Life Insurance Glossary
ACCIDENTAL DEATH AND DISMEMBERMENT BENEFIT:
A life insurance policy provision that provides an additional amount- usually equal to the policy face value- if the insured is killed in an accident. Also known as double indemnity. The dismemberment benefit pays a set percentage for the loss of certain body party.
ADJUSTABLE LIFE INSURANCE:
A variety of whole life insurance allowing the policyowner to change the type of insurance, raise or lower the face amount of the policy, increase or decrease the premium, and lengthen or shorten the protection period of the policy at specified intervals.
A tendency of poorer risks to continue insurance to a greater extent than normal risks, producing an abnormal increase in mortality rates for lose less-healthy members still in the plan. It also includes the tendency for poorer risks to seek out insurance to a greater extent than normal risks.
A sales and service representative of an insurance company. An agent represents the insurance company and is given powers by the company to act in its behalf.
A contract that provides a periodic income at regular intervals for a specific period of time, such as for a number of years, or for life.
The person who applies for insurance by signing a written application.
A statement of information made by a persona applying for insurance. The application is used by the life insurer to asses the acceptability of risk and issue the life insurance policy. A copy of the application is made a part of the policy when it is issued.
The age the insured has reached on a certain date, based on the nearest birthday or last birthday, depending on the company. Sometimes referred to as insurance age.
ATTENDING PHYSICIAN STATEMENT (APS):
A report, completed by the proposed insured’s (or, in a claim situation, the insured’s) physician, which documents current and prior health history. Used in the evaluation process of approving an application (or claim).
AUTOMATIC PREMIUM LOAN:
An elective policy feature wherein any premium not paid by the end of the grace period is paid by the insurance company by making a loan equal to the premium from policy cash values.
A clause limiting the liability of the insurer if death is related to aviation, to a specified degree. This may be used if the insured is a crewmember or pilot.
Any person, class of people, institution, or trust specifically named in a life or annuity contract to receive the policy benefits at the death of the insured.
The named beneficiary may be changed only if the policy gives such right to the policyholder and law permits the change. Most policies allow such change with the formal request and signature of the owner.
The person(s) designated in the policy to receive the benefit if the primary beneficiary dies while the insured is living.
The person(s) designated in the policy to receive the benefit at the death of the insured.
A sales and service representative who handles insurance for clients and represents the client, not the insurance company.
BUSINESS LIFE INSURANCE:
Life insurance purchased by a business enterprise on the life of a member of the firm. It is often bought by partnerships to protect the surviving partners against loss caused by the death of a key employee or owner employee.
BUY-SELL (OR BUY-OUT):
A policy that pays to a corporation or co-owner either a lump-sum or installment payments on the death of an insured owner to provide the necessary funds to buy-out the business interest of the deceased owner’s heirs.
CASH SURRENDER VALUE:
the amount available in cash upon voluntary termination of a policy by its owner before it becomes payable by death or maturity.
The cash fund within a permanent life insurance policy that is part of the death benefit and is owned by the policyowner for purposes of cash surrender or policy loans.
COMMISSIONERS STANDARD ORDINARY MORTALITY TABLE (CSO TABLE):
Mortality tables based on inter-company experience during a particular period of time.
A period (normally 2 years) after a policy is issued during which the company has the right to cancel the policy because of the insured’s material misrepresentation or fraud. Normally after 2 years from the policy date the policy becomes incontestable.
CONVERTIBLE TERM INSURANCE:
Term insurance that can be exchanged, at the option of the policyowner and without evidence of insurability, for another plan of insurance.
DATE OF ISSUE:
The date (day, month, year) on which the policy was issued. Normally controls contestability and suicide provision dates.
The amount payable to a beneficiary according to the policy terms upon the death of the insured.
When the insured dies, the person(s) entitled to the proceeds must complete certain insurance company death claim forms giving proof of death and establishing the claimant’s right to policy proceeds.
DECREASING TERM INSURANCE:
Term life insurance with a face value that will decrease each year over a stated period of time.
DISABILITY WAIVER OF PREMIUM:
A policy rider providing for the automatic payment of premium by the company should the insured become totally physically incapacitated.
The return to the policy owner of part of the premium paid for a policy issued on a participating basis by the insurer. It represents an excess of collected premiums over expenses, actual mortality and investment experience during a period of time. Dividends may be used by the policyowner (1) as cash refunds, (2) to reduce the next premium, (3) to be kept at interest by the insurer, (4) to purchase paid-up life insurance, and (5) to purchase one year term up to the amount of the cash value in the policy.
Cash from a life insurance policy payable to the policyowner, if living, at the policy maturity date, normally equal to the face amount. If death occurs prior to the maturity date, the face amount is paid.
specified conditions or circumstances for which the policy does not provide benefits.
The sum of money as stated on the face of the policy that will be paid in case of death of the insured or at the maturity of the policy. It does not include additional amounts payable under accidental death or other special provisions, or acquired through the application of policy dividends. It will be reduced by an outstanding policy loan, if any.
A method of evaluating data relevant to earned income, unearned income, net worth, fringe benefits and other components of compensation to determine the proper amount of life insurance benefit for which the insured qualifies. Typical requirements are a pay stub, tax return or a copy of employment contract.
The period of time, usually 31 days following the premium due date, during which the insurance policy remains at full benefit and payment of the premium may be made without penalty.
Policy issued without any medical underwriting. Group disability policies are often “guaranteed issue.”
GUARANTEED INSURABILITY OPTION:
A provision or rider to a policy allowing the purchase of additional insurance at specified future dates at attained age without evidence of insurability.
A policy provision preventing the insurance company from declaring the contract invalid after a certain date, usually 2 years, as established by the individual states.
INCREASING TERM INSURANCE:
A type of term life insurance in which the face amount increases during the term of coverage.
Information, ordered by the underwriter that provides a summary description of the insured’s employment, health history, and habits as a result of a direct interview and interviews with business and personal associates.
Qualifications of age, health, occupation, and other factors that enable the proposed insured to meet the requirements of a company for the issuance of insurance.
The condition that must exist at the issue of a life insurance policy calling for the person applying for the insurance and the beneficiary to have an insurable interest in the potential loss. This means that these are perons who would suffer an emotional or financial loss in the event of the death of the insured.
Insurance is a contractual arrangement in which a customer pays a specified sum (the insurance premium) in return for which the insurer will pay compensation if specific conditions or events affect the customer.
A written legal document issued by an insurer setting forth the terms of the coverage and the rights and obligations of each party under the contract.
A trust composed partly or wholly of insurance policies.
The person whose life is protected by the insurance policy and upon whose life the death benefit is predicated.
The party of the insurance contract promising to pay the losses and benefits. It is a term used to refer to the company providing insurance to the public.
The beneficiary designation in a policy that cannot be changed without beneficiary permission or at the death of the beneficiary.
JOINT LIFE INSURANCE:
Insurance on two or more persons, the benefits of which are payable on the first death. Also called first-to-die life insurance.
JOINT AND SURVIVOR LIFE INSURANCE:
Insurance on two or more persons, the benefits of which are payable on the second death. Also called second-to-die life insurance.
KEY PERSON INSURANCE:
Insurance designed to protect a firm against the loss of business income resulting from the death or disability of an employee who is important to the company’s operation.
Premiums in the policy are locked in and will never increase.
LEVEL TERM INSURANCE:
Term insurance with a constant face value from the date of issue to the date of expiration.
The scientifically calculated pooling, growth, and distribution of money to pay benefits by lump sum or with guaranteed lifetime payments to survivors of someone who dies while covered.
The rate of interest that the borrower must pay on the loan as specified in the policy. If the interest is not paid, it will be added to the policy loan.
The method for payment of insurance proceeds of a policy wherein the whole amount due or still owing is payable to the beneficiary in one sum.
The process of evaluating a disability income application for approval by reviewing the potential insured’s individual health history.
The total non-business related assets of an insured used in the financial evaluation of the disability insurance application. For disability Buy-Sell policies, net worth is that of the business and is used in the calculation of the value of the owner’s interest.
Contractual policy provisions that allow the policyowner to receive the policy’s cash value in the event that the policy is terminated for any reason other than the death of the insured.
A category of insured based on specific job duties that dictate the premium and contractual grouping under which the insured would be placed.
ORDINARY LIFE INSURANCE:
The most common form of basic permanent life insurance in which coverage and premiums are paid to age 100. The policy is designed to build cash values equaling the face amount at age 100.
OUTLINE OF COVERAGE:
A simplified benefit summary of a disability policy provided by the insurance company and required by law in many states to be delivered to the individual insured either at the time of the sales presentation or policy delivery.
Units of single premium insurance purchased with dividends of participating policies; one of the customary dividend options.
Insurance on which all required premiums have been paid.
PERMANENT LIFE INSURANCE:
Life insurance designed to be in force for the whole of a person’s life. This refers to all insurance except term.
The printed legal document stating the terms of the insurance contract issued to the policyowner by the company.
Date policy is initially issued and is yearly renewed.
A refund of part of the premium on a participating life insurance policy reflecting the difference between the premium charged and actual experience.
A loan made by a life insurance company from its general fund to a policyowner on the security of the cash value of a policy.
One who owns an insurance policy and possesses the contractual rights with the insurer. The policyowner need not be the same as the insured.
The measure of the funds that a life insurance company holds specifically for fulfillment of its policy obligations. Reserves are required by law to be so calculated that, together with future premium payments and anticipated interest earnings, they will enable the company to pay all future claims.
POLICY SCHEDULE PAGE:
Found in the early pages of a disability income policy, this sheet details all the specific individual policy data such as name, policy number, monthly benefit, and premium.
This document defines the main features of the issued policy.
A prospect whose physical condition, occupation, mode of living, or other characteristics suggest above average longevity.
The particular method of premium payment selected by the insured. The policy can be paid for annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly.
An underwriting decision to approve coverage but at a higher than normal premium due to an increased risk which is usually associated with adverse medical history.
The process whereby the insured must go through the underwriting process to place the policy back in force after the policy has lapsed.
RENEWABLE TERM INSURANCE:
Term insurance providing the right to renew at the end of the term for another term without evidence of insurability.
An added benefit to the policy.
The several ways outlined in a policy, other than by a lump sum payment in cash, by which a policyowner or beneficiatry may choose to have the contract’s benefits paid.
A person who qualifies through a company’s underwriting standards and practices for insurance protection without any extra rating or any special restrictions.
The person who because of health history or physical impairments does not meet the underwriting qualifications for the issue of a company’s standard life insurance policy. The policy may be issued at extra risk, requiring an additional premium.
A standard disclaimer of life insurance policies providing that the death benefit of a policy will not be paid if the insured dies because of suicide, governed by the rules of the state. Most states restrict this to, at most, 2 years from the date of issue.
SUPPLEMENTAL HEALTH STATEMENT:
A form that is a direct communication from the underwriter to the proposed insured that asks for more details about a specified medical condition(s).
The difference between cash surrender value of a policy and the reserve held by the company.
TERM LIFE INSURANCE:
Life insurance providing a death benefit for a limited period of time on the life of the insured and expiring without value after the stated period.
The process by which insurance companies analyze risks to decide if they want to insure them, and at what rates.
UNIVERSAL LIFE INSURANCE:
A type of permanent life insurancde under which the policyowner is allowed to vary the timing and amount of premiums as well as the death benefit. Premiums (less expenses) are credited to the policy account (cash value) from which mortality charges are deucted and to which interest is credited at a varying future rate.
VARIABLE LEFE INSURANCE:
A type of permanent life insurance in which the death benefit and the policy’s cash value may vary in relation to the investment experience of the selected fund in which the cash value is invested.
VARIABLE UNIVERSAL LIFE:
A type of life insurance policy that combines the premium flexibility and design features of universal life insurance and the policyowner-directed investment choices of variable life insurance.
WAIVER OF PREMIUM:
A policy provision that specifies the exemption of the insured from making premium payments following a specified number of days of disability, until the insured recovers.
A clause in an insurance contract relieving the insurer of liability, or reducing its liability, for loss caused by war.
WHOLE LIFE INSURANCE:
Premium payment for the whole of a person’s life. Also known as ordinary life insurance.
A system administered by each individual state that provides benefits if a worker is hurt or contracts an illness on the job.