Insurance business is categorised as either ‘general’ or ‘long term’. General insurance is essentially fire, accident, motor, marine and aviation insurance, whereas long term business is principally life assurance (although it also includes small amounts of health insurance, annuities and sinking fund policies for the redemption of capital). A number of the large insurance companies in the UK, known as ‘composites’, undertake both types of business, but the majority of companies are involved in one of the categories only.
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