Accident - An unforeseen, unintended event; something unexpected; fortuitous.
Accidental Death Benefits - If a policy includes an accidental death benefit, the cause of death will be examined to determine whether the Insured´s death meets the policy´s definition of accidental.
Actual Cash Value (ACV) - The value of your property, based on the current cost to replace it minus depreciation.
Adjuster - A person who investigates and settles insurance claims.
Agent - A person who sells insurance policies.
Annuity - A contract in which the buyer deposits money with a life insurance company for investment. The contract provides for specific payments to be made at regular intervals for a fixed period or for life.
Application - A form you fill out with information about you that an insurance company will use to decide whether to issue you a policy and how much to charge.
Beneficiary - The person or party named by the owner of a life insurance policy to receive the policy benefit.
Binder - A temporary insurance contract that provides proof of coverage until you receive a permanent policy.
Bodily Injury (BI) - Physical injury to a person.
Cancellation - Termination of an insurance policy by the company or insured before the renewal date.
Cash Value - The amount of money, which the policy owner will receive as a refund if the policy owner cancels the coverage and returns the policy to the company. Also known as cash surrender value.
Claimant - A person who makes an insurance claim.
Co-insurance - The percent of each health care bill you must pay out of your own pocket. Non-covered charges and deductibles are in addition to this amount.
Collision Coverage - Pays for damage to your car without regard to who caused an accident. The company must pay for the repair or up to the actual cash value of your vehicle, minus your deductible.
Comprehensive Coverage (Physical Damage Other than Collision) - Pays for damage to or loss of your automobile from causes other than accidents. These include hail, vandalism, flood, fire, and theft.
Contract - In most cases, the term "contract" refers to an insurance policy. A policy is considered to be a contract between the insurance company and the policyholder.
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Death Benefit - Amount paid to the beneficiary upon the death of the insured.
Declarations Page - The page in your policy that shows the name and address of the insurer, the period of time a policy is in force, a description of the vehicle, the amount of the premium, and the amount of coverage.
Declined Risk - A proposed insured who is considered to present a risk that is too great for an insurer to cover.
Deductible - The amount the insured must pay in a loss before any payment is due from the company.
Deferred Annuity - An annuity under which the annuity payment period is scheduled to begin at some future date.
Depreciation - The act of lowering an item´s value due to use or wear and tear.
Dividend - The amount of money an insurance company may decide to distribute to policyholders.
Direct Written Premium - The total premiums received by a property and liability insurance company without any adjustments for the ceding of any portion of these premiums to the reinsurers.
Direct Incurred Loss - The property loss in which the insured peril is the proximate cause of damage or destruction.
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Earned Premium - The portion of a policy premium that has been used to actually buy coverage, or that the insurance company has "earned."
Effective Date - The date on which an insurance policy becomes effective.
Endorsement - A written agreement attached to a policy expanding or limiting the benefits otherwise payable under the policy. Same as a "rider."
Escrow - Money placed in the hands of a third party until specified conditions are met.
Exclusion - Provision in an insurance policy that indicates what is denied coverage.
Experience Period - The period of time that a company will reference when making evaluations of an insuring policy. There is not a standardized amount of time. See annotation for an example of an experience period.
Expiration Date - The date on which an insurance policy expires.
Extended Term Insurance Option - A nonforfeiture benefit under which the net cash value of the policy is used to purchase term insurance for the amount of coverage available under the original policy.
Face Value - The initial amount of death benefit provided by the policy as shown on the face page of the contract.
The actual death benefit may be higher or lower depending on the options selected, outstanding policy loans or premium owed.
First Party Loss - A situation involving only the insurer and insured.
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Gap Insurance - Insurance that pays the difference between the actual cash value of a vehicle and the amount still to be paid on the loan, Some gap policies may also cover the amount of the deductible.
Group Life Insurance - This type of life insurance provides coverage to a group of people under one contract. Most group contracts are sold to businesses that want to provide life insurance for their employees. Group life insurance also can be sold to associations to cover their members and to lending institutions to cover the amounts of their debtor loans. Most group policies are for term insurance. Generally, the business will be issued a master policy and each person in the group will receive a certificate of insurance.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) - Prepaid group health insurance plan which entitles members to services of participating physicians, hospitals and clinics. Emphasis is on preventative medicine.
Incontestability - A provision that places a time limit - up to two years - on a company´s right to deny payment of a claim because of suicide or a material misrepresentation on your application.
Insurer - The insurance company.
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Lapse - Termination of a policy due to non-payment of premiums.
Liability - Responsibility to another for one´s negligence.
Liability Insurance - Pays for injuries to the other party and damages to the other vehicle resulting from an accident you caused. It also pays if the accident was caused by someone covered by your policy, including a driver operating your car with your permission.
Loss - The amount an insurance company pays on a claim.
Medical Payments & Personal Injury Protection (PIP) - Both pay limited medical and funeral expenses if you, a family member, or a passenger in your car is injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident. PIP also pays lost-income benefits.
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Named Driver Exclusion - An endorsement that provides that a policy does not cover accidents when a specifically named person is the driver.
Named Driver Policy - A policy that covers only the drivers specifically named in the policy. Generally, all other drivers are excluded from coverage under the policy. This type of policy is usually written by surplus lines companies.
Net Cash Value - The cash value amount available to a policy owner after adjustments have been made to the cash surrender value to account for policy loans and dividends.
Non-Owners Policy - Insurance coverage that offers liability, uninsured motorist, and medical payments to a named insured who does not own a vehicle.
Nonparticipating Policy - A life insurance policy that does not grant the policy owner the right to policy dividends.
Non-renewal - A decision by an insurance company not to renew a policy.
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Paid-Up - This event occurs when a policy will not require any further premiums to keep the coverage in force.
Paid-Up Additions - Additional amounts of insurance purchased using dividends; these insurance amounts require no further premium payments.
Peril - A cause of property losses. Usually used in the context of "a peril insured against."
Policy - The contract issued by the insurance company to the insured.
Policy Loan - An advance made by a life insurance company to a policy owner. The advance is secured by the cash value of the policy.
Policy Owner - The person or party who owns an individual insurance policy. This person may be the insured, the beneficiary or another person. The policy owner usually is the one who pays the premium and is the only person who may make changes to a policy.
Policy Period - The period a policy is in force, from the beginning or effective date to the expiration date.
Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) - Hospital, physician, or other provider of health care which an insurer recommends to an insured.
Premium - The amount paid by an insured to an insurance company to obtain or maintain an insurance policy.
Premium Expense Charges - An amount deducted from each premium payment, which reduces the amount credited to the policy.
Property Damage (PD) - Physical damage to property.
Providers - Usually references doctors or those who are providing a medical service.
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Rated Policy - A policy issued at a higher premium to cover a person classified as a greater-than-average risk, usually due to impaired health or a dangerous occupation.
Refund - Amount of money being returned to the policyholder.
Reinstatement - The process by which a life insurance company puts back in force a policy which had lapsed because of nonpayment of renewal premiums.
Renewal Policy - A policy issued as a renewal of a policy expiring in the same company or agency; not new business.
Rental Reimbursement Coverage - Pays a set daily amount for a rental car if your car is being repaired because of damage covered by your auto policy.
Replacement Cost - The cost associated with replacing property at current market prices.
Return Premium - The premium returned to an insured for canceling or amending a policy.
Rider - A written agreement attached to the policy expanding or limiting the benefits otherwise payable under the policy. Same as an "endorsement".
Single Interest Insurance - Insurance coverage for only one of the parties having an insurable interest in that property.
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Single-Premium Whole Life Policy - A type of limited-payment policy that requires only one premium payment.
Staff Adjuster - Employee of the insurance company´s claim department.
Third Party Administrator (TPA) - An organization that performs managerial and clerical functions related to an employee benefit insurance plan by an individual or committee that is not an original party to the benefit plan.
Third Party Loss - A situation involving a person other than the insurer and insured; i.e., a person making a liability claim against the insured.
Towing and Labor Coverage - Pays for towing charges when your car can´t be driven. Also pays labor charges, such as changing a flat tire, at the place where your car broke down.
Underwriter - The person who reviews an application for insurance and decides if the applicant is acceptable and at what premium rate.
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Underwriting - The process an insurance company uses to decide whether to accept or reject an application for a policy.
Unearned Premium - The insured´s remaining premium equity in his policy; that part of the policy premium that has not been "used up."
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) Coverage - Pays for your injuries and property damage caused by a hit-and-run driver or a motorist without liability insurance. It will also pay when your medical and car repair bills are higher than the other driver´s liability coverage.
Usual and Customary - These charges may be based on: rates usually charged by physicians and providers in your area; rate averages compiled by independent rating services; or rate averages compiled by the insurance company.
Variable Annuity - A form of annuity policy under which the amount of each benefit payment is not guaranteed and specified in the policy, but which instead fluctuates according to the earnings of a separate account fund.
Variable Life Insurance - A type of whole life policy in which the death benefit and the cash value fluctuate according to the investment performance of a separate account fund that the policyholder selects.
Whole Life Insurance - Whole life insurance policies are one type of cash value insurance. Whole life policies
offer protection through a lifetime - that is, for a person´s "whole life." From the day you buy the policy, you pay a scheduled premium,. The scheduled premium may be level or may increase after a fixed time period, but it will not change from the amount(s) shown in the policy schedule.
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