Insurance in the United Kingdom, particularly long-term insurance, is divided into different categories. The categorisation is currently set out in sections 333B, and 431B to 431F of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 (ICTA) with each category of business given a different tax treatment.
The first basic categorisation of long-term insurance is between life and non-life business. Life insurance business is insurance that is contingent on human life. Insurance providers use risk data to calculate the odds of an event (car accident, fire, theft, etc.) happening to you. The more likely this event is, the higher your premiums. Actuaries are the people responsible for setting premiums; they evaluate, manage and advise on financial risk. They do this by using their knowledge of business and economics, their understanding of probability theory, statistics and investment theory to provide this financial advice.
Depending on the insurance cover you require, there are a number of places to find the policy you require. Many banks, building societies, supermarkets and department stores offer insurance policies. There are also many comparison sites and online insurers.
Alternatively, you could seek professional advice through different professional bodies of the UK insurance industry. According to the ABI, the insurance market in the UK is the largest in Europe and the 3rd largest in the world. The ABI says that the insurance sector employs over 300,000 people: 114,300 directly and another 219,700 in auxiliary services such as broking. Insurance providers were responsible for investments of £1.8 trillion in 2013, which was 25% of the UK’s total net worth. The 250 members of ABI make up 90% of the UK insurance market and in 2013 its members paid £12 billion to the British government in taxes. Like many other consumer products, the key to finding the right insurance policy for you is to look around, compare prices and cover and always get a number of quotes before deciding.