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What is the Difference Between Insurance and Reinsurance?

The act of indemnifying the risk caused to another person is known as insurance. Reinsurance, on the other hand, is when an insurance company purchases insurance to protect itself from the risk of loss.

  • 15,085 Views | Updated on: Jan 10, 2024

One of the industries with the fastest global growth is insurance. The notion of insurance was formerly solely applied to life insurance. Still, today you can purchase general insurance to protect most of your possessions, including your home, car, jewelry, electronics, bike, and more. The most often used kind of insurance is still life insurance.

Reinsurance has been a popular risk management strategy for insurance companies to reduce their exposure in the case of a significant claim. Reinsurance is a type of financial protection intended to reduce the risk of losses, much like insurance. By paying an insurance premium, the insurance enables you to transfer the risk to the other party.

What is Insurance?

An insurance policy is a legal agreement between a person (the policyholder) and an insurance provider. In accordance with this agreement, the policyholder pays an ongoing premium to the insurance company in exchange for financial protection against a calamitous event as specified in the policy document. For instance, the unexpected death of the life insured, an accident, home or car damage, etc.

The insurance company pays a lump sum payout to the policyholder or nominee in accordance with the terms and conditions of the insurance policy in the event of an unforeseen incident. Based on his or her needs and life goals, the policyholder decides on the necessary insurance coverage. As an insurance policy has many different parts, it’s important to read the small print and comprehend all of its nuances in order to select the best option.

What is Reinsurance?

A reinsurer offers financial security to insurance firms. In essence, these reinsurers are businesses that take on risks that are too big for insurance firms to handle alone. As a result, it is known as insurers’ insurance.

Since the insurance industry is a risky one, it is essential for insurance companies to have their own bankruptcy safeguards in place. Insurance businesses can benefit from business prospects that would otherwise be inaccessible to them because of reinsurance.

By pooling its insurance policies and spreading the risk among several other insurance companies, an insurance company can use reinsurance to avoid suffering significant losses in the event of a large loss.

Difference between Insurance vs Reinsurance

Both insurance and reinsurance offer financial security to hedge against the possibility of losses. The phrase “insurance” is often used when people or organisations purchase a product to reduce risk. Reinsurance, on the other hand, is when an insurance provider protects themselves against the risk of loss resulting from a significant claim. Reinsurance premium changes have a significant impact on insurance premium changes because as reinsurance premiums rise, so do the expenses of insurance firms.

Basis of differentiation




An agreement between two parties in which one agrees to compensate the other in the event of a loss or death is referred to as an insurance contract.

Reinsurance is the term for insurance purchased by an insurance company when it decides not to assume the complete loss risk and instead chooses to share it with another insurer.


It is given to someone or something.

Taken by big insurance firms to withstand significant losses.


An insurance company receives money paid by a person.

The insurance companies split the cost of reinsurance according to a predetermined ratio.

Wrapping Up

Contracts for insurance and reinsurance actually assists the insured in recovering damages. Reinsurance allows the insurance company to pool policies and distribute risk among several businesses, thereby protecting the original insurance company from significant losses. It is now up to you to make the right decision and find out if insurance or reinsurance fits the best for you.

Key Takeaways

    The major difference between Insurance and Reinsurance is

  • Insurance is a legal agreement between an insurer and an insured in which the former guarantees to defend the latter in the event of damage or death.
  • Reinsurance is the insurance a firm purchase to lessen severe losses when it decides not to absorb the entire loss risk and instead shares it with another insurer.
  • In insurance, protection is offered to both people and goods. Large insurance companies, on the other hand, use reinsurance to protect themselves from catastrophic losses.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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