Insurance Glossary

In case you need some definitions on the insurance terms found in your policy we have provided an insurance glossary for your convenience. Please call us at (850) 862-6300, if you have any questions!


Glossary

 

  • A

 

  • B

 

  • C

 

  • D

 

  • E

 

  • F

 

  • G

 

  • H

 

  • I

 

  • J

 

  • K

 

  • L

 

  • M

 

  • N

 

  • O

 

  • P

 

  • Q

 

  • R

 

  • S

 

  • T

 

  • U

 

  • V

 

  • W

 

  • X

 

  • Y

 

  • Z

 


A

All Other Peril Deductible (AOP Deductible)

In Florida, most policies have a separate hurricane deductible and an Abandonment: As used in property insurance, prohibits the insured from abandoning damaged property to the insurance company for repair or disposal

Accelerated Benefits Rider

An adjustment (rider) to a life insurance policy that allows for the early payment of some portion of the policy’s face amount should the insured suffer from a terminal illness or injury.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider

An adjustment (rider) to a life insurance policy that provides for payment of an additional cash benefit when death occurs by accidental means. This amount depends on the value of the policy.

Accidental Death Insurance

An Insurance policy that provides payment if the insured’s death occurs as a result of an accident.

Accounts Receivable Coverage

Covers loss of sums owed to the insured by its customers that are uncollectible due to damage by an insured peril to accounts receivable records.

Actual Cash Value

The present-day value of property measured in cash, arrived at by taking replacement cost and deducting for depreciation brought about by physical wear and tear and obsolescence.

Additional Insured

A person or organization for whom insured status is arranged by endorsement.

Advertising Injury

General liability coverage that insures against libel, slander, invasion of privacy, copyright infringement and misappropriation of advertising in connection with the insured’s advertising of its goods or services.

Agent

An authorized representative of an insurance company.

Aggregate

The maximum amount an insurance company will pay during the policy.

All Risk Coverage

Property insurance covering loss arising from all causes of loss except those that are specifically excluded.

Annually Renewable Term

Term insurance that provides coverage for one year and allows the policy owner to renew his or her coverage each year.

Assignment

The transfer of ownership of a Life Insurance policy from one person to another.

Attained Age
Your current age. Your attained age is a factors life insurance companies use to determine premiums.

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B

Backdating

Making the effective date of a policy earlier than the date of application. Backdating is often used to make the age of the applicant lower than it actually was at the time of application so that he/she can get a lower premium. State laws often set limits to this.

Bailee Coverage

Coverage on property left in the care of the insured for storage, repair or servicing. Basic Cause of Loss Form: Property coverage for named perils: Fire, Lightening, Explosion, Smoke, Windstorm, Hail, Riot, Civil Commotion, Aircraft, Vehicles, Vandalism, Sprinkler Leakage, Sinkhole Collapse and Volcanic Action.

Basic Limits

The minimum limits of liability that can be carried by an insured.

Beneficiary

The designated person set to receive the death benefit if the insured should die.

Best’s Rating

A rating system by A.M. Best Company giving the financial condition of insurance companies.

Binder

Temporary authorization of coverage issued by an agent prior to receiving the actual insurance policy.

Bodily Injury by Accident Limit

The most an insurer will pay under Part Two of a Workers’ Compensation Policy for claims arising out of any one accident, regardless of how many employee claims arise out of the accident.

Bodily Injury by Disease, Each Employee

The most an insurer will pay under Part Two of a Workers’ Compensation Policy for damages due to bodily injury by disease to any one employee.

Bodily Injury by Disease-Policy Limit

The most an insurer will pay under Part Two of a Workers’ Compensation Policy employee bodily injury by disease claims during the policy period regardless of the number of employees who make such claims.

Bodily Injury Liability Limit

The insured is legally liable for damages due to bodily injury, sickness, or disease, including resulting death.

Boiler & Machinery Insurance

Coverage for loss caused by mechanical or electrical equipment breakdown, including damage to the equipment.

Bond

A written agreement in which one party, the surety, guarantees the performance or honesty of a second party, the principal (obligor), to the third party (obligee) to whom the performance or debt is owed.

Brands and Labels Endorsement

Property insurance coverage that allows the insured to remove labels from damaged goods or mark the items as ‘salvage,’ provided the goods are not damaged in the process.

Broad Causes of Loss Form

Property coverage for the named perils: Fire, Lightening, Explosion, Smoke, Windstorm, Hail, Riot, Civil Commotion, Aircraft, Vehicles, Vandalism, Sprinkler Leakage, Sinkhole Collapse, Volcanic Action, Breakage of Building Glass, Falling Objects, Weight of Snow, Ice or Sleet, Water Damage (in the form of leakage from appliances) and Collapse from Specified Causes.

Building Ordinance Coverage

Covers against loss caused by enforcement or ordinances or laws regulating construction and repair of damaged buildings.

Burglary

Theft of property by forcible entry, which is evidenced by visible signs, in a premises, by a person.

Business Auto Policy

Auto Policy for businesses that includes auto liability and auto physical damage coverages.

Business Income Coverage

Insurance covering loss of income by a business when operations are interrupted due to property loss that is a covered cause of loss.

Business Interruption Coverage

See Business Income Coverage (above).

Business Owners Policy (BOP)

A policy that combines property and liability coverages for special types of small businesses.

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C

Cancellation

The termination of an insurance policy usually before its expiration.

Care, Custody or Control

An exclusion of liability insurance which eliminates coverage for damage to property in the insured’s care, custody or control.

Carrier

The insurance company which provides coverage.

Cash Benefits

The Money that is paid to the policy holder upon settlement of a covered claim.

Cash Value

The equity amount or “savings” accumulation in a whole life insurance policy.

Casualty Insurance

Insurance that covers loss caused by injuries to persons and the legal liability imposed on the insured for injury or for damage to property of others.

Catastrophe

A severe loss causing sizable financial loss.

Causes of Loss Forms

The commercial property forms that define the covered causes of loss for which coverage is provided. Commonly, there are 3 Cause of Loss Forms: Basic, Broad and Special.

Certificate of Insurance

A document providing evidence that insurance has been purchased.

Claim

A request by a policyholder or a claimant for payment under a policy of insurance.

Claim Expense

Expenses of settling or investigating a claim.

Claimant

The person presenting a claim.

Claims Reserve

An amount of money set aside to meet claims reported but not paid.

Class

A group of businesses who have common or similar exposures and are grouped together for rating purposes.

Classification

The arranging or establishing of business groups or categories for rating purposes.

Coinsurance Provision

An insurance provision for property coverages in which the policyholder must carry an amount of insurance that is at least equal to a set percentage of the value of the property in order to receive full payment of a loss.

Collapse

Collapse of a building and collapse of personal property within a building due to specified causes (such as weight of snow, ice or rain). Does not include collapse due to design error or due to faulty workmanship or materials if the collapse occurs after construction is complete.

Collision Insurance

Provides for payment to a covered automobile resulting from the striking of another object by a moving vehicle.

Commercial General Liability Policy (CGL)

A coverage which protects business organizations against liability claims for bodily injury and property damage. Those claims may be the result of events at your place of business, from your business operations, the products or services you make or do, communications or advertisements your business broadcasts.

Competitive State Funds

State-owned and operated facilities that write Workers’ Compensation Insurance solely for that state.

Completed Operations

A General Liability coverage for the work of the insured that has been completed away from the business premises.

Comprehensive Auto Coverage

Covers an automobile for loss or damage for all causes except for those specifically excluded.

Compulsory Insurance

Insurance that is required by law.

Concealment

Failure to disclose facts which may void an insurance policy.

Conditional Receipt

Given to policy owners when they pay a premium at the time of the application. These receipts bind the insurance company, provided your policy is approved, but are subject to any other conditions stated on the receipt.

Conditions

Things agreed upon in an insurance policy that state the rights and the requirements of the insured and the insurer.

Consequential Loss

An indirect loss such as the reduction in value of property that is the result of a direct damage loss.

Constructive Total Loss

Term used when damage to property is more than the value of the property.

Contestable Clause

A provision in an insurance policy setting forth the conditions or time period under which the insurance company may contest or void the policy. After this time has lapsed, typically two years, the policy cannot be contested. Example: Suicide.

Contingent Beneficiary

Person or persons designated to receive the value of an insurance policy in case the original beneficiary is not alive.

Convertible Term

A policy that may be changed to another form by contractual provision and without evidence of insurability. Most term policies are convertible into permanent insurance.

Countersignature

The signature of a licensed agent or representative on a policy that is required to validate the policy.

Cross-Purchase Plan

An agreement that provides that upon a business owner’s death, surviving owners will purchase the deceased’s interest, often with funds from life insurance.

Cumulative Injury

A type of injury which occurs from the repetition of tasks over an extended length of time.

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D

Data Processing or EDP Coverage

All risk property insurance for electronic data processing equipment (computers), computer programs and data including mechanical breakdown, electrical injury and changes in temperature and humidity.

Death Benefit

The amount of money paid to the beneficiary when the insured person dies.

Declaration Page

Section of your insurance policy that states the specific policy information including your name, address, agent, policy period, premium amount and, most importantly, coverage limits.

Decreasing Term Insurance

Term life insurance on which the face value slowly decreases in scheduled steps from the date the policy comes into force to the date the policy expires, while the premium remains level. The intervals between decreases are usually monthly or annually.

Debris Removal

The cost of removal of debris from covered property damaged by an insured peril.

Deductible

The amount of loss which is paid or absorbed by the insured prior to determining the insurance company’s liability.

Deposit Premium

The amount of premium required at the beginning of a policy prior to the actual premium being determined.

Depreciation

The reduction in value of property over a period of time. Usually as a result of age, wear and tear, or economic obsolescence.

Direct Damage

Causes of loss that produce direct and straightforward property damage (without interruption in time or deviation in space) from the cause of the event to the damaged property.

Double Indemnity

Payment of twice the basic benefit in the event of loss resulting from specified causes or under specified circumstances.

Drop Down Provision

A clause used in Umbrella policies providing that the Umbrella will ‘drop-down’ over underlying policy aggregate limits when they have been reduced or exhausted.

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E

Earned Premium

The amount of premium that has been used for certain periods of time.

Earth Movement or Earthquake Exclusion

An exclusion found in most property insurance policies eliminating coverage for earth movement or earthquake, except ensuing fire.

Effective Date

The date on which an insurance binder or policy goes into effect.

Electrical Damage or Injury Exclusion

An exclusion usually contained in property insurance policies eliminating coverage for damage to electrical appliances caused by artificially generated currents, except for ensuing fire or explosion.

Employee Dishonesty Coverage

Coverage for theft of money, securities or property by an employee.

Employee Leasing

A staffing method which an employee leasing company provides all or most of its client’s employees.

Employers Excess Indemnity Insurance

Insurance coverage purchased by employers that do not subscribe to the Texas Workers’ Compensation law.

Employers Liability Coverage

Part 2 of the Workers’ Compensation policy which pays on behalf of the employer all sums that the employer becomes legally obligated to pay because of bodily injury by accident or disease sustained by any employee of the insured arising out of and in the course of his employment by the insured.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

A form of liability insurance covering wrongful acts arising from employment practices such as wrongful termination, discrimination and sexual harassment.

Endorsement

A written form attached to an insurance policy that alters the policy’s coverage, terms, or conditions. Sometimes called a rider.

Equipment Floater

A property insurance coverage for equipment that is often moved from place to place.

Estimated Premium

A preliminary premium amount that could be adjusted based on a variance in exposures.

Evidence of Insurability

Any statement or proof of a person’s physical condition, occupation, etc., affecting acceptance of the applicant for insurance.

Excess and Surplus Lines Insurance

Coverage that is provided by insurers not licensed in the states where the risk is located.

Excess Liability Policy

A policy that provides additional limits in excess of an underlying liability policy.

Exclusions

Specified hazards listed in a policy for which benefits will not be paid.

Expected or Intended

An exclusion for injury or damage that is expected or intended.

Expediting Expense Coverage

Coverage providing reimbursement of expenses for temporary repairs and costs incurred to speed up the permanent repair or replacement of covered property or equipment.

Expense Constant

A small flat expense charged to Workers’ Compensation policies.

Experience Modifier

A debit or credit factor developed by measuring the difference between the insured’s actual past experience and the expected or actual experience of the class of business.

Expiration

The ending date of an insurance policy.

Exposure Base

The basis of rates that are applied to determine premium. Some exposures may be measured by payroll, receipts, sales, square footage, area, man-hours or per unit.

Extra Expense Coverage

Coverage for reimbursement of expenses in excess of normal operating expenses that are incurred to continue operations after a direct damage loss.

Extraterritorial Coverage

The coverage for extending workers’ compensation law to provide benefits for workers hired in one state but injured while working in another state.

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F

Face Amount

The amount covered by the terms of an insurance contract, usually found on the first page of the policy.

Fiduciary Liability

The liability placed on trustees, employers, fiduciaries and professional administrators with respect to errors and omissions in the administration of employee benefit programs.

Final Expenses

Expenses incurred at the time of a person’s death. These include but are not limited to:funeral costs, court expenses, current bills or debt, mortgages, loans and taxes.

Fine Arts Coverage

Property insurance for works of art.

Fire Department Service Charge Coverage

Coverage in a property insurance policy for charges incurred by the insured from a fire department for their services in fighting a fire.

Fire Legal Liability Coverage

Liability coverage for the insured’s legal liability for fire damage to premises rented by the insured.

Fire Wall

A wall designed to prevent the spread of fire from one part of a building to another.

Firewall

A computer that protects a company’s private network from outside internet users.

Fixed Benefit

A death benefit, the dollar amount of which does not vary.

Flat Cancellation

The full cancellation of a policy as of the effective date of coverage which requires the return of paid premium in full.

Flood Coverage

Coverage for damage to property caused by flood.

Flood Exclusion

A provision in most all property insurance policies eliminating coverage for damage by flood and possibly other types of water damage, such as seepage and sewer backup.

Follow Form

An umbrella policy provision that follows the underlying policy for coverages and policy provisions.

Forgery or Alteration Coverage

Covers loss due to the dishonesty of writing, signing or altering of checks and bank drafts.

Fortuitous Event

An event that is subject to chance without the implication of suddenness.

Free Look

Trial period required in most states where policy owners have up to 20 days to examine their new policies with no obligation.

Frequency

The number of times that a loss will occur within any given period of time.

Full Coverage

Any form of insurance that provides payment in full of all losses caused by the perils insured against without applying a deductible or depreciation.

Funeral Expenses

Expenses including casket, vault, grave plot, headstone and funeral director.

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G

Garage Liability Insurance

Insurance coverage for the legal liability of automobile dealers, garages, repair shops and service stations for bodily injury and property damage arising out of their business operations.

Garagekeepers Coverage

Provides coverage to owners of storage garages, parking lots and body and repair shops for their liability of damage to automobiles left in their custody for safekeeping or repair.

General Aggregate Limit

The maximum amount of insurance payable during the policy period for losses (other than those arising from the products – completed operations hazards as covered under the standard commercial general liability policy).

General Liability Insurance

Insurance protecting businesses from most liability exposures other than automobile and professional liability.

Glass Insurance

A property insurance policy covering breakage of building glass regardless of cause.

Governing Classification

In Workers’ Compensation Insurance, the classification that best describes the workers’ compensation exposure of an employer’s business.

Grace Period

Period of time after the due date of a premium during which the policy remains in force without penalty.

Graded Premium Policy

A type of whole life policy designed for people who want more life coverage than they can currently afford. They pay a lower premium rate that increases gradually over the first three to five years and then remains constant over the life of the policy.

Gross Negligence

Willful and wanton misconduct.

Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

The weight specified by a manufacturer for the maximum total loaded weight of a single vehicle.

Guaranteed Term

A form of renewable term insurance that remains in force as long as the premiums are paid on time. With guaranteed term insurance, the insurance company cannot terminate the policy during the term.

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H

Hired Automobile

An automobile whose exclusive use has been temporarily given to another for a monetary sum or other consideration. The business auto definition of ‘hired autos,’ however, includes autos borrowed except those borrowed from employees or partners.

Hold Harmless Agreement

A contractual agreement that requires one contracting party to assume certain legal liabilities of the other party.

Host Liquor Liability

Liability coverage for hosts of business or social functions arising out of the serving or distribution of alcoholic beverages by a party not engaged in this activity as a business enterprise.

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I

Improvements and Betterments

Additions or changes made by a lessee at his own expense to property that may not legally be removed. Usually covered under the tenants property coverage.

Incontestable Clause

A clause in a policy providing that a policy has been in effect for a given length of time (two or three years), the insurer shall not be able to contest the statements contained in the application. In life policies, if an insured lied as to the condition of his health at the time the policy was taken out, that lie could not be used to contest payment under the policy if death occurred after the time limit stated in the incontestable clause.

Incurred Losses

The amount of paid claims and loss reserves within a particular period of time, usually a policy year. Customarily computed as losses incurred during the period, plus outstanding losses at the end of the period, less outstanding losses at the beginning of the period.

Independent Adjuster

A claims adjuster who provides adjustment services to insurance companies but is not employed by them.

Independent Contractor

An individual or company who has agreed, in writing, with another party to perform a job or function on behalf of that party.

Inflation Guard Provision

A provision that increases the limit of insurance by a specified percentage over a specified period of time to offset inflation costs.

Insurability

The condition of the individual wishing to be insured, including their health, susceptibility to injury and life expectancy.

Insurance

A formal social device for reducing risk by transferring the risks of several individual entities to an insurer. The insurer agrees, for a consideration, to pay for the loss in the amount specified in the contract.

Insurance Policy

The printed form which serves as the contract between an insurer and an insured.

Insurance to Value

Insurance written in an amount equal to the value of the property or which meets coinsurance requirements.

Insured

The party who is being insured. In life insurance, it is the person because of his or her death the insurance company would pay out a death benefit to a designated beneficiary.

Insurer

The insurance company; Party that provides insurance coverage, typically through a contract of insurance.

Irrevocable Beneficiary

A beneficiary that cannot be changed without that beneficiary’s consent.

Increasing Term Insurance

Term life insurance in which the death benefit increases periodically over the policy’s term. Usually purchased as a cost of living rider to a whole life policy.

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L

Lapse

Termination of a policy due to the policy owner’s failure to pay the premium within the grace period.

Leasehold Interest

Property insurance covering the loss suffered by a tenant due to termination of a lease because of damage to the leased premises by a covered loss.

Lessee

The person to whom a lease is granted.

Lessor

The person granting the lease.

Liability

The legal obligation to pay a monetary award for injury or damage caused by one’s negligent or statutorily prohibited action.

Liberalization Clause

A provision within an insurance policy that broadens the coverage if the insurance company offers a broader coverage form within the first 45 days of coverage.

Lien

An obligation that can be held by an individual who has an interest in a particular matter or property.

Life Expectancy

The average number of years a person is expected to live based on a national average per age group, and other factors.

Life Insurance

Insurance coverage that pays out a set amount of money to specified beneficiaries upon the death of the individual who is insured.

Limit of Liability

The most an insurance company agrees to pay in the case of loss.

Limited Pay Policy

A type of whole life insurance designed to let the policyholder pay higher premiums over a specific time period such as 10 or 20 years so that they won’t have to pay any premiums for the rest of his or her life.

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

A federal law that provides workers’ compensation benefits to employees of a vessel injured in maritime employment – usually in loading, unloading, repairing or building a vessel – but not applicable to crew members.

Loss

The amount an insurance company pays for damages under the terms of a policy.

Loss Adjustment Expense

The cost assessed to a particular claim for investigating and adjusting that claim.

Loss Constant

A flat charge added to the premium of small workers’ compensation policies to offset higher loss ratios.

Loss Control

A technique that is put in place to reduce the possibility that a loss will occur or reduce the severity of those that do occur.

Loss Payable Clause

An insurance clause that authorizes loss payments to a person or entity having an insurable interest in the covered property.

Loss of Use

A provision in homeowners and renters insurance policies that reimburses policyholders for any extra living expenses due to having to live elsewhere while their home is being restored following a disaster.

Loss Ratio

Percentage of losses incurred against earned premiums.

Loss Report

A form showing reported claims which provides information such as the date of occurrence, type of claim, amount paid and amount reserved for each loss.

Loss Reserve

An estimated amount set aside for a particular claim that has not yet been paid.

Lost Policy Release

A signed statement by the named when the insured wishes to cancel the policy, but has lost or mislaid the policy, which releases the insurance company from all liability or losses.

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M

Medical

A document completed by a physician or another approved examiner and submitted to an insurer (insurance company) in order to provide medical information. This is usually done to determine insurability (or lack of insurability) or is sometimes done in relation to a claim.

Medical Expenses

Reasonable charges for medical, surgical, x-ray, dental, ambulance, hospital, professional nursing, prosthetic devices, and funeral expenses. What is considered reasonable is outlined in a policy.

Medical Payments, Auto

Coverage, which is optional, under an auto policy to pay for medical expenses for bodily injury caused by an auto accident, regardless of fault. Coverage for persons other than the named insured and his or her family members is typically restricted to circumstances when they are occupants of the insured auto.

Medical Payments, General Liability

A general liability coverage that reimburses others, regardless of fault, for medical or funeral expenses incurred as a result of bodily injury or death sustained by an accident.

Mexico Coverage

Coverage which is sometimes provided under automobile policies for the operation of an insured motor vehicle within Mexico, usually limited to a stated number of miles from the U.S. border.

Minimum Premium

The lowest amount of premium to be charged for providing a particular insurance coverage.

Misrepresentation

The act of knowingly presenting false information.

Mobile Equipment

Equipment such as earth movers, tractors, diggers, farm machinery, forklifts, etc., that even when self-propelled, are not considered as automobiles for insurance purposes.

Monopolistic State Funds

States or Jurisdictions where an employer must obtain workers’ compensation insurance from a state fund or qualify as a self-insurer, as is allowed in five of the states: North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Mortality Rate

The number of deaths in a group of people, usually expressed as deaths per thousand.

Mortality Table

A table showing the incidence of death at specified age groups.

Mortgage Clause

Property insurance provisions granting protection for the mortgagee named in the policy. It establishes that loss to mortgaged property is payable to the insured and to the mortgagee named in the policy.

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N

Named Perils Coverage

A property insurance term referring to exact causes of loss specifically listed as covered.

National Flood Insurance Program

A federally funded program established to make flood insurance available to properties located in participating communities National Flood Insurance Program: A federally funded program established to make flood insurance available to properties located in participating communities.

Nonadmitted Insurer

An insurance company that is not licensed to do business in a specific state. The insurers may write coverage through an excess and surplus lines broker that is licensed in these jurisdictions.

Nonowned Automobile

In commercial auto policies, coverage for autos that are used in connection with the named insured’s business but are neither owned, leased, hired, rented or borrowed by the named insured. The term specifically applies to vehicles owned by employees and used for company business.

Nonsubscription

A Workers’ Compensation term used in Texas that refers to employers who choose to be out of the workers’ compensation system. Firms that are proven negligent in causing a worker’s injury, can be held liable in tort, since nonsubscribing employers waive the traditional common law defenses available to employers subject to workers’ compensation laws.

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O

Original Age

The age you were when you bought an insurance policy.

Other Insured Rider

The temporary addition to an insurance policy, usually a member of the direct family.

Ownership

All rights, benefits and privileges under life insurance policies are controlled by their owners. Policy owners may or may not be the insured. Ownership may be assigned or transferred by written request of current owner.

Occupational Hazard

A condition in the workplace that increases the chances of the an accident, sickness, or death. It usually will mean higher premiums.

Occurrence Policy

Insurance that pays claims arising out of incidents that occur during the policy term, even if they are filed many years later. This term is related to liability insurance.

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P

Package Policy

A policy providing several different coverages combined into one policy. Refers to a policy providing both general liability insurance and property insurance.

Payroll Limitation

A limit on the amount of payroll for certain classifications used for the development of premium.

Peril

A specific cause of loss, such as fire, lightning, wind, flood, theft, vandalism, etc.

Personal Auto Policy (PAP)

A policy insuring private-passenger autos owned by individuals.

Personal Injury

A General Liability coverage for insurable offenses that cause harm, other than bodily injury, such as false arrest, detention or imprisonment, malicious prosecution, wrongful eviction, slander, libel and invasion of privacy.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

An automobile insurance coverage mandated by law in some states. The statutes typically require insurers to provide or offer to provide first-party benefits for medical expenses, loss of income, funeral expenses and similar expenses without regard to fault.

Personal Property

All tangible property not classified as real property such as contents.

Policy

The printed document given to the insured, outlining the terms and conditions of the Insurance coverage.

Policy Fee

A one-time charge per policy that does not change with the size of the premium.

Policy Holder

The person who owns a life insurance policy. This is usually the insured person, but it may also be a relative of the insured, a partnership or a corporation.

Policy Period

The term or duration of a policy including the effective and expiration dates.

Pollutant

An irritant or contaminant, whether in solid, liquid, or gaseous form, including smoke, vapor, soot, fumes, acids, alkalis, chemicals and waste.

Preferred Risk

A positive characteristic of someone seeking to be insured. Usually means a better likely hood for long life, and usually means a lower premium.

Premises

The location where coverage applies.

Premises-Operations

A category of hazard ordinarily insured by a general liability policy which is composed of those exposures to loss that fall outside the defined ‘products-completed operations hazard,’ including liability for injury or damage arising out of the insured’s premises or out of the insured’s business operations while such operations are in progress.

Premium

The agreed upon, payment made to keep an insurance policy in force, usually a monthly payment.

Premium Flexibility

The policy holder’s right to vary the amount of premium paid each month.

Primary Beneficiary

In life insurance, the beneficiary designated by the insured as the first to receive policy benefits.

Primary Policy

The insurance policy that pays first when you have a loss that’s covered by more than one policy.

Pro Rata Cancellation

The cancellation of an insurance policy with the return premium being the full proportion of premium for the unexpired term of the policy, without penalty for early cancellation.

Product

Items manufactured, sold, handled, distributed or disposed of by the named insured or others involved with the named insured in the course of their business. Includes containers, parts and equipment, product warranties and provision of or failure to provide instructions and warnings.

Product Liability

The liability for bodily injury or property damage a merchant or manufacturer may incur as a consequence of some defect in the product sold or manufactured.

Products-Completed Operations

General Liability coverage for liability arising out of the insured’s products or business operations conducted away from the insured’s premises once those operations have been completed.

Professional Liability

Coverage designed to protect professionals such as physicians and real estate brokers, against liability incurred as a result of errors and omissions in performing professional services.

Property Damage

In the general liability policy, a physical injury to property, resulting in the loss of use.

Property Insurance

First-party insurance for real and personal property against physical loss or damage.

Provisions

Details of an insurance policy which explain the benefits, conditions and other features of the insurance contract.

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R

Real Property

Real estate including buildings and vegetation.

Re-entry Option

An option in a renewable term life policy under which the policy owner is guaranteed, at the end of the term, to be able to renew his or her coverage without evidence of insurability, at a premium rate specified in the policy.

Reinstatement

Putting a lapsed policy back in force by producing satisfactory evidence of insurability and paying any past-due premiums required.

Renewal Policy

A policy issued to replace an expiring policy.

Rents or Rental Value Insurance

Insurance that reimburses a building owner for loss of rental income due to damage by an insured peril.

Replacement

A new policy written to take the place of one currently in force.

Replacement Cost

A Valuation in which the insured property is covered at the amount needed to replace damaged property without deducting for depreciation but limited by the maximum dollar amount shown on the declaration page.

Representation

Statements made by applicants on their applications for insurance that they represent as being substantially true to the best of their knowledge and belief but that are not warranted as exact in every detail.

Return Premium

The amount of premium due the insured should the actual cost of a policy be less than the insured previously paid.

Rider

An attachment to a policy that modifies its conditions by expanding or restricting benefits or excluding certain conditions from coverage.

Risk

The chance of injury, damage, or loss.

Robbery

Theft of property while force is used or threatened.

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S

Secondary Beneficiary

An alternate beneficiary designated to receive payment, usually in the event the original beneficiary predeceases the insured.

Short-Term Cancellation

Cancellation of an insurance policy prior to the expiration date in which a penalty in the form of a less than full pro-rata premium refund is allowed.

Single Premium Policy

A whole life policy for people who want to buy a policy for a one-time lump sum, and then be covered for the rest of their lives without paying any additional premiums.

Special Causes of Loss Form

A cause of loss form providing coverage from all causes of loss unless specifically excluded or limited.

Specified Causes of Loss Coverage

Auto physical damage coverage only for losses caused by the perils listed in the policy.

Sprinkler Leakage Coverage

Coverage for property damage caused by the accidental discharge or leakage of water from automatic sprinkler systems or other fire prevention devices.

Surplus Lines Insurance

Insurance written by insurers not licensed in the states where the risks are located and placed with such insurers under the surplus line laws of the various states. Before such placements can be made through specially licensed surplus line agents and brokers, state laws generally require evidence reported before some predetermined future date (‘sunset’).

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T

Time Element Insurance

A term referring to property coverage for loss of earnings or income resulting from the inability to put damaged property to its normal use.

Term Insurance

Protection during limited number of years; expiring without value if the insured survives the stated period, which may be one or more years but usually is five to twenty years, because such periods usually cover the needs for temporary protection.

Term

Period for which the policy runs. In life insurance, this is to the end of the term period for term insurance.

Third-Party Owner

A policy owner who is not the prospective insured. The policy owner and the insured may be, and often are the same person. If for example, you apply for and are issued an insurance policy on your life, then you are both the policy owner and the insured and may be known as the policy owner-insured. If, however, your mother applies for and is issued a policy on your life, then she is the policy owner and you are the insured.

Transit Coverage

Coverage on the insured’s property while in transit from one location to another, over land.

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U

Umbrella Liability Policy

A policy designed to provide additional protection against catastrophic losses covered under liability policies, such as the business auto policy, commercial general liability policy, watercraft and aircraft liability policies and employers liability coverage. It provides excess limits when the limits of the underlying liability policies are used up by the payment of claims and it drops down and picks up where the underlying policy leaves off when the aggregate limit of the underlying policy in question is exhausted by the payment of claims. It also provides protection against some claims not covered by the underlying policies, subject to a self-insured retention.

Underinsured Motorists Coverage

Provides coverage for bodily injury, and in some states property damage, for losses incurred by an insured when an accident is caused by a motorist who does not have sufficient insurance limits.

Underlying Coverage

The insurance or coverage in place on the same risk that will respond to loss before the excess policy is called on to pay any portion of the claim.

Underwriter

Company receiving premiums and accepting responsibility for fulfilling the policy contract. Also, company employee who decides whether the company should assume a particular risk; or the agent who sells the policy.

Uninsurable Risk

A person who is not acceptable for insurance due to excessive risk.

Universal Life

An interest-sensitive life insurance policy that builds cash values. The premium payer has control over how the policy is structured. He has the flexibility to eliminate the premiums (essentially pay up the policy and pay no more premiums) or have the premiums continue for life. It is a matter of juggling three variables: the assumed interest rate, the cash value and the premium payment plan. The policy is interest-sensitive, and if interest rates change from the assumed interest, it will affect the other two variables. In the past, many Universal Life Policies were structured assuming a higher interest rate then was actually received, therefore, most of them have under performed. If you have a Universal Life Policy, you should have it evaluated to see if it needs to have the premiums adjusted to get it back on track. A fourth variable that has not been a factor but could be in the future, and the owner should be aware of, is the Mortality variable. Universal Life policies are usually structured assuming current mortality rates. The insurance companies reserve the right to change those rates.

Unearned Premium

That portion of the policy premium that represents the unexpired policy term.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Provides coverage for bodily injury, and in some states property damage, for losses incurred by an insured when an accident is caused by a motorist who is not insured.

Utility Service Interruption Coverage

Coverage for the loss to an insured due to lack of incoming electricity which was caused by damage from a covered cause of loss, such as a fire or windstorm, to property away from the insured’s premises – usually the utility generating station. Also referred to as ‘off-premises power coverage’.

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V

Vacancy Provision

Property insurance provision found in commercial property policies that restrict coverage in connection with buildings that have been vacant for a specified number of days, usually 60 days.

Valuable Papers and Records Coverage

Coverage that pays the cost to reconstruct damaged or destroyed valuable papers and records and usually includes almost all forms of printed documents or records except money or securities; data processing programs, data and media are usually excluded.

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W

Waiver of Premium

Rider or provision included in most life insurance policies exempting the insured from paying premiums after he or she has been disabled for a specified period of time, usually six months.

Waiver of Subrogation

Also known as ‘transfer of rights of recovery,’ the relinquishment by an insurer of the right to collect from another party for damages paid on behalf of the insured.

Whole Life Insurance

Life insurance that is kept in force for a person’s whole life as long as the scheduled premiums are maintained. All Whole Life policies build up cash values. Most Whole Life policies are guaranteed as long as the scheduled premiums are maintained. The variable in a Whole life Policy is the dividend which could vary depending on how well the insurance is doing. If the company is doing well and the policies are not experiencing a higher mortality than projected, premiums are paid back to the policy holder in the form of dividends. Policyholders can use the cash from dividends in many ways. The three main uses are: it can be used to lower or vanish premiums, it can be used to purchase more insurance or it can be used to pay for term insurance.

Workers’ Compensation

Protection which provides benefits to employees for injury or contracted disease arising out of and in the course of employment. Most states have laws which require such protection for workers and prescribe the length and amount of such benefits provided.

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