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Glossary of Insurance Terms

There are 154 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
Paid-Up Additional Insurance

An option that allows the policyholder to use policy dividends and/or additional premiums to buy additional insurance on the same plan as the basic policy and at a face amount determined by the insured's attained age.

Participation Rate

In equity-indexed annuities, a participation rate determines how much of the gain in the index will be credited to the annuity. For example, the insurance company may set the participation rate at 80%, which means the annuity would only be credited with 80% of the gain experienced by the index.

Peril

The cause of a possible loss.

Personal Injury Protection

Pays basic expenses for an insured and his or her family in states with no-fault auto insurance. No-fault laws generally require drivers to carry both liability insurance and personal injury protection coverage to pay for basic needs of the insured, such as medical expenses, in the event of an accident.

Personal Lines

Insurance for individuals and families, such as private-passenger auto and homeowners insurance.

Point-of-Service Plan

Health insurance policy that allows the employee to choose between in-network and out-of-network care each time medical treatment is needed.

Policy

The written contract effecting insurance, or the certificate thereof, by whatever name called, and including all clause, riders, endorsements, and papers attached thereto and made a part thereof.

Policy or Sales Illustration

Material used by an agent and insurer to show how a policy may perform under a variety of conditions and over a number of years.

Pre-Existing Condition

A coverage limitation included in many health policies which states that certain physical or mental conditions, either previously diagnosed or which would normally be expected to require treatment prior to issue, will not be covered under the new policy for a specified period of time.

Preferred Auto

Auto coverage for drivers who have never had an accident and operates vehicles according to law. Drivers are not a risk for any insurance company that writes auto insurance, and no insurance company would be afraid to take them on as risk.

Preferred Provider Organization

Network of medical providers who charge on a fee-for-service basis, but are paid on a negotiated, discounted fee schedule.

Premium

The price of insurance protection for a specified risk for a specified period of time.

Premium Balances

Premiums and agents' balances in course of collection; premiums, agents' balances and installments booked but deferred and not yet due; bills receivable, taken for premiums and accrued retrospective premiums.

Premium Earned

The amount of the premium that as been paid for in advance that has been "earned" by virtue of the fact that time has passed without claim. A three-year policy that has been paid in advance and is one year old would have only partly earned the premium.

Premium to Surplus Ratio

This ratio is designed to measure the ability of the insurer to absorb above-average losses and the insurer's financial strength. The ratio is computed by dividing net premiums written by surplus. An insurance company's surplus is the amount by which assets exceed liabilities. The ratio is computed by dividing net premiums written by surplus. For example, a company with $2 in net premiums written for every $1 of surplus has a 2-to-1 premium to surplus ratio. The lower the ratio, the greater the company's financial strength. State regulators have established a premium-to-surplus ratio of no higher than 3-to-1 as a guideline.

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