Definition of "Indemnity"

Lela Latimer real estate agent
Lela Latimer, Real Estate Agent ERA Sunrise Realty

Compensation for loss. In a property and casualty contract, the objective is to restore an insured to the same financial position after the loss that he or she was in prior to the loss. But the insured should not be able to profit by damage or destruction of property, nor should the insured be in a worse financial position after a loss. In life insurance the situation is totally different. By the payment of a single premium, the beneficiary of an insured can be placed in a much better financial position at the death of an insured than he or she was in prior to the death. However, the payment of a predetermined amount upon the insured's death does not make a life insurance policy a contract of indemnity. In hospital indemnity and other health insurance plans, coordination of benefits is designed so that the insured cannot profit from an illness.

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