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 accidental injury, accidental death, and related health expenses. Benefits will pay for preventative services, medical expenses and catastrophic care, with limits.
Actual Cash Value
A form of insurance that pays damages equal to the replacement value of damaged property minus depreciation. (See Replacement cost)
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.
An individual employed by a property/casualty insurer to evaluate losses and settle policyholder claims. These adjusters differ from public adjusters, who negotiate with insurers on behalf of policyholders, and receive a portion of a claims settlement. Independent adjusters are independent contractors who adjust claims for different insurance companies.
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.
Property insurance that is usually bought in conjunction with fire insurance; it includes wind, water damage and vandalism coverage.
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 payments to begin within about a year of purchase.
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 Death Benefits
The guarantee that if an annuity contract owner dies before annuitization (the switchover from the savings to the payment phase) the beneficiary will receive the value of the annuity that is due.
Auto Insurance Policy
There are basically six different types of coverages. Some may be required by law. Others are optional. They are:
Bodily injury liability, for injuries the policyholder causes to someone else.
Medical payments or Personal Injury Protection (PIP) for treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the policyholder's car.
Property damage liability, for damage the policyholder causes to someone else's property.
Collision, for damage to the policyholder's car from a collision.
Comprehensive, for damage to the policyholder's car not involving a collision with another car (including damage from fire, explosions, earthquakes, floods, and riots), and theft.
Uninsured motorists 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 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 the 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)
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 and in the air. The policy limits the geographical area and individual pilots covered.
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 their high exposure to risk. Seven states (AL, FL, LA, MS, NC, SC, 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)
Coverage for more than one type of property at one location or one type of property at more than one location. Example: chain store
Bodily Injury Liability 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 caused by the malfunction or breakdown of boilers, and a vast array of other equipment including air conditioners, heating, electrical, telephone and computer systems.
A security that obligates the issuer to pay interest at specified intervals and to repay the principal amount of the loan at maturity. In insurance, a form of suretyship. Bonds of various types guarantee a payment or a reimbursement for financial losses resulting from dishonesty, failure to perform and other acts.
An intermediary between a customer and an insurance company. Brokers typically search the market for coverage appropriate to their clients. They work on commission and usually sell commercial, not personal, insurance. In life insurance, agents must be licensed as securities brokers/dealers to sell variable annuities, which are similar to stock market-based investments.
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 and Extra Expense Insurance (also known as 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 physical damage from a covered peril, such as a fire. It 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 last for two or more weeks.
Businessowners Policy / BOP
A policy that combines property, liability and business interruption coverages for small- to medium-sized businesses. Coverage is generally cheaper than if purchased through separate insurance policies.
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 captive company. (See Exclusive agent)
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)
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.
Probability of catastrophic loss, based on the total number of catastrophes in a state over a 40-year period.
Using computers, a method to mesh long-term disaster information with current demographic, building and other data to determine the potential cost of natural disasters and other catastrophic losses for a given geographic area.
Reinsurance 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.
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 Occurrence policy)
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.
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.
Portion of an auto insurance policy that covers the damage to the policyholder's car from a collision.
Commercial General Liability Insurance / CGL
A broad commercial policy that covers all liability exposures of a business that are not specifically excluded. Coverage includes product liability, completed operations, premises and operations, and independent contractors.
Products designed for and bought by businesses. Among the major coverages are boiler and machinery, business income, commercial auto, comprehensive general liability, directors and officers liability, fire and allied lines, inland marine, medical malpractice liability, product liability, professional liability, surety and fidelity, and workers compensation. Most of these commercial coverages can be purchased separately except business income, 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.
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.
Liability of individuals, corporations, or partnerships for accidents caused by people other than employees for whose acts or omissions the corporations or partnerships are responsible.
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.
Crop Hail Insurance
Protection against damage to growing crops from hail, fire or lightning provided by the private market. By contrast, multiple peril crop insurance covers a wider range of yield reducing conditions, such as drought and insect infestation, and is subsidized by the federal government.
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 benefits are paid. The bigger the deductible, the lower the premium charged for the same coverage.
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.
Employee Dishonesty Coverage
Covers direct losses and damage to businesses resulting from the dishonest acts of employees. (See Fidelity bond)
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 and other violations of employees legal rights.
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)
Coverage protecting property against losses caused by a fire or lightning that is usually included in homeowners or commercial multiple peril policies.
Attached to a homeowners policy, a floater insures movable property, covering losses wherever they may occur. Among the items often insured with a floater are expensive jewelry, musical instruments and furs. It provides broader coverage than a regular homeowners policy for these items.
Coverage for flood damage is available from the federal government under the National Flood Insurance Program but is sold by licensed insurance agents. Flood coverage is excluded under homeowners policies and many commercial property policies. However, flood damage is covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy. (See Adverse selection)
An automobile insurance option, available in some states, that covers the difference between a car s actual cash value when it is stolen or wrecked and the amount the consumer owes the leasing or finance company. Mainly used for leased cars. (See Actual cash value)
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)
Graduated Driver Licenses
Licenses for younger drivers that allow them to improve their skills. Regulations vary by state, but often restrict nighttime driving. Young drivers receive a learner's permit, followed by a provisional license, before they can receive a standard driver's license.
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)
A coverage that protects businesses engaged in electronic commerce from losses caused by hackers.
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 caused 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 separately.
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 details, such as the intensity of the storm for the deductible to be triggered and the extent of the high risk area, vary from insurer to 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 for loans and attorney's fees to defend against lawsuits and remove criminal or civil judgments.
Agent who is self-employed, is paid on commission, and represents several insurance companies. (See Captive agent)
Inland Marine Insurance
This broad type of coverage 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 other means of transportation and communication. Floaters that cover expensive personal items such as fine art and jewelry are included in this category. (See Floater)
Internet Liability Insurance
Coverage designed to protect businesses from liabilities that arise from the conducting of business over the Internet, including copyright infringement, defamation, and violation of privacy.
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 the firm a substantial financial loss.
Insurance for what the policyholder is legally obligated to pay because of bodily injury or property damage caused to another person.
Long Term Care Insurance
Long-term care (LTC) insurance pays for services to help individuals who are unable to perform certain activities of daily living without assistance, or require supervision due to a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer's disease. LTC is available as individual insurance or through an employer-sponsored or association plan.
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.
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 insurance, Ocean marine insurance)
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.
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.
A form of decreasing term insurance that covers the life of a person taking out a mortgage. Death benefits provide for payment of the outstanding balance of 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 policyholder who becomes involuntarily unemployed. (See Term insurance)
National Flood Insurance Program
Federal government-sponsored program under which flood insurance is sold to homeowners and businesses. (See Adverse selection, Flood insurance)
Ordinary Life Insurance
A life insurance policy that remains in force for the policyholder's lifetime.
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.
The price of an insurance policy, typically charged annually or semiannually. (See Direct premiums, Earned premium, Unearned premium)
Product Liability Insurance
Protects manufacturers and distributors exposure to lawsuits by people who have sustained bodily injury or property damage through the use of the product.
Professional Liability Insurance
Covers professionals for negligence and errors or omissions that injure their clients.
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 actual cash value that includes depreciation.
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.
Term Certain Annuity
An form of annuity that pays out over a fixed period rather than when the annuitant dies.
Term Life 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 designated 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.
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.
Insurance to cover problems associated with traveling, generally including trip cancellation due to illness, lost luggage and other incidents.
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.
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 policy within limits, generally subject to a medical examination. Once funds accumulate in the cash 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.
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.
Most homeowners policies cover damage from a volcanic eruption.
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.
A type of business interruption insurance that compensates for financial losses caused by adverse weather conditions, such as 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 remain level throughout the policy's lifetime.
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.
Get a Quote
Give us some info and we'll get quotes from multiple companies.