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Insurance Glossary

Actual Cash Value – Often referred to by its acronym of ACV, actual cash value is one of the types of replacement cost figures used by insurance companies. If your policy uses ACV, this means that your lost or damaged items will be adjusted based on their current market value on the date of loss.

Adjuster – Insurance professionals that assess losses and estimate damages are called adjusters. Many adjusters work as claims adjusters for insurance companies while others serve as public adjusters who represent individual policyholders.

Claim – When a loss occurs that the policyholder believes may be covered by insurance, a "claim" must be filed. This is the notification from the insured to the insurer notifying the company that a loss has occurred.

Denial – Insurance companies review insurance claims to make sure that the claim is valid. Those that the insurance company deems do not meet the terms and conditions of the policy are denied.

Deductible – Insurance policies typically require policyholders to pay a portion of the claim out of pocket in the form of a deductible. The deductible is usually stated in the policy. For example, a homeowners policy may have a $1,000 deductible which means that the homeowner pays the first $1,000. If an insured experiences losses totaling less than the deductible amount, then the insured will be responsible for paying the entire amount and the insurance company will not need to be involved.

Depreciation – This is the decline in value of property from age or wear and tear.

Endorsement – If your current coverage is not sufficient for some items such as furs or fine art, you could purchase an endorsement which would add additional coverage to the policy. Endorsements can also remove coverage.

Exclusion – Insurance policies often "exclude" specific damage types, causes, or items from coverage. These are known as "exclusions."

Insured – The person or entity that holds an insurance policy.

Insurer – The insurance carrier that issues an insurance policy.

Peril – Perils are types of causes such as wildfires, tornados, or even drunk drivers. Perils can either be covered by a policy or excluded. For example, volcanoes and natural flooding are typically excluded from coverage.

Policy – An insurance policy is a contract between an insurance company and the policyholder that specifies the terms and conditions of the policy as well as any exclusions, limits, deductibles, premiums, and other policy details.

Policy Limit – A policy limit is a limit to the amount of coverage the policy contains. For example, an auto policy may have various limits as to how much medical coverage is provided or how much the insurance will pay to replace a totaled car.

Premium – A premium is the monthly or yearly fee for an insurance policy. Rider – If your current coverage is not sufficient for some items such as furs or fine art, you could purchase a rider which would add additional coverage to the policy.

Statute of Limitations – The statute of limitations is a period of time between a loss and the deadline for filing a lawsuit related to that loss. In other words, you have a specific amount of time to file a lawsuit. If the deadline passes, you can no longer file a lawsuit.