Is Insurance a Variable Cost | Variable Cost vs. Fixed Cost

Is insurance a variable cost? Insurers charge an annual fee, and these are the premium. You must examine insurance costs in further detail to understand why they are a fixed expense. Businesses incur manufacturing or production costs while they produce their products or services.

Simply put, it is the worth of the money that corporations invest in buying and selling goods. There are two primary categories of expenses that businesses face while manufacturing their products: variable and fixed costs.

Variable expenses grow when output increases and reduce when production decreases. Labor, utility prices, commissions, and raw materials are among the most prevalent categories of variable costs.

Expenses such as rent, property tax, insurance, and depreciation are unrelated to a company’s unique business activity. However, let’s see why it is a fixed cost.

Is Insurance a Variable Cost?

Is Insurance a Variable Cost

An example of variable expenses is the cost related to the number of products or services a firm produces. The fluctuation in a company’s output volume affects its variable costs. Variable prices rise as manufacturing volume increases. However, as the volume decreases, so does the variable cost. 

  • Costs of labor, packaging, and services 
  • Materials in their natural state

You may calculate the variable cost per output unit by multiplying the output quantity by the variable cost. A company called ABC makes ceramic cups at $2 each. The company’s variable cost will be $1,000 if it produces 500 units.

Even if the firm doesn’t make any mugs, it won’t be burdened with varying costs. It will cost $2,000 for each device if the firm makes 1000 of them.

Variable costs vary by industry; therefore, comparing a vehicle manufacturer’s variable costs with an appliance maker’s is pointless. This is because you cannot reach the quality of their production. Compare the variable expenses of two firms in the same industry if you want accurate results. Semi-variable expenses are another possibility for businesses. These expenses include both fixed and variable costs.

What are Fixed Costs?

Is Insurance a Variable Cost

Whether you produce commodities or services, fixed costs stay the same. It is impossible to avoid these expenditures. This means that the company’s fixed expenses do not change with production volume and are not directly related to the manufacturing process. 

Let’s go back to the previous example. Company ABC’s mug-making equipment costs $10,000 a month to rent if this is the case. If the firm doesn’t make any mugs in a month, it still has to pay the $10,000 rental fee for the machine.

In the end, the fixed costs are the same, regardless of how many cups came off the production process. In this scenario, the variable expenses rise from $0 to $2 million.

Customers’ purchases affect a company’s bottom line. Because when sales grow, so does the amount spent on variable expenses.

Are insurance premiums a fixed cost?

Are insurance premiums a fixed cost?

Premiums for property insurance for a business are almost always standard. It is conceivable that the cost of worker compensation insurance will fluctuate. The independent variable determines whether a charge is constant, variable, or mixed.

So, when the number of units a company produces in the factory is an independent variable, the cost of insuring the manufacturing facility is fixed. However, if the independent variable replaces the manufacturing structures, the insurance cost will vary. 

The cost of workers’ compensation insurance varies according to the amount of money earned by each class of employees (excluding overtime premiums). In other words, if the tips for workers’ compensation go from $5 per $100 of factory labor costs, so, the premiums for workers’ compensation will fluctuate based on the dollar amount of factory labor costs.

Workers’ compensation costs for the office employees are often significantly lower, and they do not depend on the number of units of output they have been producing in the plant. However, the cost of worker compensation for the office personnel will be dependent on the number of salaries and wages paid to the office workers.

As you’ve seen, it’s not always easy to tell which costs are constant and which are variable.

Why Is It Important to Distinguish Between Fixed Costs and Variable Costs?

Why Is It Important to Distinguish Between Fixed Costs and Variable Costs?

A small business owner must keep track of and understand how various expenses fluctuate as production and volume varies. 

How to save on fixed and variable costs

Although it is feasible to modify fixed expenditures, it usually takes longer. You can’t make an instant decision on this. When your lease expires, you won’t be able to move until then without paying a break fee. There are still a few months remaining in your contract, so you’ll have to pay your set rent fees.

On the other side, you can change some expenditure in a rush, such as variable expenses. Let’s imagine you run out of money in the middle of the month due to an unexpected cost. It will be challenging to cut back on your automobile or rent payments to make ends meet.

However, it’s easy to reduce your variable costs in most cases. For example, you may keep an eye out for the price of food at the supermarket and avoid eating out or buying unnecessary products.

Examples of Fixed Expenses

You might include essential costs, such as those required to sustain a minimum quality of living each month in a person’s fixed expenses. Some examples are:

  • Paying rent or a mortgage
  • Homeowners and renter’s insurance
  • Service on a mobile phone
  • Providers of online services
  • Insurance premiums for health, disability, or life insurance
  • Inheritance taxes
  • The cost of child care
  • Payments on a student loan or a vehicle loan

Expenditures such as water, gas, and electricity are essential living expenses. However, these expenses might vary from month to month, based on your consumption and service provider rates.

While not essential for fundamental necessities, certain recurring subscriptions might be a fixed item in your budget. Monthly fees for things like a gym membership or streaming services tend to be predictable.

As long as you plan for it regularly, you can exclude savings as a fixed cost. Every time you receive payments, you could put away, say, $100 in your emergency fund. 

Comparing Fixed and Variable Costs

Fixed costs don’t alter activity quantities, but variable costs vary with activity volumes. This is the difference between the two. As a result, fixed costs accumulate over time, whereas variable expenses accrue as manufactured products.

You can fully understand a business’s financial features if one understand this distinction. An increase in competition might occur because all businesses share a similar cost structure and must pay for their fixed expenses. Certain companies may earn huge profits when sales go up, but others can lose a lot of money when sales go down.

Managers are less likely to accept low-priced proposals from consumers if the cost structure is made chiefly of variable expenses (such as a service business). These firms can cover their relatively low fixed costs with little difficulty.

Sales with a high share of variable costs tend to have lower profit margins after paying fixed expenses of sales with a low proportion of the fixed price.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is business insurance a fixed or variable cost?

Expenses that don’t change considering the sales volume are the “fixed costs.” Fixed costs are expenses predicated on time spent rather than the amount produced or sold. Rental and leasing fees, wages, energy bills, insurance, and loan repayments are all examples of fixed costs.

What are variable products in insurance?

The term “variable life insurance” refers to a type of permanent life insurance. The premiums are invested in various financial instruments and funds, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and money market funds.

Is insurance a semi-variable cost?

This indicates that semi-variable expenses are set for a particular activity but vary depending on training. Specific fees, such as the monthly payment on a car loan, insurance, depreciation, and licensing, is set and unaffected by usage.

Is insurance a product cost?

Equipment depreciation, utilities, property taxes, building insurance, and repairs and upkeep to the structure and machinery are all expenses. If this is the case, the cost is one of the items in question. The next step is determining if the payment is due to direct material or direct labor.

Bottom line

Life insurance is a one-time investment. Once you make a decision, the premium you pay does not alter. Your insurance premiums will go up for the same policy when you get older. 

As long as you stay with the same insurance company, you’ll have to pay the same amount of premium every month. Even if your insurance company changes, you’ll have to keep paying the same amount of compensation every month.


Adam Grabois is an expert in all aspects of Insurance and Property with 20 years of experience. He is a licensed broker of all lines including property, casualty, life, and health. As a licensed adjuster, he is well-versed in all aspects of insurance, and he owns All Needs Insurance agency in Florida.

He attended Tufts University where he earned his undergraduate degree, followed by a Master's degree from Columbia University.

Adam shares his breadth of experience by helping many businesses and individuals manage risk and protect themselves financially. He now shares this with the audience of the "Pro Insurance Info" website.

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