INSURANCE: THE FOURTH BASIC NEED
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
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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