Henderson Insurance Services was founded in 1988 by its owner, George Henderson, who has been serving individuals and small businesses as an independent insurance broker in downtown La Verne, California. In 2006 his son´s joined the business and now we are a full-service agency assisting businesses, individuals and families with all their insurance needs.
A-Share Variable Annuity – A form of variable annuity contract where the contract holder pays sales charges up front rather than eventually having to pay a surrender charge.
Accelerated Death Benefits – A life insurance policy option that provides policy proceeds to insured individuals over their lifetimes, in the event of a terminal illness. This is in lieu of a traditional policy that pays beneficiaries after the insured’s death. Such benefits kick in if the insured becomes terminally ill, needs extreme medical intervention, or must reside in a nursing home. The payments made while the insured is living are deducted from any death benefits paid to beneficiaries.
Accident and Health Insurance – Coverage for accidential injury, accidental death, and related health expenses. Benefits will pay for preventative services, medical expenses, and carastrophic care, with limits.
Activities of Daily Living
Actual Cash Value
Additional Living Expenses – Extra charges covered by homeowners policies over and above the policyholder’s customary living expenses. They kick in when the insured requires temporary shelter due to damage by a covered peril that makes the home temporarily uninhabitable.
Admitted Company -An insurance company authorized to do business in California.
Adverse Selection – The tendency of those exposed to a higher risk to seek more insurance coverage than those at a lower risk. Insurers react either by charging higher premiums or not insuring at all, as in case of floods. (Flood insurance is provided by the federal government but sold mostely through the private market.) In the case of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, adverse selection concentrates risk instead of spreading it. Insurance works best when risk is shared among large numbers of policyholders.
Affinity Sales – Selling insurance through groups such as professional and business associations.
Aftermarket Parts – See Crash parts; Generic auto parts.
Agent – Insurance is sold by two types of agents. Independent agents, who are self-employed, represent several insurance companies and are paid on commission, and exclusive or captive agents, who represent only one insurance company and are either salaried or work on commission. Insurance companies that use exclusive or captive agents are called direct writers.
Aircraft Insurance – Coverage for the insured in the event that the insured’s negligent acts/omissions result in losses in connection with the use, ownership, or maintenance of aircraft.
Alien Insurance Company – An insurance company incorperated under the laws of a foreign country, as opposed to a foreign insurance company that does business in states outside its own.
Allied Lines – Property insurance that is usually bought in conjunction with fire insurance; it includes wind, water damage, and vandalism coverage.
Alternative Dispute Resolution/ADR – Alternative to going to court to settle disputes. Methods include arbitration, where disputing parties agree to be bound to the decision of an independent third party, and mediation, where a third party tries to arrange a settlement between the two sides.
Alternative Markets – Mechanisms used to fund self-insurance. This includes captives, which are insurers owned by one or more non-insurers to provide owners with coverage. Risk-retention groups, formed by members of similar professions or businesses to obtain liability insurance, are also a form of self-insurance.
Annual Annuity Contract Fee – Covers the cost of administering an annuity contract.
Annual Statement – Summary of an insurer’s or reinsurer’s financial operations for a particular year, including a balance sheet. It is filed with the state insurance department of each jurisdiction in which the company is licensed to conduct business.
Annuitant – the person(s) who receives the income from an annuity contract. Usually the owner of the contract or his or her spouse.
Annuitization – the conversion of the account balance of a deferred annuity contract to income payments.
Annuity – A life insurance product that pays periodic income benefits for a specific period of time or over the course of the annuitant’s lifetime. There are two basic types of annuities: deferred and immediate. Deferred annuities allow assets to grow tax deferred over time before being converted to payments to the annuitant. Immediate annuities allow payents to being within about a year of purchase.
Annuity Accumulation Phase or Period – The period during which the owner of a deferred annuity makes payments to build up assets.
Annuity Administrative Charges – Covers the cost of customer for owners variable annuities.
Annuity Beneficiary – In certain types of annuities, a person who receives annuity contract payments if the annuity owner or annuitant dies while payments are still due.
Annuity Contract – An agreement similar to an insurance policy for other insurance products, such as auto insurance.
Annuity Contract Owner – The person or entity that purchases an annuity and has all rights to the contract. Usually, but not always, the annuitant (the person who receives incomes from the contract).
Annuity Death Benefits – The guarantee that if an annuity contract owner dies before annuitization (the switchover from the savings payment phase) the beneficiary will receive the value of the annuity that is due.
Annuity Insurance Charges – Covers administrative, mortality and expense risk costs.
Annuity Investment Management Fee – The fee paid for the management of variable annuity invested assets.
Annuity Issuer – The insurance company that issues the annuity.
Annuity Prospectus – Legal document providing detailed information about variable annuity contracts. Must be offered to each prospective buyer.
Annuity Purchase Rate – The cost of an annuity based on such factors as the age and gender of the contract owner.
Antitrust Laws – Laws that prohibit companies from working as a group to set prices, restrict supplies or stop competition in the marketplace. The insurance industry is subject to state antitrust laws but has a limited exemption from federal antitrust laws. This exemption, set out in the McCarran-Ferguson Act, permits insurers to jointly develop common insurance forms and share loss data to help them price policies.
Apportionment – The dividing of a loss proportionately among two or more insurers that cover the same loss.
Appraisal – A survey to determine a property’s insurable value, or the amount of a loss.
Arbitration – Procedure in which an insurance company and the insured or a vendor agree to settle a claim dispute by accepting a decision made by a third party.
Arson – The deliberate setting of fire.
Asset-Backed Securities – Bonds that represent pools of loans of similar types, duration and interest rates. Almost any loan with regular repayments of prinipal and interest can be securitized, from auto loans and equipment leases to credit card receiveables and mortgages.
Assets – Property owned, in this case by an insurance company, including stocks, bonds, and real estate. Insurance accounting is concerned with solvency and the ability to pay claims. State insurance laws therefore require a conservative valuation of assets, prohibiting insurance companies from listing assets on their balance sheets whose value are uncertain, such as furniture, fixtures, debt balances, and accounts receiveable that are more than 90 days past due. (See addmitted assets).
Assigned Risk Plans – Facilities through which drivers can obtain auto insurance if they are unable to buy it in the regular or voluntary market. These are the most well known type of residual auto insurance market, which exist in every state. In an unassigned risk plan, all insurers selling auto insurance in the state are assigned these drivers to insure, based on the amount of insurance they sell in the regular market. (See Residual Market).
Auto Insurance Policy – There are basically six different types of coverages. Some may be required by law, others are optional. They are:
1. Bodily injury liability, for injuiries the policy holder causes to someone else.
2. Medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP) for treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the policy holder’s car.
3. Property damage liablity, for damage the policy holder causes to someone else’s property.
4. Collision, for damage to the policy holder’s car from a collision.
5. Comprehensive, for damage to the policy holder’s car not involving a collision with another car (including damage from fire, explosions, earthquakes, floods, and riots), and theft.
6.Uninsured motorist coverage, for costs resulting from an accident involving a hit-and-run driver or a driver who does not have insurance.
Auto Insurance Premium – The price an insurance company charges for coverage, based on the frequency and cost of potential accidents, theft and other losses. Prices may vary from company to company, as with any product or service.
Premiums also vary depending on the amount and type of coverage purchased; the make and model of the car; and the insured’s driving record, years of driving and the number of miles the car is driven per year. Other factors taken into account include the driver’s age and gender, where the car is most likely to be driven and times of day – rush hour in an urban neighborhood or leisure- time driving in rural areas, for example: Some insurance companies may also use credit history-related information. (See Insurance Score)
Aviation Insurance – Commercial airlines hold property insurance on airplanes and liability insurance for negligent acts that result in injury or property damage to passengers or others. Damage is covered on the ground or in the ait. The policy limits the geographical area and individual pilots covered.
B-Share Variable Annuity – A form of variable contract with no initial sales charge but if the contract is cancelled the holder pays deferred sales charges (usually from 5 to 7 percent the first year, declining to zero after from 5 to 7 years). The most common form of annuity contract.
Balance Sheet – Provides a snapshot of a company’s financial condition at one point in time. It shows assets, including investments and reinsurance, and liabilities, such as loss reserves to pay claims in the future, as of a certain date. It also states a company’s equity, known as policyholders surplus. Changes in that surplus are one indicator of an insurer’s financial standing.
Bank Holding Company – A company that owns or controls one or more banks. The Federal Reserve has responsibility for regulating and supervising bank holding company activites, such as approving acquisitions and mergers and inspecting the operations of such companies. The authority applies even though a bank owned by a holding company may be under the primary supervision of the Comptroller of the Currency or the FDIC.
Basis Point – 0.01 percent of the yield of a mortgage, bond or note. The smallest measure used.
Beach and Windstorm Plans – State-sponsored insurance pools that sell property coverage for the peril of windstorm to people unable to buy it in the voluntary market because of the high exposure risk. Seven states (AL, FL, LA, MS, NC, TX) offer these plans to cover residential and commercial properties against hurricanes and other windstorms. Georgia and New York provide this kind of coverage for windstorm and hail in certain coastal communities through other property pools. Insurance companies that sell property insurance in the state are required to participate in these plans. Insurers share in profits and losses. (See Fair access to insurance requirements plans/ FAIR plans; Residual market).
Best’s Capital Adequacy Relativity (BCAR)
Binder – Temporary authorization of coverage issued prior to the actual insurance policy.
Blanket Insurance – Coverage for more than one type of property at one location or one type of property at more than one location. Example: Chain stores.
Bodily Injury Liabilituy Coverage – Portion of an auto insurance policy that covers injuries the policyholder causes to someone else.
Boiler and Machinery Insurance – Often called Equipment Breakdown, or Systems Breakdown insurance. Commercial insurance that covers damage cause by the malfunction or breakdowns of boilers, and a vast array of other equipment including air conditioners, heating, electrical, telephone and computer systems.
Bond – A security that obligates the issuer to pay interest at specified intervals and to repay the principal amount of the load at maturity. In insurance, a form of suretyship. Bonds of various types guarentee a payment or a reimbursement for financial losses resulting from dishonesty, failure to perform and other acts.
Bond Rating – An Evaluation of a bond’s financial strength, conducted by such major ratings agencies as Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service.
Book of Business – Total amount of insurance on an insurer’s books at a particular point in time.
Broker-Agent – Independent insurance salesperson who represents particular insurers but also might function as a broker by searching the entire insurance market to place an applicant’s coverage to maximize protection and minimize cost. This person is licensed as an agent and a broker.
Burglary and Theft Insurance – Insurance for the loss of property due to burglary, robbery or larceny. It is provided in a standard homeowners policy and in a business multiple peril policy.
Business income Insurance (aka Business Interruption Insurance)- Commercial coverage that reimburses a business owner for lost profits and continuing fixed expenses during the time that a business must stay closed while the premises are being restored because of the physical damage from a covered peril, such as a fire. Business interruption insurance also may cover financial losses that may occur if civil authorities limit access to an area after a disaster and their actions prevent customers from reaching the business premises. Depending on the policy, civil authorities coverage may start after a waiting period and lasts for two or more weeks.
Business Net Retention
Business Owner Policy/BOP – A policy that combines property, liability, and business interruption coverages for small-to medium- sized businesses. Coverage is generally cheaper if purchased through seperate insurance policies.
C-Share Variabile Annuities – A form of variable annuity contract where the contract holder pays no sales up front or surrender charges. Owners can claim full liquidity at any time.
Capacity – The supply of insurance available to meet demand. Capacity depends on the industry’s financial ability to accept risk. For an individual insurer, the maximum amount of risk it can underwrite based on its financial condition. The adequacy of an insurer’s capital relative to its exposure to loss is an important measuer of solvency.
A Property/casualty insurer must maintain a certain level of capacity and policyholder surplus to underwrite risks. This capital is known as capacity. When the industry is hit by high losses, such as after the World Trade Center terrorist attach, capacity is diminished. It can be restored by increases in net income, favorable investment returns, reinsuring more risk and or raising additional capital. When there is excess capacity, usually because of a high return on investments, premiums tend to decline as insurers compete for market share. As premiums decline, underwriting losses are likely to grow, reducing capacity and causing insurers to raise rates and tighten conditions and limits in an effort to increase profitability. Policy holder surplus is sometimes used as a measure of capacity.
Capital – Shareholder’s equity (for publicaly-traded companies) and retained earnings (for mutual insurance companies). There is no general measure of capital adequecy for property/casualty insurers. Capital adequecy is linked to the riskiness of an insurer’s business. A company underwriting medical device manufacturers needs a larger cushion of capital than a company writing Main Street business, for example. (See Risk-Based capital; surplus; solvency)
Capital Markets – The markets in which equities and debt are traded. (See securitization of insurance risk).
Captive Agent – A person who represents only one insurance company and is restricted by agreement from submitting business to any other company. (See exclusive agent).
Captives – Insurers that are created and wholly-owned by one or more non-insurers, to provide owners with coverage. A form of self-insurance.
Car Year – Equal to 365 days of insured coverage for a single vehicle. It is the standard measurment for automobile insurance.
Case Management – A system of coordinating medical services to treat a patient, improve care, and reduce cost. A case manager coordinates health care delivery for patients.
Catastrophe – Term used for statistical recording purposes to refer to a single incident or a series of closely related incidents causing severe uninsured property losses totaling more than a given amount, currently million.
Catastrophe Bonds – Risk based securities that pay high interest rates and provide insurance companies with a form of reinsurance to pay losses from a catastrophe such as those caused by a major hurricane. They allow insurance risk to be sold to institutional investors in the form of bonds, thus spreading the risk. (See securitization of insurance risk).
Catastrophe Deductibe – A percentage or dollar amount that a homeowner must pay before the insurance policy kicks in when a major natural disaster occurs. These large deductibles limit an insurer’s potential losses in such cases, allowing it to insure more property. A property insurer may not be able to buy reinsurance to protect its own bottom line unless it keeps its potential maximum losses under a certain level.
Catastrophe Factor – Probability of catastrophic loss, based on the total number of catastrophes in a state over a 40 year period.
Catastrophe Model – Using computers, a method to mesh long-term disaster information with the current demographic, building and other data to determine the potential cost of natural disasters and other catostrophic losses for a given geographic area.
Catastrophe Reinsurance – Reinsurance (insurance for insurers) for catastrophic losses. The insurance industry is able to absorb the multibillion dollar losses caused by natural and man-made disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and terrorist attacks because losses are spread among thousands of companies including catastrophe reinsurers who operate on a global basis. Insurers’ ability and willingness to sell insurance fluctuates with the availability and cost of catastrophe reinsurance.
After major disasters, such as Hurricane Andrew and the World Trade Center terrorist attack, the availability of catastrophe reinsurance becomes extremely limited. Claims deplete reinsurers’ capital and, as a result, companies are more selective in the type and amount of risks they assume. In addition, with available supply limited, prices for reinsurance rise. This contributes to an overall increase in prices for property insurance.
Cell Phone Insurance – Seperate insurance provided to cover cell phones for damage or theft. Policies are often sold with the cell phones themselves.
Chartered Financial Consultant/ChFC – A professional designation given by the American College to financial services professionals who complete courses in financial planning.
Chartered Life Underwriter/CLU – A professional designation by the American College for those who pass business examinations on insurance, investments, and taxation, and have life insurance planning experience.
Chartered Property/Casualty Underwriter/CPCU – A professional designation given by the American Institute for Property and Liability underwriters. National examinations and three years of work experience are required.
Claims-Made Policy – A form of insurance that pays claims presented to the insurer during the term of the policy or within a specific term after its expiration. It limits liability insurers’ exposure to unknown future liabilities. (See Occurence Policy).
Cobra – Short for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. A federal law under which group health plans sponsored by employers with 20 or more employees must offer continuation of coverage to employees who leave their jobs and their dependents. The employee must pay the entire premium. Coverage can be extended up to 18 months. Surviving dependents can receive longer coverage.
Coinsurance – In property insurance, requires the policyholder to carry insurance equal to a specified percentage of the value of property to receive full payment on a loss. For health insurance, it is a percentage of each claim above the deductible paid by the policyholder. For a 20 percent health insurance coinsurance clause, the policyholder pays for the deductible plus 20 percent of his covered losses. After paying 80 percent of losses up to a specified ceiling, the insurer starts paying 100 percent of losses.
Collateral – Property that is offered to secure a loan or other credit and that becomes subject to seizure on default. (Also called security).
Collateral Source Rule – Bars the introduction of information that indicates a person has been compensated or reimbursed by a source other than the defendent in civil actions related to negligence or other liability.
Collision Coverage – Portion of an auto insurance policy that covers the damage to the policyholder’s care from a collision.
Combined Radio – Percentage of each premium dollar a property/casualty insurer spends on claims and expenses. A decrease in the combined ratio means financial results are improving; an increase means they are deteriorating.
Commercial General Liability – A broad commercial policy that covers all liability exposures of a business that are not specifically exluded. Coverage includes product liability, completed operation, premises and operations, and independent contractors.
Commercial Lines – Products designed for and bought by businesses. Among the major coverages are boiler and machinery, business interruption, commercial auto, comprehensive general liability, directors and officers liability, product liability, professional liability, surety and fidelity, and workers compensation. Most of these commercial coverages can be purchased seperately except business interruption which must be added to a fire insurance (property) policy. (See Commercial multiple peril policy).
Commercial Multiple Peril Policy – Package policy that includes property, boiler and machinery, crime, and general liability coverages.
Commercial Paper – Short term, unsecured, and usually discounted promissory note issued by commercial firms and financial companies often to finance current business. Commercial paper, which is rated by debt rating agencies, is sold through dealers or directly placed with an investor.
Commercial Property Insurance– Commercial Property Insurance provides protection in the event of damages to your business property. For example, if you own a furniture store that is destroyed by fire, your property insurance will pay to replace the building as well as its contents as specified in the provisions of your policy. It also can help replace lost income if covered damages result in an interruption of your business activities.
Commission – Fee paid to agent or insurance salesperson as a percentage of the policy premium. The percentage caries widely depending on coverage, the insurer, and the marketing methods.
Community Rating Laws – Enacted in several states on health insurance policies. Insurers are required to accept all applicants for coverage and charge all applicants the same premium for the same coverage regardless of age or health. Premiums are based on the rate determined by the geographic region’s health and demographic profile.
Competetive Replacement Parts – See Crash parts; Generic auto parts.
Competetive State Fund – A facility established by a state to sell workers compensation in competition with private insurers.
Complaint Radio – A measure used b some state insurance departments to track consumer complaints against insurance companies. Generally, it is written as the number of complaints upheld against an insurance company, as a percentage of premiums written. In some states, complaints from medical providers over the promptness of payments may also be included.
Completed Operations Coverage – Pays for bodily injury or property damage cause by a completed project or job. Protects a business that sells a service against liability claims.
Comprehensive Coverage – Portion of an auto insurance policy that covers damage to the policyholder’s car not involving a collision with another car. (Including damage from fire, explosions, earthquakes, floods, and riots), and theft.
Compulsory Auto Insurance – The minimum amount of auto liability insurance that meets a state law. Financial responsibility laws in every state require all automobile drivers to show proof, after an accident, of their ability to pay damages up to the state minimum. In compulsory liability states this proof, which is usually in the form of an insurance policy, is required before you can legally drive a car.
Contingent Liability – Liability of individuals, corperations, or partnerships for accidents cause by people other than employees for whose acts or omissions the corperations or partnerships are responsible.
Coverage – Synonym for insurance.
Crash Parts – Sheet metal parts that are most often damaged in a car crash. (See Generic auto parts).
Credit – The promise to pay in the future in order to borrow in the present. The right to defer payment of debt.
Credit Derivatives – A contract that enables a user, such as a bank, to better manage its credit risk. A way of transferring credit risk to another party.
Credit Enhancement – A technique to lower the interest payment on a bond by raising the issue’s credit rating, often through insurance in the form of a financial guarantee or with standby letters of credit issued by a bank.
Credit Insurance – Commercial coverage against losses resulting from the failure of business debtors to pay their obligation to the insured, usually due to insolvency. The coverage is geared to manufacturers, wholesalers, and service providers who may be dependent on a few accounts and therefore could lose significant income in the event of an unsolvency.
Credit Life Insurance – Life insurance coverage on a borrower designed to repay the balance of a loan in the event the borrower dies before the loan is repaid. It may also include disablement and can be offered as an option in connection with credit cards and auto loans.
Credit Rating – See Bond Rating.
Credit Score – The number produced by an analysis of an individual’s credit history. The use of credit information affects all consumers in many ways, from getting a job finding a place to live, securing a loan, getting a telephone, and buying insurance. Credit history is routinely reviewed by insurers before issuing a commercial policy because businesses in poor financial condition tend to cut back on saftely which can lead to more accidents and more claims. Auto and home insurers may use information in a credit history to produce an insurance score. Insurance scores may be used in underwriting and rating insurance policies. (See Insurance score).
Crime Insurance – Term referring to property coverages for the perils of burglery, theft and robbery.
Crop-Hail Insurance – Protection against damage to growing crops from hail, fire, or lightening, provided by the private market. By contrast, multiple peril crop insurance covers a wider rance of yield-reducing conditions, such as drought and insect infestation, and is subsidized by the federal government.
Declaration – Part of a property or liability insurance policy that states the name and address of the policyholder, property insured, its location and description, the policy period, premiums, and supplemental information. Referred to as the \”Dec page\”.
Deductible – The amount of loss paid by the policyholder. Either a specified dollar amount, a percentage of the claim amount, or a specified amount of time that must elapse before the benefits are paid. The bigger the deductible, the lower the premium charged for the same coverage.
Deferred Annuity – An annuity contract that is purchased either with a single tax-deferred premium or with periodic tax-deferred premiums over time. Payments begin at a predetermined point in time, such as retirement.
Defined Benefit Plan – A retirement plan under which pension benefits are fixed in advance by a formula based generally on years of service to the company multiplied by a specific percentage of wages, usually average earnings over that period or highest average earnings over the final years with the company.
Defined Contribution Plan – An employee benefit plan under which the employer sets uo benefit accounts and contributions are made to it by the employer and the employee. The employer usually matches the employee’s contribution up to a stated limit.
Demand Deposit – Customer assets that are held in a checking account. Funds can be readily withdrawn by check, \”on demand\”.
Demutualization – The conversion of insurance companies from mutual companies owned by their policyholders into publicly-traded stock companies.
Depository Institution – Financial institution that obtains its funds mainly through deposits from the public. Includes commercial banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks and credit unions.
Deregulation – In insurance, reducing regulatory control over insurance rates and forms. Commercial insurance for businesses of a certain size has been deregulated in many states.
Derivatives – Contracts that derive their value from an underlying financial asset, such as publicly-traded securities and foreign currencies. Often used as a hedge against changes in value.
Difference in Conditions – Policy designed to fill gaps in a business’s commercial property insurance coverage. there is no standard policy. Policies are specifically tailored to the policyholder’s needs.
Diminution of Value – The Idea that a vehicle loses value after it has been damaged in an accident and repaired.
Direct Premiums – Property/casualty premiums collected by the insurer from policyholders, before reinsurance premiums are deducted. Insurers share some direct premiums and the risk involved with their reinsurers.
Direct Sales/Direct Response – Method of selling insurance directly to the insured through an insurance company’s own employees, through the mail or via the internet. This is in lieu of using captive or exlusive agents.
Direct Writers – Insurance companies that sell directly to the public using exlusive agents or their own employees, through the mail, or via internet. Large insurers, whether predominately direct writers or agency companies, are increasingly using many different channels to sell insurance. In reinsurance, denotes reinsurers that deal directly with the insurance companies they reinsure without using a broker.
Directors and Officers Liability Insurance/D&O – Covers directors and officers of a company for negligent acts or omissions, and for misleading statements that result in suits against the company, often by shareholders. Directors and officers insurance policies usually contain two coverages: personal coverage for individual directors and officers who are not indemnified by the corporation for their legal expenses or judgements against them-some corporations are not required by their corporate or state charters to provide indemnification; and corporate reimbursement coverage for indemnifying directors and officers. Entity coverage for claims made specifically against the company may also be available.
Dividends – Money returned to policyholders from an insurance company’s earnings. Considered a partial premium refund rather than a taxable distribution, reflecting the difference between the premium charged and actual losses. Many life insurance polices and some property/casualty policies pay dividends to their owners. Life insurance policies that pay dividends are called participating policies.
Domestic Insurance Company – Term used by a state to refer to any company incorperated there.
Early Warning System – A system of measuring insurers’ financial stability set up by insurance industry regulators. An example is the Insurance Regulatory Information System (IRIS), which uses financial ratios to identify insurers in need of regulatory attention.
Earned Premium – The portion of premium that applies to the expired part of the policy period. Insurance premiums are payable in advance but the insurance company does not fully earn them until the policy period expires.
Earthquake Insurance – Covers a building and its contents, but includes a large percentage deductible on each. A special policy or endorsement exists because earthquakes are not covered by standard homeowners or most business policies.
Economic Loss – Total financial loss resulting from the death or disability of a wage earner, or from the destruction of property. Includes the loss of earnings, medical expenses, funeral expenses, the cost of restoring or replacing property, and legal expenses. It does not include noneconomic losses, such as pain caused by an injury.
Electronic Commerce/ E-Commerce – The sale of products such as insurance over the internet.
Elimination Period – A kind of deductible or waiting period usually found in disability policies. It is counted in days from the beginning of the illness or injury.
Employee Dishonesty Coverage – Covers direct losses and damage to business resulting from the dishonest acts of employees. (See Fidelity Bond.)
Employee Retirement Income Security Act/ERISA – Federal legislation that protects employees by establishing minimum standards for private pension and welfare plans.
Employer’s Liability – Part B of the workers compensation policy that provides coverage for lawsuits filed by injured employees who, under certain circumstances, can sue under common law. (See Exclusive Remedy).
Employment Practices Liability Coverage – Liability insurance for employers that covers wrongful termination, discrimination, or sexual harassment toward the insured’s employees or former employees.
Endorsement – A written form attached to an insurance policy that alters the policy’s coverage, terms, or conditions. Sometimes called a rider.
Environmental Impairment Liability Coverage – A form of insurance designed to cover losses and liablities arising from damage to property cause by pollution.
Equity – In investments, the ownership interest of shareholders. In a corporation, stocks as opposed to bonds.
Equity Indexed Annuity – Non-Traditional fixed annuity. The specified rate of interest guarentees a fixed minimum rate of interest like traditional fixed annuities. At the same time, additional interest may be created to policy values based upon positive changes, if any, in an established index such as the S&P 500. The amount of additional interest depends upon the particular design of the policy. They are sold by licensed insurance agents and regulated by state insurance departments.
Errors and Omissions Coverage/ E&O – A professional liablity policy covering the policyholder for negligent acts and omissions that may harm his or her clients.
Escrow Account – Funds that a lender collects to pay monthly premiums in mortgage and homeowners insurance, and sometimes pay property taxes.
Excess and Surplus Lines – Property/Casualty coverage that isn’t available from insurers licensed by the state (called admitted insurers) and must be purchased from a non-admitted carrier.
Excess of Loss Reinsurance – A contract between an insurer and a reinsurer, whereby the insurer agrees to pay a specified portion of a cliam and the reinsurer to pay all or a part of the claim above that amount.
Exclusion – A provision in an insurance policy that eliminates coverage for certain risks, people, property classes, or locations.
Exclusive Agent – A captive agent, or a person who represents only one insurance company and is restricted by agreement from submitting business to any other company unless it is first rejected by the agent’s company. (See captive agent).
Exclusive Remedy – Part of the social contract that forms the basis for workers compensation statutes under which employers are responsible for work-related injury and disease, regardless of whether it was the employee’s fault and in return the injured employee gives up the right to sue when the employer’s negligence causes the harm.
Expense Ratio – Percentage of each premium dollar that goes to insurers’ expenses including overhead, marketing and commissions.
Experience – Record of losses.
Exposure – Possibility of loss.
Extended Coverage – An endorsement added to an insurance policy, or clause within a policy, that provides additional coverage for risks other than those in a basic policy.
Extended Replacement Cost Coverage – Pays a certain amount above the policy limit to replace a damaged home, generally 120 percent or 125 percent. Similar to a guaranteed replacement cost policy, which has no percentage limits. Most homeowner policy limits track inflation in building costs. Guaranteed and extended replacement cost policies are designed to protect the policyholder after a major disaster when the high demand for building contractors and materials can push up the normal cost of reconstruction. (See Guaranteed replacement cost coverage).
Facultative Reinsurance – A reinsurance policy that provides an insurer with coverage for specific individual risks that are unusual or so large that they aren’t covered in the insurance company’s reinsurance treaties. This can include policies for jumbo jets or oil rigs. Reinsurers have no obligation to take on facultative reinsurance, but can assess each risk individually. By contrast, under treaty reinsurance, the reinsurer agrees to assume a certain percentage of entire classes of business, such as various kinds of auto, up to present limits.
Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plans/Fair Plans – Insurance pools that sell property insurance to people who can’t buy it in the voluntary market because of high risk over which they may have no control. FAIR Plans, which exist in 28 states and the District of Colombia, insure fire, vandalism, riot, and windstorm losses, and some sell homeowners insurance which includes liability. Plans vary by stat, but all require property insurers licensed in a state to participate in the pool and share in the profits and losses. (See Residual market).
Farmowners-Ranchowners Insurance – Package policy that protects the policyholder against named perils and liabilitesand usually covers homes and their contents, along with barns, stables, and other structures.
Federal Funds – Reserve balances that depository institutions lend each other, usually on an overnight basis. In addition, Federal Funds include certain other kinds of borrowings by depository institutions from each other and from federal agencies.
Federal Reserve Board – Seven-member board that supervises the banking system by issuing regualations controlling bank holding companies and federal laws over the banking industry. It also controls and oversees the U.S. monetary system and credit supply.
Fidelity Bond – A form of protection that covers policyholders for losses that they incur as a result of fraudulent acts by specified individuals. It usually insures a busiess for losses caused by the dishonest acts of its employees.
Fidicuary Bond – A type of surety bond, sometimes called a probate bond, which is required of certain fidicuaries, such as executors and trustees, that guarantees the performance of their responsibilities.
Fiduciary Liability – Legal responsibility of a fiduciary to safeguard assets of beneficiaries. A fiduciary, for example a pension fund manager, is required to manage investments held in trust in the best interest of beneficiaries. Fiduciary liablity insurance covers breaches of fiduciary duty such as misstatements or misleading statements, errors and omissions.
File and Use States – States where insurers must file rate changes with their regulators, but don’t have to wait for approval to put them into effect.
Financial Guarantee Insurance – Covers losses from specific financial transactions and guarantees that investors in debt instruments, such as muncipial bonds, receive timely payment of principal and interest if there is a default. Raises the credit rating of debt to which the guarantee is attached. Investment bankers who sell asset-backed securities, surities backed by loan portfolios, use this insurance to enhance marketability. (See Municipal bond insurance.)
Financial Responsibility Law – A state law requiring that all automobile drivers show proof that they can pay damages up to a minimum amount if involved in an auto accident. Varies from state to state but can be met by carrying a minimum amount of auto liability insurance. (See Compulsory auto insurance).
Finite Risk Reinsurance – Contract under which the ultimate liability of the reinsurer is capped and on which anticipated investment income is expressly acknowlaged as an underwriting component. Also known as Financial Reinsurance because this type of coverage is often bought to improve the balance sheet effects of statutory accounting principles.
Fire Insurance – Coverage protecting property against losses caused by a fire or lightning that is usually included in homeowners or commercial multiple peril policies.
First Party Coverage – Coverage for the policyholder’s own property or person. In no-fault auto insurance it pays for the cost of injuries. In no-fault states with the broadest coverage, the personal injury protection (PIP) part of the policy pays for medical care, lost income, funeral expenses and, where the injured person is not able to provide services such as child care, for substitute services. (See No-Fault; Third Party Coverage).
Fixed Annuity – An annuity that guarantees a specific rate of return. In the case of a deferred annuity, a minimum rate of interest is guaranteed during the savings phase. During the payment phase, a fixed amount of income, paid on a regular schedule is guaranteed.
Floater – Attached to a homeowners policy, a floater insurers moveable property, covering losses wherever they may occur. Among the items often insured with a floater are expensive jewlery, musical instruments, and furs. It provides broader coverage than a regular homeowners policy for these items.
Flood Insurance – Coverage for flood damage is available from the federal goverment under the National Flood Insurance Program but is sold by licensed insurance agents. Flood coverage is excluded under homewoners policies and many commercial property policies. However, flood damage is covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy. (See Adverse selection).
Forced Place Insurance – Insurance purchased by a bank or creditor on an uninsured debtor’s behalf so if the property is damaged, funding is available to repair it.
Foriegn Insurance Company – Name given to an insurance company based in one state by the other states in which it does business.
Fraud – Intentional lying or concealment by policyholders to obtain payment of an insurance claim that would otherwise not be paid, or lying or misrepresentation by the insurance company managers, employees, agents, and brokers for financial gain.
Free-Look Period – A period of up to one month during which the purchaser of an annuity can cancel the contract with no penalty. Rules vary by state.
Frequency – Number of times a loss occurs. One of the criteria used in calculating premium rates.
Fronting – A procedure in which a primary insurer acts as the insurer of record by issuing a policy, but then passes the entire risk to a reinsurer in exchange for a commission. Often, the fronting insurer is licensed to do business in a state or country where the risk is located, but the reinsurer is not. The reinsurer in this scenario is often a captive or an independent insurance company that cannot sell insurance directly in a particular country.
Futures – Agreement to buy a security for a set price at a certain date. Futures contracts usually involve commodities, indexes or financial futures.
Gap Insurance – An automobile insurance option, available in some states, that covers the difference between the car’s actual cash value when it is stolen or wrecked and the amount the consumer ownes the leasing or finance company. Mainly used for leashed cars. (See Actual cash value).
General Liability (CGL)- As a business owner, you can be held accountable for your negligent acts or those of your employees. General Liability Insurance protects you in the event that you are sued for negligence and covers events such as injury to a visitor. It also covers property damage caused in the course of your business, slander, libel and false or misleading advertising.
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles/GAAP – Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) accounting is used in the financial statements that publicly-held companies prepare for the Securities and Exchange Commission. (See Statutory accounting principles/SAP).
Generic Auto Parts – Auto crash parts produced by firms that are not associated with car manufacturers. Insurers consider these parts, when certified, at least as good as those that come from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).They are often cheaper than the identical part produced by the OEM. (See Crash parts; Aftermarket parts; Competitive replacement parts; Original equipment manufacturer parts /OEM).
Glass Coverage – Coverage for glass breakage cause by all risks; fire and war are sometimes excluded. Insurance can be bought for windows, structural glass, leaded glass, and mirrors. Available with or without a deductible.
Graduated Driver Licenses – Licenses for younger drivers that allow them to improve thier skills. Regulations vary by state, but often restrict night time driving. Young drivers recieve a learner’s permit, followed by a provisional license, before they can receive a standard drivers license.
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – Financial services legislation, passed by congress in 1999, that removed Depression-era prohibitions against the combination of commercial banking and investment-banking activities. It allows insurance companies, banks, and securities firms to engage in each others’ activities and own one another.
Group Insurance – A single policy covering a group of individuals, usually employees of the same company or members of the same association and their dependents. Coverage occurs under a master policy issued to the employer or association.
Guarantee Period – Period during which the level of interest specified under a fixed annuity is guaranteed.
Guarantee Death Benefit – Basic death benefits guaranteed under variable annuity contracts.
Guaranteed Income Contract / GIC – Often an option in an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. Contract between an insurance company and the plan that guarantees a stated rate of return on invested capital over the life of the contract.
Guaranteed Living Benefit – A guarantee in a variable annuity that a certain level of annuity payment will be maintained. Serves as a protection against investment risks. Several types exist.
Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage – Homeowners policy that pays the full cost of replacing or repairing a damaged or destroyed home, even if it is above the policy limit. (See Extended replacement cost coverage).
Guaranty Fund – The mechanism by which solvent insurers ensure that some of the policyholder and third party claims against insurance companies that fail are paid. Such funds are required in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, but the type and amount of claim covered by the und varies from state to state. Some states pay policyholders’ unearned premiums – the portion of the premium for which no coverage was provided because the company was insolvent. Some have deductibles. Guaranty funds are supported by assessments on insurers doing business in the state.
Gun Liability – A new legal concept that holds gun manufacturers liable for the cost of injuries caused by guns. Several cities have filed lawsuits based on this concept.
Hacker Insurance – A coverage that protects businesses engaged in electronic commerce from losses caused by hackers.
Hard Market – A seller’s market in which insurance is expensive and in short supply. (See Property/casualty insurance cycle).
Hazard – A circumstance that increases the likelihood or probable severity of a loss. For example, the storing of explosives in a home basement is a hazard that increases the probability of an explosion.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
Health Reimbursement Arrangement
Health Savings Account
Homeowners Insurance Policy – The typical homeowners insurance policy covers the house, the garage and other structures on the property, as well as personal possessions inside the house such as furniture, appliances and clothing, against a wide variety of perils including windstorms, fire and theft. The extent of the perils covered depends on the type of policy. An all-risk policy offers the broadest coverage. This covers all perils except those specifically excluded in the policy.
Homeowners insurance also covers additional living expenses. Known as Loss of Use, this provision in the policy reimburses the policyholder for the extra cost of living elsewhere while the house is being restored after a disaster. The liability portion of the policy covers the homeowner for accidental injuries cause to third parties and/or their property, such as a guest slipping and falling down improperly maintained stairs. Coverage for flood and earthquake damage is excluded and must be purchased seperately. (See Flood insurance; Earthquake insurance).
House Year – Equal to 365 days of insured coverage for a single dwelling. It is the standard measurment for homeowners insurance.
Hurricane Deductible – A percentage or dollar amount added to a homeowner’s insurance policy to limit an insurer’s exposure to loss from a hurricane. Higher deductibles are instituted in higher risk areas, such as coastal regions. Specific detals, such as the intensity of the storm for the deductible to be triggered and the extent of the high risk area, vary from insurer and state to state.
Identity Theft Insurance – Coverage for expenses incurred as the result of an identity theft. Can include costs for notarizing fraud affidavits and certified mail, lost income from time taken off from work to meet with law-enforcement personnel or credit agencies, fees for reapplying loans and attorney’s fees to defend against lawsuits and remove criminal or civil judgements.
Immediate Annuity – A product purchased with a lump sum, usually at the time retirement begins or afterwards. Payments begin within about a year. Immediate annuities can be either fixed or variable.
Incurred but Not Reported Losses/IBNR – Losses that are not filed with the insurer or reinsurer until years after the policy is sold. Some liability claims may be filed long after the event that cause the injury to occur. Asbestos-related diseases, for example, do not show up until decades after the exposure. IBNR also refers to estimates made about claims already reported but where the full extent of the injury is not yet known, such as a workers compensation claim where the degree to which work-related injuries prevents a worker from earning what he or she earned before the injury unfolds over time. Insurance companies reguarly adjust reserves for such losses as new information becomes available.
Incurred Losses – Losses occuring within a fixed period, whether or not adjusted or paid during the same period.
Indemnify – Provide financial compensation for losses.
Independent Agent – Agent who is self-employed, is paid on commission, and represents several insurance companies. (See Captive agent).
Individual Retirement Account/IRA – A tax-deductible savings plan for those who are self amployed, or those earnings are below a certain level or whose employers do not offer retirement plans. Others may make limited contributions on a tax deferred basis. The Roth IRA, a special kind of retirement account created in 1997, may offer greater tax benefits to certain individuals.
Inflation Guard Clause – A provision added to a homeowners insurance policy that automatically adjusts the coverage limit on the swelling each time the policy is renewed to reflect current construction costs.
Inland Marine Insurance – This broad type of covreage was developed for shipments that do not involve ocean transport. Covers articles in transit by all forms of land and air transportation as well as bridges, tunnels and othe rmeans of transportation and communication. Floaters that cover expensive personal items such as fine art and jewlery are included in this category. (See Floater).
Insolvency – Insurer’s inability to pay debts. Insurance insolvency standards and the regulatory actions taken vary from state to state. When regulators deem an insurance company is in danger of becoming insolvent, they can take one of three actions: place a company in conservatorship or rehabilitation if the company can be saved or liquidation if salvage is deemed impossible. The difference between the first two options is one of degree-regulators guide companies in conservatorship but direct those in rehabilitation. Typically the first sign of problems is inability to pass the financial tests regulartors administer as a routine procedure. (See Liquidiation; Risk Based Capital).
Institutional Investor – An organization such as a bank or insurance company that buys and sells large quantities of securities.
Insurable Risk – Risks for which it is relatively easy to get insurance and that meet certain criteria. These include being definable, accidental in nature, and part of a group of similar risks large enough to make losses predictable. The insurance company also must be able to come up with a reasonable price for the insurance.
Insurance – A system to make large financial losses more affordable by pooling the risks of many individuals and business entities and transferrin them to an insurance company or other large group in return for a premium.
Insurance Pool – A group of insurance companies that pool assets, enabling them to provide an amount of insurance substantially more than can be provided by individual companies to ensure large risks such as nuclear power stations. Pools may be formed voluntarily or mandated by the state to cover risks that can’t obtain coverage in the voluntary market such as coastal properties subject to hurricanes. (See Beach and windstorm plans; Fair access to insurance requirements plans / FAIR plans; Joint underwriting association / JUA)’
Insurance Regulatory Information System / IRIS – Uses financial ratios to measure insurers’ financial strength. Developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Each individual state insurance department chooses how to use IRIS.
Insurance Score – Insurance scores are confidential ranking based on credit information. This includes whether the consumer has made timely payments on loans, the number of open credit card accounts and whether a bankruptcy filing has been made. An insurance score is a measure of how well consumers manage their financial affairs, not their financial assets. It does not include information about income or race. Studies have shown that people who manage their money will tend to also manage their most important assets, their home, well. And people who manage their money responsibly also tend to handle driving a car responsibly. Some insurance companies use insurance scores as an insurance underwriting and rating tool.
Insurance-To-Value – Insurance written in an amount approximating the value of the insured property.
Integrated Benefits – Coverage where the distinction between job-related and non-occupational illnesses or injuries is eliminated and workers compensation and general health coverage are combined. Legal obstacles exist, however, because the two coverage are administered separately. Previously called twenty-four hour coverage.
Intermediation – The process of bringing savers, investors and borrowers together so that savers and investors can obtain a return on their money and borrowers can use the money to finance their purchases or projects through loans.
Internet Liability Insurance – Coverage designed to protect business from liabilities that arise from the conducting of business over the Internet, including copyright infringement, defamation and violation of privacy.
Investment Income – Income generated by the investment of assets. Insurers have two sources of income, underwriting (premiums less claims and expenses) and investment income. The latter can offset underwriting operations, which are frequently unprofitable.
Joint and Survivor Annuity – An annuity with two annuitants, usually spouses. Payments continue until the death of the longest living of the two.
Joint Underwriting Association / JUA – Insurers which join together to provide coverage for a particular type of risk or size of exposure, when there are difficulties in obtaining coverage in the regular market, and which share in the profits and losses associated with the program. JUA’s may be set up to provide auto and homeowners insurance and various commercial coverage, such as medical malpractice. (See Assigned Risk plans; Residual Market).
Junk Bonds – Corporate bonds with credit ratings of BB or less. They pay a higher yield than investment grade bonds because issuers have a higher perceived risk of default. Such bonds involve market risk that could fore investors, including insurers, to sell the bonds when their value is low. Most states place limits on insurers’ investments in these bonds. In general, because property/casualty insurers can be called upon to provide huge sums of money immediately after a disaster, their investments must be liquid. Less than 2 percent are in real estate and a similarly small percentage are in junk bonds.
Key Person Insurance – Insurance on the life or health of a key individual whose services are essential to the continuing success of a business and whose death or disability could cause a firm a substantial financial loss.
Kidnap/Ransom Insurance – Coverage up to specific limits for the cost of ransom or extortion payments and related expenses. Often bought by international corporations to cover employees. Most policies have large deductibles and may exclude certain geographic areas. Some policies require that the policyholder not reveal the coverage’s existence.
L-Share Variable Annuities – A form of variable annuity contract usually with short surrender periods and higher mortality and expense risk charges.
Laddering – A technique that consists of staggering the maturity dates and the mix of different types of bonds.
Law of Large Numbers – The theory of probability on which the business of insurance is based. Simply put, this mathematical premise says that the larger the group of units insured, such as sport-utility vehicles, the more accurate the predictions of loss will be.
Liability Insurance – Insurance for what the policyholder is legally obligated to pay because of bodily injury or property damage caused to another person.
Life Insurance – See Ordinary life insurance; Term insurance; Variable life insurance; Whole life insurance.
Limits – Maximum amount of insurance that can be paid for a covered loss.
Line – Type or kind of insurance, such as personal lines.
Liquidation – Enables the state insurance department as liquidator or its appointed deputy to wind up the insurance company’s affairs by selling its assets and settling claims upon those assets. After receiving the liquidation order, the liquidator notifies insurance departments in other states and state guaranty funds of the liquidation proceedings. Such insurance company liquidations are not subject to the Federal Bankruptcy Code but to each state’s liquidation statutes.
Liquidity – The ability and speed with which a security can be converted into cash.
Liquor Liability – Coverage for bodily injury or property damage cause by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policyholder.
Lloyds of London – A marketplace where underwriting syndicates, or mini-insurers, gather to sell insurance policies and reinsurance. Each syndicate is manages by an underwriter who decides whether or not to accept the risk. The Lloyd’s market is a major player in the international reinsurance market as well as a primary marked for marine insurance and large risks. Originally, Lloyds was a London coffee house in the 1600’s patronized by ship owners who insured each other’s hulls and cargoes. As Lloyd’s developed, wealthy individuals, called \”Names\” placed their personal assets behind insurance risks as a business venture. Increasingly since the 1990’s, most of the capital comes from corporations.
Lloyds – Corporation formed to market services of a group of underwriters. Does not issue insurance policies or provide insurance protection. Insurance is written by individual underwriters, with each assuming a part of every risk. Has no connection to Lloyd’s of London, and is found primarily in Texas.
Long-Term Care Insurance – Coverage that, under specified conditions, provides skilled nursing, intermediate care, or custodial care for a patient (generally over age 65) in a nursing facility or his or her residence.
Loss – A reduction in the quality or value of a property, or a legal liability.
Loss Adjustment Expenses – The sum insurers pay for investigating and settling insurance claims, including the cost of defending a lawsuit in court.
Loss Costs – The portion of an insurance rate used to cover claims and the cost of adjusting claims. Insurance companies typically determine their rates by estimating their future loss costs and adding a provision for expenses, profit, and contingencies.
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 each premium dollar an insurer spends on claims.
Loss Reserves – The company’s best estimate of what it will pay for claims, which is periodically readjusted. They represent a liability on the insurer’s balance sheet.
Malpractice Insurance – Professional liability coverage for physicians, lawyers and other specialists against suits alleging negligence or errors and omissions that have harmed clients.
Managed Care – Arrangement between an employer or insurer and selected providers to provide comprehensive health care at a discount to members of the insured group and coordinate the financing and delivery of health care. Managed care uses medical protocols and procedures agreed on by the medical profession to be cost effective, also known as medical practice guidelines.
Manual – A book published by an insurance or bonding company or a rating association or bureau that gives rates, classifications, and underwriting rules.
Marine Insurance – Coverage for goods in transit, and for the commercial vehicles that transport them, on water and over land. The term may apply to inland marine but more generally applies to ocean marine insurance. Covers damage or destruction of a ship’s hull and cargo and perils include collision, sinking, capsizing, being stranded, fire, piracy, and jettisoning cargo to save other property. Wear and tear , dampness, mold and war are not included. (See Inland marine and Ocean marine).
Mccarran-Ferguson Act– Federal Law signed in 1945 in which Congress declared that states would continue to regulate the insurance business. Grants insurers a limited expemption from federal antitrust legislation.
Mediation – Nonbinding procedure in which a third party attempts to resolve a conflict between two other parties.
Medicaid– A federal/state public assistance program created in 1965 and administered by the states for people whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care.
Medical Malpractice Insurance– See Malpractice insurance
Medical Payments Insurance– A coverage in which the insurer agrees to reimburse the insured and others up to a certain limit for medical or funeral expenses as a result of bodily injury or death by accident. Payments are without regard to fault.
Medical Utilization Review– The practice used by insurance companies to review claims for medical treatment.
Medicare– Federal program for people 65 or older that pays part of the costs associated with hospitalization, surgery, doctors’ bills, home health care, and skilled-nursing care.
Medigap/Medsup– Policies that supplements federal insurance benefits particularly for those covered under Medicare.
Mine Subsidence Coverage– An endorsement to a homeowners insurance policy, available in some states, for losses to a home caused by the land under a house sinking into a mine shaft. Excluded from standard homeowners policies, as a re other forms of earth movement.
Money Supply– Total supply of money in the economy, composed of currency in circulation and deposits in savings and checking accounts. By changing the interest rates the Federal Reserve seeks to adjust the money supply to maintain a strong economy.
Mortality and Expense (M&E) Risk Charge– A fee that covers sucha annuity contract guarantees as death benefits.
Mortgage Gurantee Insurance– Coverage for the mortgage (ususally a financial institution) in the event that a mortgage holder defaults on a loan. Also called private mortgage insurance (PMI).
Mortgage Insurance– A form of decreasing term insurance that covers the life of a person taking out a mortgage. Death benefits provide for a payment of the outstanding balance of a the loan. Coverage is in decreasing term insurance, so the amount of coverage decreases as the debt decreases. A variant, mortgage unemployment insurance pays the mortgage of a policy holder who becomes involuntarily unemployed. (See Term Insurance)
Mortgage-Backed Securities– Investment grade securities backed by a pool of mortgages. The issuer uses the cash flow from mortgages to meet interest payments on the bonds.
Multiple Peril Policy– A package policy, such as a homeowners or business inusrance policy, that provides coverage against several different perils. It also refers to the combination of property and liability coverage in one policy. In the early days of insurance, coverages for property damage and liability were purchased seperately.
Municipal Bond Insurance– Coverage that guarantees bondholders timely payment of interest and principal even if the issue of the bonds defaults. Offered by insurance companies with high credit ratings, the coverage raises the credit rating of a muncipality offering the bond to that of the insurance company. It allows a muncipality to raise money at lower interest rates. A form of financial gurantee insurance. (See Financial Guarantee Insurance)
Municipal Liability Insurance-Liability insurance for municipalities.
Mutual Holding Company– An organizational structure that provides mutual companies with the organizational and capital raising advantages of stock insurers, while retaining the policyholder ownership of the mutual.
Mutual Insurance Company– A company owned by its policyholders that returns part of its profits to the policyholders as dividends. The insurer uses the rest a s a surplas cushion in case of large and unexpected losses.
Named Peril-Peril specifically mentioned a s covered in an insurance policy.
National Flood Insurance Program– Federal government-sponsered program under which flood insurance is sold to homeowners and businesses. (See Adverse selection; Flood Insurance)
Net Premiums Written– See Premiums written
No-Fault– Auto Insurance coverage that pays for each driver’s own injuries, regardless of who casued the accident. No-fault varies from state to state. It also refers to an auto liability insurance system that restricsts lawsuits to serious cases. Such policies are designed to promote faster reimbursement and to reduce litiagation.
No-Fault Medical– A type of accident coverage in homeowners policies.
No-Pay, No-Play– The idea that people who don’t buy coverage should not recieve benefits. Prohibits uninsured drivers from collecting damages from insured drivers. In most states with this law, uninsured drivers may not sue for noneconomic damgages such as pain and suffering. In other staes, uninsured drivers are required to pay the equivalent of a large deductible (,000) before they can sue for property damages and another large deductible before the can sue for bodily harm.
Non-Admitted Assets-Assets that are not included on the balance sheet of an insurance company, including furniture, fixtures, past0due accounts recievable, and agents’ debt balances. (See Assets)
Non-Admitted Insurer– Insurers licensed in some states, but not others. States where an insurer is not licensed call that insurer non-admitted. They sell coverage that is unavailable from licensed insurers within the state.
Notice of Loss-A written notice required by insurance companies immediately after an accident or other loss. Part of the standard provisions defining a policy holder’s responsibilities after a loss.
Nuclear Insurance– Covers operators of nuclear reactors and other facilities for liability and property damage in the case of a nuclear accident and involves both private insurers and the federal government.
Nursing Home Insurance– A form of long-term care policy that covers a policyholder’s stay in a nursing facility.
Occupational Disease– Abnormal condition or illness caused by factors associatied with the workplace. Like occupational injuries, this is covered by workers compensation policies. (See Workers Compensation)
Occurrence Policy– Insurance that pays claims arising out of incidents that occur during the policy term, even if they are filed many years later. (see Claims-made policy)
Ocean Marine Insurance– Coverage of all typpes of vessels and watercraft, for property damage to the vessel and cargo, including such risks as piracy and the jettisoning of cargo to save the property of others. Coverage for marine-related liabilities. War is excluded from basic policies, butcan be bought back.
Open Competition States-States where insurance companies can set new rates withour prior approval, although the states commissioner can disallow them if they are not reasonable and adequate or are discriminatory.
Operating Expenses– The cost of maintaining a business property, includes insurance, property taxes, utilities and rent, but exculdes income tax, depreciation and other financing expenses.
Options-Contracts that allow, but do not oblige, the buying or selling of property or assets at a certain date at a set price.
Ordinance or Law Coverage-Endorsement to a property policy, including homeowners, that pays for the extra expense of rebuilding to comply with ordinances or laws, often building codes, that did not exist when the building was originally built. For example, a building severely damaged in a huricane may have to be elevated above the flood line when it is rebuilt. This endorsement would cover part of the additional cost.
Ordinary Life Insurance– A life insurance policy that remains in force for the policholder’s lifetime. It contrasts with term insurance, which only lasts for a specified number of years but is renewable. (See Term Insurance)
Original Equipment Manufacturer Parts/OEM– Sheet metal auto parts made by the manufacturer of the vehicle. (See Generic auto parts)
Over-the-counter(OTC)-Security that is not listed or traded on an exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange. Business in over-the-counter securities is conducted through dealers using electronic networks.
Package Policy– A single insurance policy that combines several coverages previously sold seperately. Examples include homeowners insurance and commerical multiple peril insurance.
Pay-at-the-pump– A system proposed in the 1990s in which auto insurance premiums would be paid to state governments through a per-gallon surcharge on gasoline.
Pension Benefit Guranty Corporation-An independent federal government agency that administers the Pension Plan Termination Insurance program to ensure that vested benefits of employees whose pension plans are being terminated are paid when they come due. Only defined benefit plans are covered. Benefits are paid up to certain limits.
Pensions– Programs to provide employees with retirement income after they meet minimum age and service requirements. Life insurers hold some of these funds. Since the 1970s responsibility for funding retirement has increasingly shifted from employers(defined benefit plans that promise workers a specific retirement income) to employees (defined contribution plans financed by emloyees that may or may not be matched by employer contributions). (See Defined benefit plan; Defined contribution plan)
Peril– A specific risk or cause of loss covered by an insurance policy, such as a fire, windstorm, flood, or theft. A named-peril policy covers the policyholder only for the risks named in the policy in contrast to an all-risk policy, which covers all caues of loss except those specficially excluded.
Personal Articles Floater– A policy or an addition to a policy used to cover personal valuables, like jewelry or furs.
Personal Injury Protection Coverage/PIP- Portion of an auto insurance policy that covers the treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the policyholder’s car.
Personal Lines– Property/Casualty insurance products that are designed for and bought by individuals, including homeonwers and automobile policies. (See Commercial Lines)
Point-of-Service Plan-Health insurance policy that allows that employee to choose between in-network and out-of network care each time medical treatment is needed.
Policy– A written contract for insurance between an insurance company policyholder stating details of coverage.
Policyholders’ Surplus– The amount of money remaining after an insurer’s liabilities are subtracted from its assets. It acts as a financial cushion above and beyond reserves, protecting policyholders against an unexpected or catastrophic situation.
Political Risk Insurance– Coverage for businesses operating abroad against loss due to political upheaval such as war, revolution, or confiscation of property.
Pollution Insurance– Policies that cover property loss and liability arising from pollution-related damages, for sites that have been inspected and found uncontaminated. It is usually written on a claims-made basis so policies pay only claims presented during the term of the policy or within a specified time frame after the policy expires. (See Claims-made policy)
Pool– See Insurance Pool
Preferred Provider Organization– Network of medical providers which charge on a fee-for-service basis, but are paid on a negotiated, discounted fee schedule.
Premises-The particular location of the property or a portion of it as designated in an insurance policy.
Premium-The price of an insurance policy, typically charged annually or semiannually. (See Direct premiums, earned premium, unearned premium)
Premium Tax-A state tax on premiums paid by its residents and businesses and collected by insurers.
Premiums in Force-The sum of the face amounts, plus dividend addistions, of life insurance policies outstanding at a given time.
Premiums Written– The total premiums on all policies written by an insurer during a specified period of time, regardless of what portions have been earned. Net premiums written are premiums written after reinsurance transactions.
Primary Company– In a reinsurance transaction, the insurance company that is reinsured.
Primary Market– Market for new issue securities where the proceeds go directly to the issuer.
Prime Rate-Interest rate that banks charge to their most creditworthy customers. Banks set this rate accoding to their cost of funds and market forces.
Prior Approval States– States where insurance companies must file proposed rate changes with state regulators, and gain approval before they can go into effect.
Private Mortgage Insurance– See Mortgage guarantee insurance
Private Placement-Securities that are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and are sold directly to investors.
Product Liability– A section of tort law that determines who may sue and who may be sued for damages when a defective product injures someone. No uniform federal laws guide manufacturer’s liabiltiy, but under strict liability, the injured party can hold the manufacturer responsible for damages without the need to prove negligence or fault.
Product Liability Insurance– Protects manufacturers’ and distributors’ exposure to lawsuits by people who have sustained bodily injuyr or property damage through the use of the product.
Professional liability Insurance– Covers professionals for negligence and errors or omissions that injure their clients.
Proof of loss-Documents showing the insurance company that a loss occured.
Property/Casualty Insurance– Covers damage to or loss of policyholders’ property and legal liability for damages caused to other people or their property. Property/ casualty insurance, which includes auto, homeowners and commercial insurance, is one segment of the insurance industry. The other sector is life/health. Outside the United States, property/casualty insurance is referred to as nonlife or general insurance.
Property/Casualty Insurance Cycle– Industry business cycle with recurrent periods of hard and soft market conditions. In the 1950s and 1960s, cycles were regular with three year periods each of hard and soft market conditions in almost all lines of property/casualty insurance. Since then they have been less regular and less frequent.
Propostion 103– A November 1988 California ballot initiative that called for a statewide auto insurance rate rollback and for rates to be based mor on driving records and less on geographical location. The initiative changed many aspects of the state’s insurance system and was the subject of lawsuits for more than a decade.
Purchasing Group- An entity that offers insurance to groups of similar businesses with similar exposures to risk.
Pure Life Annuity– A form of annuity that ends payments when the annuitant dies. Payments may be fixed or variable.
Qualified Annuity– A form of annuity purchased with pretax dollars as part of a retirement plan that benefits from speical tax treatment, such as 401(k) plan.
Rate– The cost of a unit of insurance, usually per, 000. Rates are based on historical loss experience for smiliar risks and may be regulated by state insurance offices.
Rate Regualtions– The process by which states monitor insurance companies’ rate changes, done either through prior approval or open competition models. (See Open competition States; Prior approval states)
Rating Agencies– Six major credit agencies determine insurers’ financial stregth and viability to meet claims obligations. They are A.M. Best Co.; Duff & Phelps Inc; Fitch Inc.; Moody’s Investors Services; Standard & Poor’s Corp.; and Weiss Ratings, inc.; Factors considered include company earnings, capital adequacy, operating leverage, liquidity, investment performance, reinsurance programs, and management ability, integrity and experience. A high financial rating is not the same as a high consumer satisfaction rating.
Rating Bureau– The insurance business is based on the spread of risk. The more widely risk is spread, the more accurately loss can be estimated. An insurance company can more accurately estimate the probabilty of loss on 100,000 homes than on ten. Years ago, insurers were required to use standarized forms and rates developed by rating agencies. Today, large insurers use thier own statistical loss data to develop rates. But small insurers, or insurers focusing on special lines of business, with insufficiently broad loss data to make them actuarially relaible depend on pooled industry data collected by such organizations as the Insurance Services Office (ISO) whcich proved information to help develop rates such as estimates of future losses and loss adjustment expenses like legal defense costs.
Real Estate Investments– Investments generally owned by life insurers that include commerical mortgage loans and real property.
Recievables– Amounts owed to a business for goods or services provided.
Redlining– Literally means to draw a red line on a map around areas to recieve special treatment. Refusal to sisue insurance based solely on where applicants live is illegal in all states. Denial of insurance must be risk-based.
Reinsurance-Insurance bought by insurers. A reinsurer assumes part of the risk an part of the premium orginally take by the insurer, known as the primary company. Reinsurance effectively increases an insurer’s capital and therefore its capacity to sell more coverage. The business is global and some fo the largest reinsurers are based abroad. Reinsurers have their own reinsurers, called retrocessionaires. Reinsurers dont pay policyholder claims. Instead, they reimburse insurers for claims paid. (See Treaty reinsurance; Facultative reinsurance)
Renters Insurance-A form of insurance that covers a policyholder’s belongings against perils such as fire, theft, windstorm, hail, explosion, vandalism, riots, and others. It also provides personal liability coverage for damage the policyholder or dependents cause to third parties. It also provides additional living expenses, known as loss-of-use coverage, if a policyholder must move while his or her dwelling is repaired. It also can include coverage for property improvements. Possessions can be covered for their replacement cost or the acutal cash value that includes depreciation.
Replacement Cost– Insurance that pays the dollar amount needed to replace damaged personal property or dwelling property without deducting for depreciation but limited by the maximum dollar amount shown on the declarations page of the policy.
Repurchase Agreemen/ “Repo”-Agreement between a buyer and seller where the seller agrees to repurchase the securities at an agreed upon time and price. Repurchase agreements involving U.S. government secruities are utilized by the Federal Reserve to control the money supply.
Reserves– A Company best estimate of what it will pay for claims.
Residual Market– Facilities, such as assigned risk plans and FAIR Plans, that exist to provide coverage for those who cannot get it in the regular market. Insurers doing business in a given state generally must participate in these pools. For this reason the residual market is also known as the shared market.
Retention– The amount of risk retained by an insurance company that is not reinsured.
Retrocession– The reinsurance bought by reinsurers to protect their financial stability.
Retrospective rating– A method of permitting the final premium for a risk to be adjusted, subject to an agreed-upon maximum and minimum limit based on actual loss experience. It is available to large commerical insurance buyers.
Return on Equity– Net income divided by total equity. Measures profitability by showing how efficently invested capital is being used.
Rider-An Attachment to an insurance policy that alters that policy coverage or terms.
Risk-The chance of loss or the person or entity that is insured.
Risk Managment– Management of the varied risks to which a business firm or association might be subject. It incudes analyzing all exposures to gauge the likelihood of loss and choosing options to better manage or minimize loss. These options typiclally include reducing and eliminating the risk with safety measures, buying insurance, and self-insurance.
Risk Retention Groups-Insurance companies that band together as self-insurers and form and organization that is chartered and licensed as an insurer in at least one state to handle laibility insurance.
Risk-based Capital-The need for insurance companies to be capitalized according to the inherent riskiness of the type of insurance they sell. Higher-risk types of insurance, laibility as opposed to property business, generally necessitate higher levels of capital.
Salvage-Damaged property an insurer takes over to reduce its loss after paying a claim. Insurers receive salvage rights over property on which they have paid claims, such as badly-damaged cars. Insurers that paid claims on cargoes lost at sea now have the right to recover sunken treasures. Salvage charges are the cost assoicated with recovering that property.
Schedule– A list of individual items or groups of items that are covered under one policy or a listing of specific benefits, charges, credits, assets or other defined items.
Secondary Market– Market for previously issued and outstanding securities.
Securities and Exchange Commision/SEC– The organization that oversses publibly-held insurance companies. Those companies make periodic financial disclosures to the SEC, including an annual financial statement (or 10k), and a quarterly financial statement (or 10-Q). Comapnies must also disclose any material events and other information about their stock.
Securities Outstanding– Stock held by shareholders.
Securitization of Insurance Risk– Using the capital markets to expand an diversify the assumption of insurance risk. The issuance of bonds or notes to third-party investors directly or indirectly by an insurance or reinsurance company or a pooling entity as a means of raising money to cover risks. (See catastrophe bonds)
Self-Insurance– The Concepts of assuming a financial risk oneself, instead of paying and insurance company to take it on. Every policyholder is a self-insurer in terms of paying a deductible and co-payments. Large firms often self-insure frequent, small losses such as damage to their fleet of vehicles or minor workplace injuries. However, to protect injured employees state laws set out requirements for the assumption of workers compensation programs. self-insurance also refers to employeers who assume all or part of the responsibility for paying the health insurance claims of their employees. Firms that self insure for health claims are exempt from state insurance laws mandating the illness that group health insurers must cover.
Severity– Size of a loss. One of the criteria used in calculating premiums rates.
Sewer back-up coverage– An optional part o homeowners insurance that covers sewers.
Shared Market– See Residual Market
Single Premium Annuity– An annuity that is paid in full upon purchase.
Soft market– An environment where insurance is plentiful and sold at a lower cost, also known as a buyers’ market. ( See property/casualty insurance cycle)
Solvency– Insurance companies’ ability to pay the claims of polciyholders. Regulations to promote solvency include minimum capital and surplus requirements, statutory accounting conventions, limits to insurance company investment and corporate activities, financial ratio tests, and financial data disclosure.
Spread of risk-The Selling of insurance in multiple areas to multiple policyholders to minimize the danger that all policy holders will have losses at the same time. Companies ar more likely to insure perils that offer a good spread of risk. Flood insurance is an example of a poor spread of risk because the people most likey to buy it are the people close to rivers and other bodies fo water that flood. (See Adverse selection)
Stacking– Practice that increases the money available to pay auto liability claims. In states where this practice is permitted by law, courts may allow policyholders who have several cars insured under a single policy, or multiple vehicles insured under different policies, to add up the limit of liability available for each vehicle.
Statutory accounting principles /SAP– More conservative standards than under GAAP accounting rules, they are imposed by state laws that emphasize the present solvency of insurance companies. SAP helps ensure that the company will have sufficient funds readily available to meet all anticipated insurance obligations by recognizing liabilites earlier or at a higher value than GAAP and assets later or at a lower value. for example, SAP requires that selling expenses be recorded immediately rather than amortized over the life of the policy. (see GAAP accounting; admitted assets)
Stock Insurance company– An insurance company owned by its stockholders who share in profits through earnings distributions and increases in stock value.
Structured Settlement– Legal agreement to pay a designated person, usually someone who has been injuredd, a specified sum of money in periodic payments usually fo rhis or her lifetime, instead of in a single lump sum payment. (See Annuity)
Subrogation– The legal process by which an insurance company, after paying a loss, seeks to recover the amount of the loss from another party who is legally liable for it.
Superfund– A federal law enacted in 1980 to intiate cleanup of the nation’s abandoned hazardous waste dump sites and to respond to accidents that release hazardous substances into the environment. The law is officially called the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
Surety Bond– A Contract guaranteeing the performance of a specific obligation. Simply put, it is a three-party agreement under which one party, the surety company, answers to a second party, the owner, creditor or “obligee,” for a third party’s debts, default or nonperformance. Contractors are often required to purchase surety bonds if they are working on public projects. The surety company becomes responsible for carrying out the work or payting for the loss up to the bond “penalty” if the contractor fails to perform.
Surplus– The remainder after an insurer’s liabilities are subtracted from its assets. the financial cushion that protects polciyholders in case of unexpectedly high claims. (See capital; risk-based capital)
Surplus lines– Property/ casualty insurance coverage that isn’t available from insurers licensed in the state, called admitted companies, and must be purchased from a non-admitted carrier. Examples include risks of an unusual nature that require greater flexibility in policy terms and conditions than exist in standard forms or where the highest rates allowed by state regulators ar considered inadequate by admitted companies. Laws governing surplus lines vary by state.
Surrender Charge-A charge for withdrawals from an annuity contract before a desginated surrender charge period, usually from five to seven years.
Swaps-The simultaneous buying, sellfing or exchange of one security for another among investors to change maturities in a bond portfolio, for example, or because investment goals have changed.
Term Certain Annuity– A form of annutiy that pays out over a fixed period rather than when the annuitant dies.
Term Insurance– A form of life insurance that covers the insured person for a certain period of time, the “term” that is specified in the policy. It pays a benefit to a desginated beneficiary only when the insured dies within that specified period which can be one, five, 10 or even 20 years. Term life policies are renewable but premiums increase with age.
Territorial Rating– A method of classifying risks by geographic location to set a fair price for coverage. The location of the insured may have a considerable impact on the cost of losses. The chance of an accident or theft is much higher in an urban area than in a rural one, for example.
Terrorism Coverage-Included as a part of the package in standard commerical insurance policies before September 11, 2001 virtually free of charge. Since September 11, terrorism coverage prices have increased substantially to reflect the current risk.
Third-Party Administrator– Outside group that performs clerical functions for an insurance company.
Third-Party Coverage– Liability coverage purchased by the policyholder as a protection against possible lawsuits filed by a third party. The insured and the insurer are the first and second parties to the insurance contract. (See First-party coverage)
Time Deposit– Funds that are held in a savings account for a predetermined period of time at a set interest rate. Banks can refuse to allow withdrawals from these accounts until the period thas expired or assess a penalty for early withdrawals.
Title Insurance– Insurance that indemenifies the owner of real estate in the event that his or her clear ownership of property is challenged by the discovery of faults in the title.
Tort– A legal term denoting a wrongful act resulting in injury or damage on which a civil court action, or legal proceeding, may be based.
Tort Law– The body of law governing negligence, intentional interference, and other qrongful acts for which civil action can be broguht, except for breach of contract, which is covered by contract law.
Tort Reform-Refers to legislation designed to reduce liability costs through limits on various kinds of damages and through modification of liability rules.
Total Loss– The condition of an automobile or other property when damage is so extensive that repair costs would exceed the value of the vehicle or property.
Transparency-A term used to explain the way information on financial matters, such as financial reports and actions of companies or markets, are communicated so that they are easily understood and frank.
Travel Insurance-Insurance to cover problems associated with traveling, generally including trip cancellation due to illness, lost luggage and other incidents.
Treasury Securities– Interest- bearing obligations of the U.S. governement issued by the Treasury as a means of borrowing money to meet government expenditures not covered by tax revenues. Marketable Treasure obligations are currently issued in a book entry form only; that is, the purchaser receives a statement, rather than an engraved certificate.
Treasury Reinsurance– A Standing agreement between insurers and reinsurers. Under a treaty each party automatically accepts specific percentages of the insurer’s business.
Umbrella Policy– Coverage for losses above the limit of an underlying policy or policies such as homeowners and auto insurance. While it applies to losses over the dollar amount in the underlying policies, terms of coverage are sometimes broader than those of underlying policies.
Unbundled Contracts– A form of annuity contract that gives purchasers the freedom to choose among certain optional features in their contract.
Underinsurance– The result of the policyholder’s failure to buy sufficient insurance. An underinsured policyholder may only receive part of the cost of replacing or repairing damaged items covered in the policy.
Underwriting– Examinging, accepting, or rejecting insurance risks and classifying the ones that are accepted, in order to charge appropriate premiums for them.
Underwriting income– The insurer’s profit on the insurance sale after all expenses and losses have been paid. When Premiums aren’t sufficient to cover claims and expenses, the result is an underwriting loss. Underwriting losses are typically offset by investment income.
Unearned Premium– The portion of a premium already recieved by the insurer under which protection has not yet been provided. The entire premium is not earned until the policy period expires, even though premiums are typically paid in advance.
Uninsurable risk-Risks for which it is difficult for someone to get insurance(See insurable risk)
Uninsured Motorists Coverage– Portion of an auto insurance policy that protects a policyholder from uninsured and hit-and-run drivers.
Universal Life Insurance– A flexible premium policy that combines protection against premature death with a type of savings vehicle, known as a cash value account, that typically earns a money market rate of interest. Death benefits can be changed during the life of the polciy with limits, generally subject to a medical examination. Once funds accumulate in the cashe value account, the premium can be paid at any time but the policy will lapse if there isn’t enough money to cover annual mortality charges and administrative costs.
Utilization Review– See Medical Utlization review
Value Policy– A policy under which the insurer pays a specified amount of money to or on behalf of the insured upon the occurrence of a defined loss. The money amount is not related to the extent of the loss. Life insurance policies are an example.
Vandalism– The malicious and often random destruction or spoilage of anther person’s propety.
Variable Annuity– An annuity whose contract value or income payments vary according to the performance of the stocks, bonds and other investments selected by the contract owner.
Variable Life Insurance– A policy that combines protection against premature death with a savings account that can be invested in stocks, bonds, and money market mutual funds at the policyholder’s discretion.
Viatical Settlement Companies– Insurance firms that buy life insurance policies at a steep discount from policyholders who are often terminally ill and need the payment for medications or treatments. The companies provide early payouts to the policyholders, assume the premium payments, and collect the face value of the policy upon the policyholder’s death.
Void– A policy contract that for some reason specified in the policy becomes free of all legal effect. One example under which a policy could be voided is when information a policyholder provided is proven untrue.
Volatility– A measure of the degree of fluctuation in a stock’s price. Volatility is exemplified by large, frequent price swings up and down.
Volcano Coverage– Most homeowners policies cover damage from a volcanic erruption.
Volume-Number of shares a stock trades either per day or per week.
Waiver– The surrender of a right or privilege. In life insurance, a provision that sets certain conditions, such as disablement, which allow coverage to remain in force without payments of premiums.
War Risk– Special coverage on cargo in overseas ships against the risk of being confiscated by a government in wartime. It is excluded from standard ocean marine insurance and can be purchased separately. It often excludes cargo awaiting shipment on a wharf or on ships after 15 days of arrival in port.
Water-Damage insurance coverage-Protection provided in most homeowners insurance policies against sudden and accidental water damage, from burst pipes for example. Does not cover damage from problems resulting from a lack of proper maintenance such as dripping air conditioners. Water damage from floods is covered under separate flood insurance policies issued by the federal government.
Weather Derivative– An insurance or securities product used as a hedge by energy-related businesses and tothers whose slaes tend to fluctuate depending on the weather.
Weather Insurance– A Type of business interruption insurance that compensates for financial losses caused by adverse weather conditions, sucha s constant rain on the day scheduled for a major outdoor concert.
Whole life Insurance– The oldest kind of cash value life insurance that combines protection against premature death with a savings account. Premiums are fixed and guaranteed and reamin level throughout the policy’s lifetime.
Workers Compensation– Insurance that pays for medical care and physical rehabilitation of injured workers and helps to replace lost wages while they are unable to work. State laws, which vary significantly, govern the amount of benefits paid and other compensation provisions.
Wrap-Up Insurance– Broad policy coordinated to cover liability exposures for a large group of business that have something in common. Might be used to insure all businesses working on a large construction project, such as an apartment complex.
Write– To insure, underwrite, or accept an application for insurance.
Written Premiums-See Premiums written
401(k) Plan- An Employer-sponsored retirement savings plan funded by employee contributions, which may or may not be matched by the employer. Federal laws allow employees to invest pre-tax dollars, up to a stated maximum each year.
529 Savings Plans– State- administered plans designed to encourage households to save for college education. Named after a part of the Internal Revenue tax code, these savings plans allow earnings to accumulate free of federal income tax and sometimes to be withdrawn to pay for college costs tax-free. There are two types of plans: savings and prepaid tuition. Plan assets are managed either by the states treasurer or an outside investment company. Most offer a range of investment options.