Pure Risk and Speculative Risk

28/07/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

Pure Risk

There are only two possibilities; something bad happening or nothing happening. It is unlikely that any measurable benefit will arise from a pure risk. The house will enjoy a year with nothing bad occurring or there will be damage caused by a covered cause of loss (fire, wind, etc.). Predicting the outcomes of a pure risk is accomplished (sometimes) using the law of large numbers, a prior data or empirical data. Pure risk, also known as absolute risk, is insurable.

Pure risk is a type of risk that cannot be controlled and has two outcomes: complete loss or no loss at all. There are no opportunities for gain or profit when pure risk is involved.

Pure risk is generally prevalent in situations such as natural disasters, fires, or death. These situations cannot be predicted and are beyond anyone’s control. Pure risk is also referred to as absolute risk.

Pure risk examples

Personal risks affect individuals and involve losing or reducing personal assets. For example, unemployment is a pure risk resulting in financial loss when income and benefits are taken away. There are numerous other types of personal, pure risks, however: Poor health runs the risk of large medical bills, and the risk of an unforeseen, permanent disability could end a person’s career and, as a result, dramatically reduce their income. The pure risk of premature death also impacts the deceased family members who might struggle to pay household bills if the breadwinner unexpectedly dies.

Pure risk to property includes fires, wind damage, flooding and other natural disasters that cause damage to personal belongings.

Liability risks are also considered pure risks and pertain to potential litigation against a person or organization. For example, a homeowner could be sued by a person who slipped on their walkway for medical expenses, lost income or other damages.

Types of Pure Risk

Personal risks directly affect an individual and may involve the loss of earnings and assets or an increase in expenses. For example, unemployment may create financial burdens from the loss of income and employment benefits. Identity theft may result in damaged credit, and poor health may result in substantial medical bills, as well as the loss of earning power and the depletion of savings.

Property risks involve property damaged due to uncontrollable forces such as fire, lightning, hurricanes, tornados, or hail.

Liability risks may involve litigation due to real or perceived injustice. For example, a person injured after slipping on someone else’s icy driveway may sue for medical expenses, lost income, and other associated damages.

Insuring Against Pure Risk

Unlike most speculative risks, pure risks are typically insurable through commercial, personal, or liability insurance policies. Individuals transfer part of a pure risk to an insurer. For example, homeowners purchase home insurance to protect against perils that cause damage or loss. The insurer now shares the potential risk with the homeowner.

Pure risks are insurable partly because the law of large numbers applies more readily than to speculative risk. Insurers are more capable of predicting loss figures in advance and will not extend themselves into a market if they see it as unprofitable.

Speculative Risk

Unlike pure risk, speculative risk has opportunities for loss or gain and requires the consideration of all potential risks before choosing an action. For example, investors purchase securities believing they will increase in value.

But the opportunity for loss is always present. Businesses venture into new markets, purchase new equipment, and diversify existing product lines because they recognize the potential gain surpasses the potential loss.

Speculative risk is a category of risk that, when undertaken, results in an uncertain degree of gain or loss. All speculative risks are made as conscious choices and are not just a result of uncontrollable circumstances. Since there is some chance of either a gain or a loss, speculative risk is the opposite of pure risk, which is the possibility of only a loss and no potential for gain.

Almost all investment activities involve some speculative risks, as an investor has no idea whether an investment will be a blazing success or an utter failure. Some assets such as an options contract carry a combination of speculative risk and risk that you can hedge.

Some investments are more speculative than others. For example, investing in government bonds has much less speculative risk than investing in junk bonds because government bonds have a much lower risk of default. In many cases, the greater the speculative risk, the higher the potential for profits or returns on the investment.

Examples of Speculative Risk

Most financial investments, such as the purchase of stock, involve speculative risk. It is possible for the share value to go up, resulting in a gain, or go down, resulting in a loss. While data may allow certain assumptions to be made regarding the likelihood of a particular outcome, the outcome is not guaranteed.

Sports betting also qualifies as having speculative risk. If a person is betting on which team will win a football game, the outcome could result in a gain or loss, depending on which team wins. While the outcome cannot be known ahead of time, it is known that a gain or loss are both possible.

If you buy a call option, you know in advance that your maximum downside risk is the loss of the premium paid if the options contract expires worthless. At the same time, you do not know what your potential upside gain will be since nobody can know the future.

On the other hand, selling or writing a call option carries unlimited risk in exchange for the premium collected. However, some of that speculative risk can be hedged with other strategies, such as owning shares of the stock or by purchasing a call option with higher strike price. In the end, the amount of speculative risk will depend on whether the option is bought or sold and whether it is hedged or not.

Pure vs. speculative risk

While pure risk is beyond human control and can only result in a loss if it occurs, speculative risk is taken on voluntarily and can result in either a profit or loss. Speculative risks are undertaken through a conscious choice, and they are considered a controllable risk. Almost all financial investment activities, for example, are considered speculative risk because they ultimately result in an unknown amount of success or failure.

Betting on sports is also considered a speculative, controllable risk. A person betting on an NFL game could see either a financial gain or financial loss from the bet, depending on which team wins. Unlike pure risk that will only result in a loss, betting on the game could result in either a gain or a loss for the person undertaking the bet, or in this case, the risk.