Insurance Law covers insurance policies and claims, and specifically, the regulation of the business of insurance, the regulation of the content of insurance policies, including consumer policies, and the regulation of claims handling.
In order to understand insurance law, it is useful to understand insurance first. Insurance is a contract in which one party (the “insured”) pays money (called a premium) and the other party promises to reimburse the first for certain types of losses (illness, property damage, or death) if they occur.
Insurance law falls into three major categories. First, the insurance company will hire lawyers to represent the insured in case that person is sued for something related to the insurance contract. The second category of insurance law helps insured people determine when an insurance company must pay a claim. Third, insurance companies typically hire attorneys to make sure the company complies with all applicable laws and regulations, which can vary by state.
There are many types of insurance. The government runs some kinds of insurance, like Social Security disability, worker’s compensation, and unemployment insurance. However, the term “insurance law” usually refers to the law surrounding private insurance. The most common types of private insurance are health insurance, automobile liability insurance, homeowner’s insurance, life insurance, title insurance, and malpractice insurance.
- Policy – The contract which outlines what the insurance company will pay in case of loss.
- Benefit – The money or services an insurance company provides in case of loss.
- Insured – The person who receives the insurance benefit. In the case of life insurance, the “insured” is the person whose life is insured, and the person who receives the benefit is called the “beneficiary.”
- Premium – The money the insured pays the insurance company.
- Claim – A request for benefits when loss occurs.
- Coverage – The types of losses which the insurance company will reimburse.
- Insurance Agent – A person who is licensed to sell insurance in a particular state.
If you have questions regarding an insurance matter, Ross & Matthews is just a phone call away.