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Definitions of Common Insurance Terms

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Definitions of Common Insurance Terms


When dealing with insurance, it can seem as though terms and conditions are worded in a way that is purposely confusing. This can make selecting a policy, negotiating a policy, or even fighting the terms of a policy difficult. While the process can be confusing, simply becoming acquainted with some of the common terms used can be a great help. Below are some common insurance terms and what they really mean.

  • Amendment

Changes to the insurance policy that can alter or add to the policy.

  • Arbitration

When a dispute is settled with the aid of an impartial party.

  • At-Fault

The person who is legally liable for damages when an accident occurs

  • Appraisal

The process of assessing the value of a person’s property be it before or after a loss. It can also be used when determining the extent of damage incurred towards one’s property.

  • Auto Damage Adjuster

Party who is in charge of writing out a repair estimate for a damaged vehicle.

  • Agent

The agent is the person who sells the insurance policy, be it for one or multiple companies.

  • Bodily Injury

An Injury sustained by a person in an accident

  • Bodily Injury Coverage

The amount paid by the policy for Injury or death that occurs as a result of an accident per the conditions stated in the policy contract.

  • Cancellation

The cancellation or termination of an insurance policy contract before the end of the policy period.

  • Claim

A request or demand for damages or payment per the terms of an insurance contract.

  • Claim Adjuster

The person responsible for evaluating, processing, and selling an insurance claim.

  • Claimant

The entity or person who is presenting a claim.

  • Collision Coverage

The amount paid when damage occurs as a result of one vehicle being struck by another vehicle.

  • Coverage

The protection offered per an insurance policy.

  • Continuous Coverage

When a policyholder is insured continuously without any Kaiser in coverage, be it through one policy or multiple policies.

  • Declarations Page

A page that outlines the basic policy information such as the policyholder, coverage, items covered, premium amounts and more.

  • Depreciation

The decrease in value of insured property overtime due to age, wear, and more.

  • Deductible

The amount a policyholder must pay, according to their agreement, before the insurance company covers a loss or damage.

  • Exclusion

Limited or excluded coverage in an insurance policy.

  • Endorsement

A modification to an insurance policy, be it an addition, alteration, or deletion declared by a statement.

  • First Party

A person insured by a policy.

  • Indemnity

A payout intended to bring an individual back to the approximate financial situation they were at before a loss occurred.

  • Insurable Interest

Economic loss that occurs as a result of injury or damage to an individual or property.

  • Insured

Term used to describe a person or entity that is insured under a policy.

  • Insurer

The company that provides the insurance.

  • Liability

The legal responsibility for an injury or damage that occurs to an entity or individual.

  • Loss

The lessening of quantity, quality, or value.

  • Loss Ratio

Loss to premium percentage ratio

  • Multi-peril policy

A policy that combines fire, casualty, and marine coverages in a single contract.

  • Negligence

Failure to carry out the actions that a reasonable individual would do.

  • No Fault

A type of insurance that covers a car in the event of an accident regardless of who is at fault.

  • Occurrence

A continued or repeated exposure to certain conditions that result in a loss.

  • Policyholder

An individual whose policy is in their name

  • Premises

A certain location

  • Rate

The cost of insurance

  • Risk

A person or object insured

  • Subrogation

The insurance company’s right to recover the amount paid under a policy through a third party.

  • Theft

An incident regarding stolen property

  • Theft insurance

Protection for the loss of property by way of stealing

  • Underwriter

An individual whose duty is to determine how acceptable an insurance risk is.


Navigating legal jargon through an insurance company can be difficult and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. If you or a loved one has been in an accident and are trying to navigate your insurance terms for clarity, contact a lawyer who could help. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, speak with a personal injury attorney who could help. Contact the law offices of Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan today to schedule your case consultation.




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