General insurance: Meaning accounting concepts

01/09/2022 0 By indiafreenotes

General insurance or non-life insurance policy, including automobile and homeowners policies, provide payments depending on the loss from a particular financial event. General insurance is typically defined as any insurance that is not determined to be life insurance. It is called property and casualty insurance in the United States and Canada and non-life insurance in Continental Europe.

In the United Kingdom, insurance is broadly divided into three areas: personal lines, commercial lines and London market.

The London market insures large commercial risks such as supermarkets, football players and other very specific risks. It consists of a number of insurers, reinsurers, P&I Clubs, brokers and other companies that are typically physically located in the City of London. Lloyd’s of London is a big participant in this market. The London market also participates in personal lines and commercial lines, domestic and foreign, through reinsurance.

Commercial lines products are usually designed for relatively small legal entities. These would include workers’ compensation (employers liability), public liability, product liability, commercial fleet and other general insurance products sold in a relatively standard fashion to many organisations. There are many companies that supply comprehensive commercial insurance packages for a wide range of different industries, including shops, restaurants and hotels.

Personal lines products are designed to be sold in large quantities. This would include autos (private car), homeowners (household), pet insurance, creditor insurance and others.

ACORD, which is the insurance industry global standards organization, has standards for personal and commercial lines and has been working with the Australian General Insurers to develop those XML standards, standard applications for insurance, and certificates of currency.

Types of General Insurance:

General insurance is sub-divided into:

(a) Fire

(b) Accident

(c) Marine.

General Insurance was controlled and conducted by General Insurance Corporation of India before the incorporation of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) in 2002. General Insurance companies are to prepare accounts (Revenue) for each individual unit. General Insurance policies are issued for a short period, say, for a year, but it may be renewed. The Policies are issued at any date of the year.

In a general insurance, the liability of the insurer arises only when the insured suffers any loss caused by specific reasons and, consequently, he will be indemnified. If no loss is occurred question of compensation does not arise and the premium which was paid will not be carried forward for the next period; rather the same will be lapsed and will not be adjusted.

Marine Insurance:

A marine insurance contract is an agreement by which the insurer undertakes to indemnify the assured in the manner and to the extent thereby agreed, against marine losses. In other words, it is a contract which protects the insured against losses on inland water or any land risk which may be incidental to any sea voyage: Sec 4(i). In short, this policy may cover a ship during buildings or the launch of a ship or any adventure analogous to a marine adventure.

Fire Insurance:

Similarly, fire insurance means insurance against any loss caused by fire. Fire Insurance business means the business of effecting, otherwise than incidentally to some other class of business, contract of insurance against loss by or incidental to fire or other occurrence customarily included among the risks insured against in fire insurance policies; Sec. 2(6A).

Accidental Insurance:

It is other than Life Insurance, Marine and Fire Insurance.

Like Life Insurance Companies, in general insurance also from April 2000 a good number of private players have come into the field:

(a) Tate AIG General Insurance;

(b) Reliance General Insurance Company

(c) HDFC-Chubb General Insurance;

(d) Bajaj Alliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.;

(e) Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co. Ltd.

(f) IFFCO Tokyo General Insurance Co. Ltd.

(g) ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd.

(h) Export Credit Guarantee Corporation Ltd. etc.

In 1971, General Insurance Corporation of India was established which was the holding company of:

(i) National Insurance Co. Ltd.;

(ii) United India Insurance Co. Ltd. and

(iii) The New India Assurance Co. Ltd.

However, from Dec. 2000, GIC became The National insurer for General Insurance.

Thus, they are treated as independent Insurance companies.

Regulatory Framework:

While preparing and presenting accounts for Insurance companies various rules and regulations should be taken into consideration.

The following Acts and Regulations are to be considered:

(a) The Insurance Act, 1938;

(b) The Companies Act, 1956;

(c) The General Insurance Business (Nationalization) Act, 1972;

(d) The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, 1999;

(e) The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority Regulations, 2002.

Applicability of Accounting Standards:

While preparing Receipts and Payments Account, Profit and Loss Account and the Balance Sheet of the Insurance companies, the recommendations of Indian Accounting Standards (A3) framed by the ICAI should strictly be followed as far as practicable, to the General Insurance Company with the exception of

(i) AS 3 (Cash Flow Statement): To be prepared under Direct Method only.

(ii) AS 13 (Accounting for Investment): Not to be taken into consideration.

(iii) AS 17 (Segment Reporting): To be applied in general without considering the class of Security.