pocket. In addition, when you do make a claim, it will cost the insurance company less.

Companies also needed to offer full-timer coverage for those who live year-round in their RV; full replacement coverage in the event the RV is totaled or stolen; personal belonging coverage for the property inside the RV, including electronics, appliances, and jewelry; vacation liability coverage for injuries that occur at the vacation site where the RV is parked; and permanently attached items coverage for items like satellite dishes, wheelchair lifts, or retractable canopies. Finally, companies also were required to cover most, if not all types of recreational vehicles.
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