A Quick Guide On Elements of Insurable Risks


Elements of Insurable Risks: Most insurance companies only provide coverage for pure risks, or hazards that have the majority or all of the essential components of insurable risk. These components include the phrase “due to chance,” specificity and quantifiability, statistical predictability, absence of catastrophic exposure, random selection, and exposure to substantial losses.

The Elements of Insurable Risks

Speculative risk vs Pure risk

Insurance firms typically only provide coverage for event risks, often known as pure risks. Any uncertain circumstance where there is a chance of financial loss and no chance of financial gain is considered a pure risk.

Risks that could result in a profit or loss are considered speculative, such as those associated with commercial operations or gambling activities. Speculative risks are rarely covered because they lack the essential components of insurability.


  • Contrary to pure risks, speculative risks are nearly never covered by insurance providers.
  • Before agreeing to pay for damages, insurance firms need policyholders to provide proof of loss (typically in the form of bills).
  • The premium is typically higher for losses that happen more frequently or have a higher necessary benefit.

Pure risks include things like natural occurrences like fires or floods, as well as other accidents like car crashes or athletes suffering major knee injuries. The majority of pure risks fall into one of three categories: personal risks, which have an impact on an insured person’s ability to make an income, property risks, and liability risks, which protect against losses brought on by social interactions. Private insurers do not cover all pure risks.

What is an insurable risk?

Due to Chance

An insurable risk needs to have a chance of accidental loss, which means the loss would have to be brought on by an unplanned activity and be unexpected in both its timing and severity.

This is typically referred to as “due to chance” in the insurance industry. Although this criteria may vary from state to state, insurers only cover claims for losses that were caused accidentally. It guards against malicious actions of loss, such as a landlord setting fire to one of their own properties.

Clarity and Verifiability

The policyholder must be able to show a concrete proof of loss, typically in the form of invoices in a quantifiable amount, for the loss to be reimbursed. It is not insured if the size of the loss cannot be determined or properly identified. An insurance firm cannot calculate a fair benefit amount or premium price without this information.

Important: Any extreme loss deemed too expensive, widespread, or unexpected for an insurance provider to fairly cover is simply referred to as a catastrophic risk.

Statistics-Based Prediction

Insurance providers must be able to predict the likelihood of a loss occurring and its severity because insurance is a statistical game. For example, life and health insurance providers use mortality and morbidity figures and actuarial science to forecast losses across populations.

Not Catastrophic

Catastrophic dangers are not covered by standard insurance. It may come as a surprise to learn that an exclusion from catastrophes is one of the essential components of an insurable risk, but it makes sense given the definition of catastrophic used by the insurance industry and frequently abbreviated as “cat”.

Catastrophic risk comes in two forms. When all or many units within a risk group, such as the insurance policyholders in that class, are exposed to the same incident, the first condition exists. Hurricanes, earthquakes, and nuclear fallout are a few examples of this type of catastrophic danger.

Any unexpectedly significant loss of value that neither the insurer nor the policyholder had anticipated constitutes the second category of catastrophic risk. The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, are arguably the most notorious instance of this type of catastrophic occurrence.

To protect against catastrophic disasters, many insurance companies enter into reinsurance agreements, and other insurance companies specialize in catastrophic insurance. Even risk-linked instruments, also known as “cat bonds,” can be bought by investors. which raise money for catastrophic risk transfers.

Large Loss Exposure and Randomly Selected

The law of large numbers underlies the operation of all insurance plans. According to this law, a sufficient number of homogenous exposures must have occurred in order for a prediction of the loss caused by an event to be valid.

The number of exposure units, or policyholders, must also be sufficient to include a statistically random sample of the entire population, according to a second related regulation. This is intended to stop insurance companies from distributing risk only among individuals who are most likely to file a claim, as might happen in the case of adverse selection.

The conclusion

Other less important or more evident components of an insurable risk also exist. For instance, the danger must cause financial hardship. Why? Because if it doesn’t, there is no justification for purchasing loss insurance. One of the fundamental components of a legal contract in the United States is that each party must have a shared understanding of the risk.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here