Insurance Accounting20th April 2021
A company’s property insurance, liability insurance, business interruption insurance, etc. often covers a one-year period with the cost (insurance premiums) paid in advance. The one-year period for the insurance rarely coincides with the company’s accounting year. Therefore, the insurance payments will likely involve more than one annual financial statement and many interim financial statements.
Prepaid Insurance vs. Insurance Expense
When the insurance premiums are paid in advance, they are referred to as prepaid. At the end of any accounting period, the amount of the insurance premiums that remain prepaid should be reported in the current asset account, Prepaid Insurance. The prepaid amount will be reported on the balance sheet after inventory and could part of an item described as prepaid expenses.
As the prepaid amount expires, the balance in Prepaid Insurance is reduced by a credit to Prepaid Insurance and a debit to Insurance Expense. This is done with an adjusting entry at the end of each accounting period (e.g. monthly). One objective of the adjusting entry is to match the proper amount of insurance expense to the period indicated on the income statement.
When a business suffers a loss that is covered by an insurance policy, it recognizes a gain in the amount of the insurance proceeds received. The most reasonable approach to recording these proceeds is to wait until they have been received by the company. By doing so, there is no risk of recording a gain related to a payment that is never received. An alternative is to record the gain as soon as the payment is probable and the amount of the payment can be determined; however, this constitutes a form of accrued revenue, and so is discouraged unless there is a high degree of certainty regarding the payment. If the gain is recorded prior to cash receipt, the offsetting debit to the gain is a receivable for expected insurance recoveries.
A gain from insurance proceeds should be recorded in a separate account if the amount is material, thereby clearly labeling the gain as being non-operational in nature. For example, the title of such an account could be “Gain from Insurance Claims.” Though a gain is being recorded, the likely total outcome of an insurance claim is a net loss, since the amount of such a claim is offset against the actual loss incurred, net of an insurance deductible.
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.
Financial Statements of General Insurance Companies:
The financial statements of general insurance companies must be in conformity with the regulations of IRDA, Schedule B.
- Revenue Account (Form B-RA):
The Revenue Account of general insurance companies must be prepared in conformity with the regulations of IRDA, Regulations 2002, as per the requirements of Schedule B. It has already been stated above that separate Revenue Account is to be prepared for each individual unit i.e. for Marine, Fire, and Accident.
These individual revenue accounts will highlight the result of operation of each individual unit for a particular accounting period. It also reveals the incomes and expenditures of each individual unit. Like Revenue Account of a life insurance company, Revenue Account is prepared under Mercantile System of Accounting.
Items appearing in Revenue Account:
It has already been stated above that general insurance policies are issued for a short period, say, for a year. As a result, many of them may be unexpired at the end of the year. Therefore, the entire premium so received cannot be treated as an income for the current year only. A portion of that amount should be carried forward to the next year in order to cover the unexpired risks. This is what is known as Reserve for Unexpired Risks.
As per Schedule IIB of the IRDA the Reserve for Unexpired Risks should be provided for out of net premium so received as:
(a) 50% for Fire Insurance business;
(b) 50% for Miscellaneous Insurance business;
(c) 50% for Marine Insurance business other than Marine Hull business, and
(d) 100% for Marine Hull business.
In addition to the above, if any company wants to maintain more than this level, it can do so. The same is known as Additional Reserve.
2. Profit and Loss Account (Form B-Pl):
In order to find out the overall performance or results of the operating of general insurance business Profit and Loss Account of the General Insurance Companies is prepared. It also takes into account the income from investment by way of interest, dividend, Rent Profit/Loss on sale of investments. Provision for Taxations and Provision for Doubtful Debts, if any, should also be provided for.
Similarly, other expenses related to insurance business and bad debts written-off also will be adjusted to this account. However, appropriation section of Profit and Loss Account will contain payment of interim dividend; proposed dividend; transfer to any reserve i.e. appropriation items.
3. Balance Sheet (Form B-Bs):
The Balance Sheet of a general insurance company as per IRDA format is divided into two parts, viz. Source of Funds and Application of Funds. It is prepared in vertical form.
Sources of Funds:
It consists of:
(i) Share Capital (Schedule 5):
Various classes of Share Capital viz. Authorized Capital, Issued, Subscribed, Called-up and Paid up capital are separately shown.
(ii) Reserves & Surplus- (Schedule 6):
All kinds of reserves will appear under this head, viz. Securities Premium, Balance of Profit and Loss Account, General Reserve, Capital Redemption Reserve, Capital Reserve, etc.
(iii) Borrowings (Schedule 7):
Long term borrowings viz. Bonds, Debentures, Bank Loans, taken from various financial institutes will appear under this head.
Applications of Funds:
It consists of:
(i) Investments (Schedule 8):
All kinds of investments, whether long-term or short-term, will appear under this schedule.
(ii) Loans (Schedule 9):
Different kinds of loans clearly specified, viz. (a) Security-wise, Borrower-wise, performance-wise, and maturity-wise classification.
(iii) Fixed Assets (Schedule 10):
All fixed assets viz. Goodwill, Intangibles, Land and Building, Freehold/Leasehold Property, Furniture & Fixture, etc. will appear in this schedule.
(iv) Current Assets:
This section has two parts:
(a) Cash and Bank Balances (Schedule 11):
All cash and bank balances lying at Deposit Account and Current Account, Money-at-call and short notice etc. will appear in the Schedule.
(b) Advances and Other Assets (Schedule 12):
All advances (short-term) and other assets, if any, will appear in this Schedule.
(v) Current Liabilities (Schedule 14):
All current liabilities viz., Agents’ balances, Premium Received in Advance, Sundry Creditors, Claims Outstanding etc.
(vi) Provisions (Schedule 15):
All kinds of provisions viz., Reserve for Unexpired Risk; Provision for Taxation, Proposed Dividend, Others.
New Format for Financial Statement:
According to Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Preparation of Financial Statements and Auditors’ Report of Insurance Companies) Regulations, 2002, every general insurance company must prepare as per Schedule B of the Regulations the following three statements for preparation and presentation of financial statements:
For General Insurance:
- Revenue Account: Form B-RA
- Profit and Loss Account: Form B-PL
- Balance Sheet: Form B-BS
Thus, in short, every general insurance company is required to prepare a Revenue Account (Form B-RA); Profit and Loss Account (Form B-PL) and Balance Sheet (Form B-BS).