Glossary

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Term Definition
Accident

An event that is unforeseen, unexpected, and unintended.

Accidental death benefits

A provision added to a life insurance policy for payment of an additional benefit in case of death that results from an accident. This provision is often called "double indemnity."

Acquisition Costs

Costs incurred by an insurer or their agent in attracting customers. These costs typically include: sales force salaries and overhead, marketing and advertising costs and other costs incurred prior to when a prospect agrees to purchase a policy.

Actuary

A person who calculates insurance and annuity premiums, reserves, and dividends.

Advance Premium Mutual

Mutual insurance company owned by the policyholders that does not issue assessable policies but charges premiums expected to be sufficient to pay all claims and expenses.

Adverse Selection

Tendency of persons with a higher-than-average chance of loss to seek insurance at standard (average) rates, which, if not controlled by underwriting, results in higher-than-expected loss levels

Agent

An insurance company representative who solicits, negotiates or effects contracts of insurance, and provides service to the policyholder for the insurer, usually for a commission on the premium payments.

Aggregate excess policy

In an aggregate excess policy, the reinsurer will pay claims beyond a certain value

Alternate delivery system

Health services that are more cost-effective than inpatient, acute-care hospitals, such as skilled and intermediary nursing facilities, hospice programs, and in-home services.

Annuities

Annuities are contracts sold by life insurance companies. In their simplest form, one pays a sum of money (either a lump sum or a series of payments) and the insurance company makes periodic payments to the policy holder, beginning on the date contracted and continuing for the rest of the insured`s life. Unlike mutual funds or unit trusts, variable annuities have insurance provisions and guarantees to preserve the value of the principal paid into the annuity. They also generally carry higher fees than mutual funds.

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