Large Loss Principle

Definition of "Large loss principle"

Transfer of high severity risks through the insurance contract to protect against catastrophic occurrences. While insurance is generally not the most cost-effective means of recovery of minor losses, an insured cannot predict catastrophes and thus set aside enough money to cover losses on a mathematical basis or to self-insure. Actuarial tables are based on the large loss principle: the larger the number of exposures, the more closely losses will match the probability of loss. In essence, a large number of insureds, each paying a modest sum into an insurance plan, can protect against the relatively few catastrophes that will strike some of their numbers.

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