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Benson Kearley IFG helps you understand...

The world of insurance can be quite hard to understand. We’re here to provide you with terms you can understand, give you advice and offer our help—all right at your fingertips.

Insurance Glossary

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ABANDONMENT

Relinquishment of ownership of property that has been lost or damaged and "abandoned" to the Insurance Company for the purpose of claiming a total loss.

ABNORMAL RETURN

Stock return beyond that predicted by general market movements. Many active portfolio managers seek out investment opportunities that offer abnormal returns.

ACTIVE PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT

A money manager (investor) attempts to earn a return above the risk-free rate or an index through forecasting of broad market trends or by identifying sectors or securities that are mispriced in the market.

ACTUAL CASH VALUE

The actual or current value at the time of the loss. Actual cash value takes depreciation into consideration.

ADDITIONAL INSURED

An individual or a corporation other than the one named in the insurance policy who is protected by the terms of the policy. Most automobile policies, for example, insure a specific individual as an insured, but also insure anyone driving with the insured's consent. The additional insured may be "named" or "unnamed" in the insurance policy.

ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSE INSURANCE

Coverage applicable when an insured's dwelling is damaged by an insured peril to such an extent that one cannot live in it until repaired. This insurance pays the extra amount it costs to live elsewhere until repairs are made, such as the cost of living in a hotel.

ADDITIONAL PREMIUM

An extra charge for an alteration, during the policy period, which increases the hazard or the Company's liability.

ADJUSTER

An individual who represents an insurer on investigations and dealings with respect to settlement of claims. This may be a salaried employee of an insurer or one who operates as an independent adjuster.

AFTER-TAX

The final cost of an investment to an investor in a particular tax bracket, after calculating the effect of income tax.

ALL PERILS

An optional coverage designed to provide protection for your vehicle for all types of losses except those specifically excluded in your policy. All perils coverage is the most complete coverage you can select to protect yourself from loss or damage to your own vehicle. This coverage is optional and may be purchased in addition to the mandatory coverages required by law, and it is subject to a deductible.

ALL-RISK POLICY

A name given to an insurance policy that covers against the loss caused by all perils except those which are specifically excluded by the terms of the policy.

AMERICAN DEPOSITORY RECEIPT

An instrument traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that represents ownership in a foreign company (valued in American dollars).

AMORTIZATION

The paying back of a debt by spreading the payments (which include a portion of both principal and interest) over a period of time.

AMOUNT OF INSURANCE

The limit of payment for which an insurer is liable under a policy.

AMOUNT OF RISK 

The Company's total liability at a specific location.

ANNUITY

A continuous disbursement of a fixed sum of money for a given period of time. It may be a fixed annuity, offering a constant rate of interest, or a variable annuity, which is adjusted according to the performance of its underlying assets.

APPLICANT

The person or firm requesting insurance.

APPRAISE

To set and state in writing the true value of property.

ARBITRATION

Referral of a dispute to one or more impartial persons chosen by the disputing parties to determine their rights and/or obligations. The parties agree in advance to abide by the arbitration agreement. Each party has a chance to be heard.

ARBITRATION CLAUSE

A clause in an insurance policy that provides arbitration in the event of a disagreement.

ARSON

The deliberate and intentional burning of property by its owner or by another person.

ASSET

What a firm or individual owns.

ASSET CLASS

A way of describing a group of investments with similar performance characteristics. Commonly used categories of assets include long-term equity, international equity, government bonds, corporate bonds, precious metals, and cash.

ASSET MIX (ASSET ALLOCATION)

The allocation of money to be used for investment purposes between different types of investments such as stocks, bonds, and treasury bills.

ASSUMED LIABILITY

Liability, which would not rest upon a person except that he has accepted responsibility by contract expressed or implied. This is also known as contractual liability.

AUTHORIZATION

The power or right to act on behalf of another.

AUTOMOBILE FLEET

A group of automobiles under the same ownership and management which may, because of the number, justify a discount in the insurance premium. Usually five or more vehicles.

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