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Insurance, the fourth basic need - Nepal News

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December 26, 2004 was an unfortunate day for Asians. Thousands of people were killed and many more became homeless from the natural disaster, Tsunami. The scale of destruction is not quantifiable and the deaths uncountable.

Many considered Tsunami as far-flung incidence because it had no direct impact on the country. But, the same people shuddered to the news of a bus accident, in which death toll mounted to 42 people and nearly wiped out male members from the village who were onboard to celebrate a marriage ceremony of a resident there.

These two incidents are entirely different. But, the common message these give is that death and natural calamities are unpredictable and result an unbearable loss to those lived by the deceased ones – both emotionally and financially.

Each member of a attaches all social, emotional and economic meaning and importance with him. In society like ours where male member stands as the sole breadwinner, the loss in the family is even more far reaching. There are lot of examples in our surrounding where lives of family members have worsened with the death of a male member.

May it be Tsunami or the bus accident or earthquakes of 1990 and 2045 BS or disaster that hit Myaglung bazaar when the village was nearly engulfed in flame, human loss have been uncountable and economic losses are more impacting.

Examples like these show that human life is surrounded by different risks, some expected and others unexpected. It is hard to foresee all the risks and calamities awaiting us. Many people loose their limbs in accidents, many happy families are ruined by unexpected death of bread-winners, and invaluable properties are engulfed by fire, so on and so forth. People cannot escape from these disasters, but they can always reduce the impact of disasters on their dependents and closer ones of they take some precautionary measures.

And, Insurance is one important tool that helps to mitigate the economic loss of this risk on individuals. If victims of Puthan bus accident had insured their life, their families would have received some compensation, which, in turn, might have supported them to sustain their lives.

Insurance is run under the concept of cooperative, in which a certain risk distributed homogenously among the individuals or groups that are exposed to it. It is a way of dividing the burden of risk to the number of people who are exposed to it at a same time.

Thus, the concept of insurance is to protect man and his property/business from different types of risks and uncertainly. The word insurance means ‘to be assured of the future by sharing the risks’.

Given its importance, insurance has already been established as the fourth basic needs of human lives, which assure economic security and certainly by integrating various people within the coverage net.

But, sadly enough because of the lack of awareness and failure of the concerned authorities, majority of the Nepali populace is simple not aware of this economic safety net.

Source: Kathmandu Post - 7-3-2005

keyterms: insurance, economic loss, accident, Tsunami, safety net, Nepal


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