Different types of policies require different premiums based on the degree of risk that the situation presents. For example, a policy insuring a homeowner for all risks associated with a home valued at $200,000 requires a higher premium than one insuring a boat valued at $20,000. Although liability for injuries to others might be similar under both policies, the cost of replacing or repairing the boat would be less than the cost of repairing or replacing the home, and this difference is reflected in the premium paid by the insured.
Premium rates also depend on characteristics of the insured. For example, a person with a poor driving record generally has to pay more for auto insurance than does a person with a good driving record. Furthermore, insurers are free to deny policies to persons who present an unacceptable risk. For example, most insurance companies do not offer life or health insurance to persons who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
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