Glossary

Actual Cash Value

A calculation of value that pays damages equal to the replacement value of damaged property minus depreciation. Depreciation includes diminishment in value due to time and wear.

Additional Living Expense

Protection against costs incurred when a policyholder requires temporary shelter due to damage by a covered peril that makes the home temporarily uninhabitable.

Additions and Alterations

Materials and supplies that are used to alter or improve a unit, building or other structures. Coverage for these situations may be necessary when a policyholder is renting a premises or when a policyholder does not actually own the real property (building), as in condominium ownership.

Basement, Attic, Garage

These rooms are of interest from an insurance perspective because of their use as storage rooms. Aesthetic sensabilities are usually put aside in these rooms and possessions can be stacked or tucked in densely packed rows in a way that would not be duplicated in a living area. This density leads to one of the highest concentrations of values in the whole house. The value of possessions in these storage areas can be tricky to estimate because the disparate collections of things might include seasonal decorations and clothes, old books, building materials and tools, pictures that no longer fit the homes decor and so on. Further complicating estimation is the fact that these spaces are frequently multi-purpose serving as an exercise room, den or playroom.
Replacement Cost Valuation Tips

These are the toughest areas in the house for Personal Risk Wizard to estimate. The best way to know whether you need to adjust the room summary is to focus on the $500 rule and Verticality. If you have more that 6 or 7 items that cost over $500 (groups of items like Christmas decorations would count as one item for this) then you need to take those values into account. If you are using up a lot of vertical space as well as horizontal space (stacking) then you probably at least need to do a quick mental inventory of what you have stored and then make adjustments.

Binder

An agreement to provide pending issuance of a policy contract.

Business Automobile Insurance

A standardized insurance policy for protecting automobiles owned and operated by businesses.

Business Income Insurance

Sometimes known as Business Interruption Insurance, this is a commercial insurance 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 or operations are being restored because of physical damage from a covered peril.

Business Owners Policy

A standardized insurance policy designed for small to mid-sized businesses that combine several coverages for most business needs. These include property, liability and business interruption coverages. An analogy would be a homeowner policy for a business.

Cameras

Includes digital and film photographic equipment, projection machines and related articles. These articles can be scheduled and valued separately.

Captive Insurance Company

This type of self-insurance is the result of a company forming a wholly owned insurance company for the purpose of providing insurance to itself.

CDW

Collision Damage Waiver. Used by rental car companies. Signing waives your right to collect from the rental company for physical damage to the rented automobile. Coverage may be provided through your personal auto policy.

ChFC

Chartered Financial Consultant.

CIC

The Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation and pin is a mark of distinction that represents a commitment to professional excellence and leadership within the insurance industry.


The 30,000 designated CICs across the country are recognized as among the best and most knowledgeable insurance practitioners in the nation. The formal training required to become a CIC includes 100 classroom hours and the successful completion of five comprehensive exams, with an annual update required to ensure that CICs maintain their edge as the most capable and current insurance practitioners in the industry.

CLU

Chartered Life Underwriter.

CLUE

Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange. A cooperative exchange of loss records and information which is available to insurance carriers

Coins, money

A standard homeowner policy generally limits reimbursement for coins and other money, bank notes, bullion, gold (other than jewelry), silver (other than silverware), platinum (other than jewelry), medals and smart cards to $200. Coins, both rare and current and some other property can be scheduled to obtain higher limits for this property.

Collision Coverage

A type of automobile coverage. An insurance policy would pay under this coverage if an insured vehicle struck another object while the vehicle is being driven.

Collision Damage Waiver

(CDW) An agreement, which can be included in a car rental agreement, where the rental car company agrees to waive the renter’s responsibility for any physical damage to the rental car in exchange for an additional payment.

Comprehensive Coverage

Frequently known as “other than collision” coverage for personal auto policies. This coverage is available for either personal or business auto policies. The coverage applies to losses due to various perils; the main ones include fire, theft and falling objects such as hail or trees. theft vandalism falling objects and water damage.

Comprehensive Personal Liability

Protection for individuals and family members from legal liability resulting from accidents; this protection is not intended to extend to most business pursuits.

Constructive Total Loss

When the cost of repairs exceeds the actual cash value of damaged property.

Contract Bond

A contract between three parties. A surety principle applies for a bond from the surety, typically an insurance company, in order to assure an obligee, or project owner, that the principle has the capacity to perform according to the provisions of an agreement or contract yet to be fulfilled.

Contractors Bond

A type of surety bond for contractors. These bonds are issued by a bonding company to a contractor in exchange for a premium. These are used to assure an obligee that the contractor will perform to expectations, usually by the promise to make payments to the obligee in the event of non-performance.

Contractual Liability

Liability for acts of a third party for which a business entity is responsible through contractual agreement.

Coverage A

The policy provisions and limits in a homeowner policy that apply to your dwelling and other property connected to the residence building.

Coverage B

Homeowner policy provisions and limits for real property not attached to the dwelling.

Coverage C

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In a homeowner policy the coverage provisions and limits that apply to your personal possessions and property.

Coverage D

Homeowner policy provisions and limits related to additional living expenses incurred because a residence cannot be occupied due to a loss covered under a homeowner policy.

Coverage E

Homeowner policy provisions and limits for damage or injury sustained by other than residents of the homeowner’s dwelling for which the homeowner is legally liable.

Coverage F

Homeowner policy provisions and limits related to physical injury sustained by others on the residence premises or related to the residence premises. No legal liability is necessary for the coverage to apply.

CPCU

Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter.

Customized Coverage

You selected the above items because standard auto and home policies contain limitations or exclusions for protection in those areas. When updating your insurance program or soliciting a quote you will want to be sure to learn what options are available to you to customize your insurance policies.

Deductible

The portion of an insured loss that would be paid for by the insured party.

Depreciation

Diminishment in property value due to age and wear. This value discounting is taken into account when adjusting for property insurance that covers loss an actual cash value basis. That is, Actual Cash Value equals Replacement cost minus depreciation.

Dining Room

A formal area for eating often reserved for special occasions and large gatherings. Frequently special serving equipment is kept here.


Replacement Cost Valuation Tips


If you have valuable antique furniture, more than 6 or 8 place settings of fine china, silver and crystal, art on the walls you will want to adjust for these items. You may have an expensive oriental rug or chandelier that you want to take into account. Generally, if the cost to replace these items is well into the thousands then you should adjust your room summary.

Earth Movement

Includes earthquake and mud slide; this protection is usually excluded from homeowner policies but can sometimes be bought back.

Earthquake

Protection against “earthquake” and related earth movement like landslides is not included in a standard homeowner policy but can often be added.

Employment Practice Liability

Any lawsuit or claim made by a former, current or prospective employee alleging an infringement of legal rights. Such allegations may be due to assertions of wrongful termination, discipline; sexual harassment, infringement of privacy or other related practice.

Exclusions

Insurance policy provision that eliminates certain coverage. Coverage can be excluded for certain perils, people, property classes, or locations. Sometimes these ‘exclusions’ can be bought back by endorsement to an insurance policy.

Family Room

This room goes by several other names like Bonus Room or Great Room and sometimes even Living Room. It is usually the most lived in room of the house where TV and movies are watched and family members are most likely to gather.


Replacement Cost Valuation Tips


Home entertainment equipment, in the extreme is not accounted for by the Personal Property Wizard. If you have a collection of CDs/DVDs/VHS tapes or record albums numbering in the thousands, you will want to make a room summary adjustment for these items. Likewise for oriental rugs, very expensive or large numbers of antiques or art pieces.

Fixed Annuity

Fixed Annuities are a type of insurance contract where an insurance company makes a series of guaranteed payments in exchange for a sum of money at the outset of the contract; some fixed annuities will provide for a payment plan over time to build up the annuity lump sum. This type of investment instrument can help stabilize investment income, defer taxes on investment earnings, and is often part of a financial strategy for retirees or those contemplating retirement. Because of the guaranteed income stream provided by the fixed annuity, the insurance company, rather than the insured (annuity owner), takes the investment risk.

Home Business Liability
 

Computers are protected against many causes of loss but one significant one is excluded: power surges and fluctuations. More comprehensive protection can usually be provided but must be requested.

Home Business Property

Valuable home theater components are protected against many causes of loss but one significant one is excluded: power surges and fluctuations. More comprehensive protection can usually be provided but must be requested.

Home Insurance Value

Home insurance policies are designed to replace a home or parts of a home if they are damaged or destroyed. Insurance-to-value, a closely related concept, means an amount of insurance adequate to replace a house which might be totally destroyed.

Home Owners Policy

A type of insurance policy protecting a policyholder from risk of loss to their home as well as other related risks. These typically include other structures on the residence property, personal property and additional living expense as a result of covered loss and legal liability. Many perils are insured against such as fire, theft and windstorm; conversely, many significant perils are not automatically covered under a standard homeowner policy. These include earthquake and flood among others.

Identity Theft

Many, but not all kinds, of credit and debit card fraud are protected against, but usually only up to $500. Identity theft encompasses card theft as well as fraudulent use of personal information to obtain and use credit and higher limits of credit. Broader protection for identity theft than is generally provided for in a standard homeowner policy is inexpensive.

Independent Insurance Agent

An insurance agency that is free to contract with multiple insurance companies to meet the needs of their customers. This allows an independent agent to customize protection based on individual needs at competitive premiums. Independent agents are able to leverage relationships to make sure that their companies provide the level of service their customers expect and deserve, especially claim service.

Insurance Score

Insurance scores are based on consumer credit information which includes confidential information about loan payment history, the number of open credit accounts, bankruptcy and judgment filings. Insurance score measures how well a consumer manages their finances, not their financial assets; as such, income information is not included. Various studies have shown a high correlation between management of consumer finances and propensity to insurance loss. Many insurance companies use these scores in their underwriting and pricing determinations.

Insurance-to-Value

An amount approximating the actual replacement cost of insured property. Frequently applied to real property; various methods are used to determine replacement cost which is usually the benchmark for Insurance-To-Value.

Judicial and Probate Bond

This type of bond, which is sometimes referred to as a Fiduciary Bond, guarantees that certain individuals will act to protect assets in their trust. Executors and guardians in estate or will proceedings often need this type of bond. Often these bonds are used to guarantee that court fees or judgments will be paid.

Liability (Property Damage, Bodily Injury, Home, G

Rough synonyms for liability would be fault or responsibility. This coverage pays for bodily injury or property damage for which a policyholder is responsible. In an insurance context, liability is determined by negligence and concepts such as ‘strict liability’ and ‘contractual liability’.

License and Permit Bond

This type of bond is usually required by law and act as a guarantee of sorts that the bondholder will indemnify the public authority for breach of regulation or ordinance such as non-payment of taxes or fees.

Loan, Lease (Gap) Coverage

Protection that covers the difference in selling price between a vehicle’s actual cash value, and the payout left on a lease or loan.

Market Value

The price at which property could be sold, generally applicable to real estate. One of several common ways property may be valued for the purpose of selecting insurance coverage limits. Closely related concepts are ‘actual cash value’ (ACV) and ‘replacement cost’.

Medical Payments Coverage

A coverage that is found in automobile and also some liability policies. It covers medical payments, up to the policy limits, to injured parties irrespective of liability.

Multi-Peril Policy

A type of insurance policy that combines coverage for several different perils or causes of loss.

MVR

Motor Vehicle Record. Driving record including accidents, convictions, date of original licensing and license renewals.

Mysterious Disappearance

Unexplained disappearance of insured property from a known location.

No-Fault Insurance

A type of insurance where each party to a loss will be covered by their own insurance, even if another party is legally liable (at fault) for the loss. States that use no-fault coverage usually modify this concept to permit some third party payments.

Ocean Marine Insurance

A policy for all types of watercraft, cargo and liability for marine related pursuits. Although the term suggests ocean only, ships, yachts and other craft plying inland waterways are also eligible for this type of insurance. Policies are designed to provide protection for ships (hull), cargo and liability.

On Hook Towing Coverage

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This is a type of liability coverage often needed by businesses that engage in towing or hauling. It will pay to replace or repair damage for specified perils for vehicles under tow.

Ordinance and Law Coverage

A type of property insurance coverage that will pay for repair or replacement costs relating to building code requirements that result in retrofitting, demolition, or rebuilding.

Other Property

$1,500 for theft of furs; $2,500 for theft of silverware, gold or platinum ware; $2,500 for theft of firearms and related equipment. Higher limits and protection from a broader range of perils is possible by adding these items to your home policy through what is known as a schedule.

Other Structures
 

Refers to structures on premises that are not attached to the insured building. Examples would be detached garages, fences, retaining walls and outbuildings.

Perils (Covered Perils)
 

A risk or cause of loss. In an insurance policy, these might include fire, theft or water damage.

Personal Automobile Insurance

A standardized insurance policy for personal automobile liability and physical damage protection. Other typical coverage includes medical payments, towing and labor, rental reimbursement, uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage. There are two kinds of physical damage coverage: collision and comprehensive.

Personal Injury Protection
 

This coverage can be found in automobile policies in states that have no-fault provisions in their automobile insurance policies. The coverage protects an insured party for loss from physical injury, loss of income, and so forth, regardless of fault.

Personal Property
 

A class of property distinct from real property or business property. This class of property would include non-business possessions not part of land or buildings

Postage Stamps

Stamps and related property collected and traded due to value and rarity. Value for this property can be difficult to determine after a loss. These items can be scheduled and valued separately for insurance purposes.

Professional Liability Insurance

A type of specialty insurance to cover liability arising from professional pursuits. Any service provider who is expected to have unique or in-depth technical knowledge is a candidate for this kind of protection. Professional services run a broad range from medicine, law, architecture, engineering, teaching, and technology. Professional liability protection is not provided by general business liability insurance, homeowner insurance policies or home business policies.

Real Property

Land, buildings and structures attached to the land (e.g., house, pool, outbuildings).

Rental Reimbursement

A common addition to auto insurance. This coverage reimburses for vehicle rentals required because your car is stolen or damaged by a cause covered under the auto policy. The amount is subject to limits selected.

Renter's Policy
 

A comprehensive policy, similar to a homeowner policy, providing limits of protection for personal possessions, loss of use and liability for damage or injury to others.

Replacement Cost

Insurance that pays to replace damaged property (building, possessions, vehicle, etc.) without deducting for depreciation. This amount is usually limited by a maximum dollar or percentage amount shown in an insurance policy.

Risk Retention Group

A group of companies that combine for the purpose of providing group members with self-insurance. An RRG generally results in the establishment of a chartered, limited purpose, insurance company.

Scheduled Property

Real or other property that is insured for a specific amount. When the property is other than real estate (e.g., personal property not attached to or part of a dwelling, equipment, etc.) scheduled property protection is often referred to as inland marine coverage.

Silverware

Eating and serving utensils with a significant silver content; included in this definition, from an insurance perspective are gold ware and platinum ware. A standard homeowner policy generally limits loss due to theft of silverware to $2,500 unless the items are specifically scheduled.

SR-22

The SR22 filing is proof of insurance that is filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles. This form is often required for someone who has had their license suspended due to a DUI or drunk driving conviction.

Storm Surge

Water pushed toward shore by force of storm winds. The increase in water level from storm surge is in addition to the height of wind driven waves and normal changes in tide. Storm surge at the height of a major hurricane at high tide can result in significant flood damage along any tidal waterway./expand]

Strict Liability

Liability assigned without regard to negligence or fault. Such liability is faced by a manufacturer or seller of defective or dangerous products.

Surety Bond

A contract between three parties. A surety principle applies for a bond from the surety, typically an insurance company, in order to assure an obligee, or project owner, that the principle has the capacity to perform according to the provisions of an agreement or contract yet to be fulfilled.

Totaled

When damages to a vehicle exceed the actual cash value. In a loss covered by insurance, the insurance company would normally make a payment equal to the vehicle’s actual cash value and would retain the salvage rights (i.e., keep the ‘totaled’ vehicle).

Towing and Labor

Towing and labor coverage can be added as part of an auto insurance policy. Reimbursement for these expenses, up to the limit specified in the policy, can be used in the case of roadside breakdowns.

Umbrella Policy

A liability policy with high limits. Provides coverage for losses above the liability coverage limits of an underlying policy or policies such as homeowners and auto insurance. Coverages are often broader than those underlying policies and vary from insurance company to insurance company. Unlike the underlying policies a deductible, or retention, is usually applied to a loss before a loss payment.

Under Insured Motorists Coverage

Provides coverage for the insured and passengers if another driver, who is at fault in an accident, has an inadequate and lower auto liability policy limit than the insured. This coverage is applied after an at-fault driver’s low limit automobile liability is exhausted.

Underwriting

In insurance an insurance company or agency practice where risk is accepted, rejected or modified. Examples would be accepting or declining to offer an insurance policy at a given premium or offering to provide a policy for a different premium or change in policy terms.

Uninsured Motorists Coverage
 

Can be part of an auto insurance policy. This coverage protects policyholders from other drivers that do not have any insurance and from losses resulting from hit-and-run incidents.

Unit Assessment

Generally applies to condominium insurance. A share of an assessment charged to all unit owners as a result of a loss to common areas resulting from a covered loss.

Water Back Up

Protection from water seeping up from sewers or drains. Many standard home insurance policies do not include this coverage. Coverage can often be obtained through endorsement to a homeowner policy.

Windstorm Pools

Also referred to as beach plans, these are plans devised by coastal states to insure the windstorm exposure of coastal properties. Where wind storm exposure is high these pools are often the only catastrophic wind protection available.