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Insurance Glossary

Select Alphabet:
As is where is

Commercial term that buyer shall accept delivery of goods at the same place where it lies and in the same condition as it exists at the time of inspection prior to purchase. In General Insurance this term is used mostly relating to salvage disposal transactions.

A.O.A.

Any one accident. The term, in relation to liability insurance, refers to the maximum liability of the insurer in respect of all claims, both for bodily injury and property damages of third parties arising out of any one accident.

A.O.V.

Any one vessel. The term, which relates to Marine Cargo Insurance, refers to the insurer's maximum commitment under the policy for all cargo in respect of any one vessel.

A.O.Y.

Any one year. The term refers to the maximum liability of the insurer under the policy for all claims preferred during the policy period.

Abandonment

In Marine Cargo and Marine Hull Insurance, 'Abandonment' is a condition precedent to a constructive total loss of the property insured. The insured must inform the insurer of his intention to abandon the property before doing so. But the insurer is under no obligation to accept the abandonment.

Acceptance

Agreement to an offer, thereby leading towards conclusion of a contract. One of the fundamental requirements of any contract of sale. Applicable to Contracts of Insurance also.

Access to the Records Clause

The term, also called the Inspection of Records Clause, refers to the right of the reinsure to inspect any books or records of the Reinsured Company, at the expense of the former.

Accessory

The term generally refers to those parts which are directly supplied by the manufacturer along with the equipment /vehicle but which are not essential for the operation/running of the equipment/vehicle.

Accident

An unlooked for mishap or an untoward event which is not expected or designed

Accident and Sickness Insurance

Term used to denote a personal accident insurance policy, which is extended to cover sickness benefits also. However benefits relating to sickness extension will be restricted to weekly compensation for temporary total disablement and for reimbursement of medical expenses towards treatment in a hospital or a nursing home for all sickness other than those which are excluded. The cover will be subject to a period exclusion and a maximum period limit in respect of any one sickness A policy like this which was in existence in the Indian Market was discontinued after nationalization of general insurance. It is possible that in the current scenario some companies introduce a similar insurance cover with the approval of the regulatory authority. (See also "Accident Insurance").

Accident Frequency

A measurement of number of accidents occurring in a given period

Accident Insurance

Coverage for death or bodily injury resulting from accidental means. Cover will extend benefits for different consequences of accident, namely, death, Total disablement of either permanent or partial nature as also partial disablement of permanent nature. Cover can also provide for reimbursement of medical expenses towards treatment of accidental injury
on payment of extra premium.

Accident Severity

A measurement of the seriousness of accidents occurring within a given period, judged either by their cost or by the nature of the damage or injury to which they give rise

Accidental Means

Purely by circumstances which are wholly unexpected, unforeseen and beyond the control of the insured/beneficiary under the policy.

Accommodation Line

Acceptance by a reinsurer, as a special consideration, of a small accommodation line on a reinsurance treaty or a facultative offer. This situation would arise where a reinsurer might have shares on many profitable treaties from a company and the said company might request the reinsurer for some supporting share on a treaty with unsatisfactory results.

Account- Profit & Loss Appropriation

The format of this account is also prescribed by the IRDA Regulations. This is prepared annually at the end of the year. This shows the appropriations made out of the net profit earned during the year. The appropriations can be dividends, transfer of general reserve or dividend equalization etc. The final balance in the Profit & Loss Appropriation Account is shown in the liabilities side of the balance sheet.

Account- Revenue

This is the prescribed form, in which the final account is to be drawn for each department of premium underwritten by the insurer. The format is prescribed by IRDA Regulations. Thus, there is a separate revenue account for Fire Department, Marine Dept. and Misc. Dept. Such revenue accounts enable the underwriter to assess the underwriting profit generated by a particular department premium.

Accounting- Cash system

Basis of accounting by a company where all accounting is done only if money is either received or paid and so no dues are recognized.

Accounting- mercantile system

Basis of accounting by a company where in addition to the money received or paid outstanding incomes as well as expenses are recognized.

Accounting Policy

As there are different methods of accounting especially for specific items in the insurance companies, the company is expected to explain the method of their accounting by its accounting policy, which will be attached to the annual accounts.

Accounting Standards

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India has prescribed certain standards to be followed while accounting certain types of transactions so that uniform interpretation of the accounts of the various companies is possible. These standards are prescribed in consonance with similar international standards practiced world over. Most of the standards are to be mandatory followed by the Companies in preparation of their accounts. IRDA Regulations also prescribe that it is mandatory for the insurance companies to follow the prescribed accounting standards which are around 22 in number as on date. Only the accounting standards in respect of investment income are not applicable to insurance companies.

Account-Profit & Loss

This is also a part of the final accounts in which the general income and expenditure pertaining to the shareholders funds are accounted apart from transfer of net underwriting profit or loss from each revenue account. The format of this account is prescribed by the IRDA regulations. This account is prepared for the transactions of the year and is intended to show the net profit or loss of the company for the year.

Accumulated Stocks Clause

A Clause which appears in Fire, Consequential Loss Policy. The insured, as a part of their business policy, may maintain stock of finished goods. Such an accumulated stock may be utilised during the period of interruption caused by a damage to meet the demand. Consequently, during the indemnity period it would appear that there was no reduction in turnover, even though the manufacturing activities are stopped. In turn, there may not be any claim in respect of loss of gross profit

The accumulated stock clause provides that in adjusting any identifiable loss under a consequential loss policy, account shall be taken and allowance made if any shortage in turnover is avoided by reason of the turnover being maintained from the accumulated stocks.

Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (Aids)

Condition characterized by illness indicative of reduced immune responsiveness in otherwise healthy individuals. The Standard Mediclaim Insurance Policy does not extend cover for AIDS.

Acquisition Cost factor

Acquisition Cost incurred by the direct insurer towards procuring business, which is taken into account by the reinsurer while fixing the reinsurance commission for the reinsurance offered.

Acquisition Costs.

This refers to the expenses incurred by the Direct Insurer for acquiring Direct Premium. Normally commission expenses come under this category. Even brokerage paid if any and also initial Publicity expenses for product launches can be considered as Acquisition Costs.

Act in force Clause

A Clause included in Excess of Loss Treaties pertaining to Liability Insurance, where such liability is statutory, to take care of changes in law or act about quantum of compensation during the cover period, by revision of rate and/or underlying loss retention as well as the limit of the excess of loss cover.

Act Liability with Fire &/or Theft

Provision under the Motor Insurance Tariff to cover a motor vehicle against act liability of the insured together with restricted own damage to the vehicle caused by Fire, External Explosion, Self-ignition or lightning or burglary, house breaking or theft. There is a percentage reduction from the premium applicable for the own damage portion of the cover in view of the above-restricted scope of the cover, which is provided in the tariff.

Act of God Perils

Any event not caused or contributed to by man. Some sudden and irresistible acts of nature that could not reasonably have been foreseen or prevented, such as floods or exceptionally high tides, storms, lightning, earthquakes etc. constitute Act of God Perils.

Act only Policy

Insurance Coverage for all motor vehicles to indemnify the insured upto the limits prescribed in the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 in respect of his legal liability to pay compensation for death or bodily injury to any third party or damage to the property of any third party caused in any accident or series of accidents arising out of one event in so far as is necessary to meet the requirements of section 147 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.

Actual Total Loss

An actual total loss of a property is said to take place when
1. The insured is irretrievably deprived of the
subject matter insured
2. The subject matter is so damaged by an insured peril as to cease to be a thing of its kind-loss of specie

3. In so far as it relates to a vessel and/or cargo thereon, the vessel is declared as missing.

Actuarial assessment of employees

The employees of a company may be entitled to various benefits by way of terminal dues at the time of retirement or resignation from the company. Eg; Gratuity for those who have completed 5 years of service, encashment of accrued leave at the time of retirement, commutation of pensionary benefits etc. Even though these liabilities arise at the time of retirement only, the employer is expected to evaluate such future liabilities by way of actuarial valuation and provide for the same in the current years accounts. Such provisions are called Actuarial assessment of employees liabilities.

Actuarial Science

A branch of knowledge which deals with mathematics of insurance. It is used in the evaluation of various risks, premium fixation commensurate with the risks and also provisions relating to unexpired risks, unexpired liabilities etc.

Actuary

An expert in statistics and a mathematician in the insurance field. Conducts extensive statistical studies. Calculates insurance risks and premiums and reserves. Involves in the preparation of various annual reports in compliance of regulatory requirements.

Ad valorem

In proportion to the value.

1. Insurance premium in respect all property insurance coverage is fixed mostly in relation to the insured value of the property.

2. Calculation of stamp duty on certain portfolio is related insured value under the policy. Ex. Marine Cargo and Personal Accident Insurances.

Additional Expenses-Strikes

If the destination port is strike-bound at the time of arrival of the ship carrying cargo meant for that port, the shipowner may exercise his liberty granted by the contract of affreightment and discharge the cargo at a nearest alternate port and absolve himself of any further responsibility to the cargo. In such circumstances, the cargo owner may have to incur additional expenses in reforwarding the cargo from that port to the intended port of discharge. The ordinary cargo policy does not cover these expenses. If the cargo owner wishes to protect his interest against such eventuality, he has to avail an "additional expenses (strikes) cover" extension for all his shipments that may be effected during a period of 12 months. This extension will not be available for shipments if cover is sought when the strike has commenced in the particular area.

The glossary is conceptualized and compiled by Mr. Rangarajan, Technical Director, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company. To know more about any insurance related matter, write to rangarajan.r@icicilombard.com