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Extended Glossary of Common Insurance Related Terms
The declarations page shows the factual information essential to the insurance contract: the policyholder's name and address, a description of the insured property, the premiums to be paid, as well as the limits and deductibles for different coverages.
For some insurance coverages, you are asked to choose a deductible. The deductible is the portion of losses that you agree to pay in the event of an accident.
Though choosing a higher deductible can substantially lower your insurance premium, if an accident occurs, you must pay the full, pre-established amount of the deductible in order to receive payment from your insurance provider.
DEFENSIVE DRIVER AND DRIVER IMPROVEMENT COURSES
These courses consist of defensive driving training for drivers of all ages as well as "mature driver safety courses" intended for drivers age 55 and over.
You may qualify for a discount on your insurance premium if you have completed such courses.
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.
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.
An employee benefit plan under which the employer sets up benefit accounts and contributions are made to it by the employer and by the employee. The employer usually matches the employee's contribution up to a stated limit.
Customer assets that are held in a checking account. Funds can be readily withdrawn by check, “on demand.”
The conversion of insurance companies from mutual companies owned by their policyholders into publicly-traded stock companies.
Financial institution that obtains its funds mainly through deposits from the public. Includes commercial banks, savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions.
Depreciation is the decline in an object's value due to age, wear and tear, or obsolescence.
In insurance, reducing regulatory control over insurance rates and forms. Commercial insurance for businesses of a certain size has been deregulated in many states.
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.
DIMINUTION OF VALUE
The idea that a vehicle loses value after it has been damaged in an accident and repaired.
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 exclusive agents.
Insurance companies that sell directly to the public using exclusive 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 judgments 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.
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 policies 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 incorporated there.