Insurance Glossary: I – R

Brief definitions and meanings of words often used within the insurance industry.

The words and terms within this insurance glossary are provided as a reference only. If you have questions regarding any information located within your policy, please be sure to contact one of our agents. We look forward to explaining the insurance terms within the policies you have through Today Insurance Services!

For words, phrases and terms that begin with an S through Z, see our next glossary.

For words, phrases and terms that begin with an A through H, see our first glossary.

 

Insurance Glossary: I - R

IDENTITY THEFT INSURANCE
Coverage for expenses incurred as the result of an identity theft. Can include costs for notarizing fraud affidavits and certified mail, lost income from time taken off from work to meet with law-enforcement personnel or credit agencies, fees for reapplying for loans and attorney’s fees to defend against lawsuits and remove criminal or civil judgments.

IMMEDIATE ANNUITY
A product purchased with a lump sum, usually at the time retirement begins or afterwards. Payments begin within about a year. Immediate annuities can be either fixed or variable.

INCURRED BUT NOT REPORTED LOSSES / IBNR
Losses that are not filed with the insurer or reinsurer until years after the policy is sold. Some liability claims may be filed long after the event that caused the injury to occur. Asbestos-related diseases, for example, do not show up until decades after the exposure. IBNR also refers to estimates made about claims already reported but where the full extent of the injury is not yet known, such as a workers compensation claim where the degree to which work-related injuries prevents a worker from earning what he or she earned before the injury unfolds over time. Insurance companies regularly adjust reserves for such losses as new information becomes available.

INCURRED LOSSES
Losses occurring within a fixed period, whether or not adjusted or paid during the same period.

INDEMNIFY
Provide financial compensation for losses.

INDEPENDENT AGENT
Agent who is self-employed, is paid on commission, and represents several insurance companies.

To contact an Independent Agent with Today Insurance Services, use our handy contact form.

INDIVIDUAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNT/IRA
A tax-deductible savings plan for those who are self-employed, or those whose earnings are below a certain level or whose employers do not offer retirement plans. Others may make limited contributions on a tax-deferred basis. The Roth IRA, a special kind of retirement account created in 1997, may offer greater tax benefits to certain individuals.

INFLATION GUARD CLAUSE
A provision added to a homeowners insurance policy that automatically adjusts the coverage limit on the dwelling each time the policy is renewed to reflect current construction costs.

INLAND MARINE INSURANCE
This broad type of coverage was developed for shipments that do not involve ocean transport. Covers articles in transit by all forms of land and air transportation as well as bridges, tunnels and other means of transportation and communication. Floaters that cover expensive personal items such as fine art and jewelry are included in this category.

INSOLVENCY
Insurer’s inability to pay debts. Insurance insolvency standards and the regulatory actions taken vary from state to state. When regulators deem an insurance company is in danger of becoming insolvent, they can take one of three actions: place a company in conservatorship or rehabilitation if the company can be saved or liquidation if salvage is deemed impossible. The difference between the first two options is one of degree – regulators guide companies in conservatorship but direct those in rehabilitation. Typically the first sign of problems is inability to pass the financial tests regulators administer as a routine procedure.

INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR
An organization such as a bank or insurance company that buys and sells large quantities of securities

INSURABLE RISK
Risks for which it is relatively easy to get insurance and that meet certain criteria. These include being definable, accidental in nature, and part of a group of similar risks large enough to make losses predictable. The insurance company also must be able to come up with a reasonable price for the insurance.

INSURANCE
A system to make large financial losses more affordable by pooling the risks of many individuals and business entities and transferring them to an insurance company or other large group in return for a premium.

INSURANCE POOL
A group of insurance companies that pool assets, enabling them to provide an amount of insurance substantially more than can be provided by individual companies to ensure large risks such as nuclear power stations. Pools may be formed voluntarily or mandated by the state to cover risks that can’t obtain coverage in the voluntary market such as coastal properties subject to hurricanes.

INSURANCE REGULATORY INFORMATION SYSTEM / IRIS
Uses financial ratios to measure insurers’ financial strength. Developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Each individual state insurance department chooses how to use IRIS.

INSURANCE SCORE
Insurance scores are confidential rankings based on credit information. This includes whether the consumer has made timely payments on loans, the number of open credit card accounts and whether a bankruptcy filing has been made. An insurance score is a measure of how well consumers manage their financial affairs, not of their financial assets. It does not include information about income or race.

Studies (1) have shown that people who manage their money well tend also to manage their most important asset, their home, well. And people who manage their money responsibly also tend to handle driving a car responsibly. Some insurance companies use insurance scores as an insurance underwriting and rating tool.

INSURANCE-TO-VALUE
Insurance written in an amount approximating the value of the insured property.

INTEGRATED BENEFITS
Coverage where the distinction between job-related and non-occupational illnesses or injuries is eliminated and workers compensation and general health coverage are combined. Legal obstacles exist, however, because the two coverages are administered separately. Previously called twenty-four hour coverage.

INTERMEDIATION
The process of bringing savers, investors and borrowers together so that savers and investors can obtain a return on their money and borrowers can use the money to finance their purchases or projects through loans.

INTERNET INSURER
An insurer that sells exclusively via the Internet.

INTERNET LIABILITY INSURANCE
Coverage designed to protect businesses from liabilities that arise from the conducting of business over the Internet, including copyright infringement, defamation, and violation of privacy.

INVESTMENT INCOME
Income generated by the investment of assets. Insurers have two sources of income, underwriting (premiums less claims and expenses) and investment income. The latter can offset underwriting operations, which are frequently unprofitable.

JOINT AND SURVIVOR ANNUITY
An annuity with two annuitants, usually spouses. Payments continue until the death of the longest living of the two.

JOINT UNDERWRITING ASSOCIATION / JUA
Insurers which join together to provide coverage for a particular type of risk or size of exposure, when there are difficulties in obtaining coverage in the regular market, and which share in the profits and losses associated with the program. JUAs may be set up to provide auto and homeowners insurance and various commercial coverages, such as medical malpractice

JUNK BONDS
Corporate bonds with credit ratings of BB or less. They pay a higher yield than investment grade bonds because issuers have a higher perceived risk of default. Such bonds involve market risk that could force investors, including insurers, to sell the bonds when their value is low. Most states place limits on insurers’ investments in these bonds. In general, because property/casualty insurers can be called upon to provide huge sums of money immediately after a disaster, their investments must be liquid. Less than 2 percent are in real estate and a similarly small percentage are in junk bonds.

KEY PERSON INSURANCE
Insurance on the life or health of a key individual whose services are essential to the continuing success of a business and whose death or disability could cause the firm a substantial financial loss.

KIDNAP/RANSOM INSURANCE
Coverage up to specific limits for the cost of ransom or extortion payments and related expenses. Often bought by international corporations to cover employees. Most policies have large deductibles and may exclude certain geographic areas. Some policies require that the policyholder not reveal the coverage’s existence.

L-SHARE VARIABLE ANNUITIES
A form of variable annuity contract usually with short surrender periods and higher mortality and expense risk charges.

LADDERING
A technique that consists of staggering the maturity dates and the mix of different types of bonds.

LAW OF LARGE NUMBERS
The theory of probability on which the business of insurance is based. Simply put, this mathematical premise says that the larger the group of units insured, such as sport-utility vehicles, the more accurate the predictions of loss will be.

LIABILITY INSURANCE
Insurance for what the policyholder is legally obligated to pay because of bodily injury or property damage caused to another person.

LIMITS
Maximum amount of insurance that can be paid for a covered loss.

LINE
Type or kind of insurance, such as personal lines.

LIQUIDATION
Enables the state insurance department as liquidator or its appointed deputy to wind up the insurance company’s affairs by selling its assets and settling claims upon those assets. After receiving the liquidation order, the liquidator notifies insurance departments in other states and state guaranty funds of the liquidation proceedings. Such insurance company liquidations are not subject to the Federal Bankruptcy Code but to each state’s liquidation statutes.

LIQUIDITY
The ability and speed with which a security can be converted into cash.

LIQUOR LIABILITY
Coverage for bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policyholder.

LLOYD’S OF LONDON
A marketplace where underwriting syndicates, or mini-insurers, gather to sell insurance policies and reinsurance. Each syndicate is managed by an underwriter who decides whether or not to accept the risk. The Lloyd’s market is a major player in the international reinsurance market as well as a primary market for marine insurance and large risks. Originally, Lloyd’s was a London coffee house in the 1600s patronized by shipowners who insured each other’s hulls and cargoes. As Lloyd’s developed, wealthy individuals, called “Names,” placed their personal assets behind insurance risks as a business venture. Increasingly since the 1990s, most of the capital comes from corporations.

LLOYDS
Corporation formed to market services of a group of underwriters. May issue insurance policies or provide insurance protection. Insurance is written by individual underwriters, with each assuming a part of every risk. Has no connection to Lloyd’s of London, and is found primarily in Texas.

LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE
Long-term care (LTC) insurance pays for services to help individuals who are unable to perform certain activities of daily living without assistance, or require supervision due to a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease. LTC is available as individual insurance or through an employer-sponsored or association plan.

LOSS
A reduction in the quality or value of a property, or a legal liability.

LOSS ADJUSTMENT EXPENSES
The sum insurers pay for investigating and settling insurance claims, including the cost of defending a lawsuit in court.

LOSS COSTS
The portion of an insurance rate used to cover claims and the costs of adjusting claims. Insurance companies typically determine their rates by estimating their future loss costs and adding a provision for expenses, profit, and contingencies.

LOSS OF USE
A provision in homeowners and renters insurance policies that reimburses policyholders for any extra living expenses due to having to live elsewhere while their home is being restored following a disaster.

LOSS RATIO
Percentage of each premium dollar an insurer spends on claims.

LOSS RESERVES
The company’s best estimate of what it will pay for claims, which is periodically readjusted. They represent a liability on the insurer’s balance sheet.

MALPRACTICE INSURANCE
Professional liability coverage for physicians, lawyers, and other specialists against suits alleging negligence or errors and omissions that have harmed clients.

MANAGED CARE
Arrangement between an employer or insurer and selected providers to provide comprehensive health care at a discount to members of the insured group and coordinate the financing and delivery of health care. Managed care uses medical protocols and procedures agreed on by the medical profession to be cost effective, also known as medical practice guidelines.

MANUAL
A book published by an insurance or bonding company or a rating association or bureau that gives rates, classifications, and underwriting rules.

MARINE INSURANCE
Coverage for goods in transit, and for the commercial vehicles that transport them, on water and over land. The term may apply to inland marine but more generally applies to ocean marine insurance. Covers damage or destruction of a ship’s hull and cargo and perils include collision, sinking, capsizing, being stranded, fire, piracy, and jettisoning cargo to save other property. Wear and tear, dampness, mold, and war are not included. (See Inland marine and Ocean marine)

MCCARRAN-FERGUSON ACT
Federal law signed in 1945 in which Congress declared that states would continue to regulate the insurance business. Grants insurers a limited exemption from federal antitrust legislation.

MEDIATION
Nonbinding procedure in which a third party attempts to resolve a conflict between two other parties.

MEDICAID
A federal/state public assistance program created in 1965 and administered by the states for people whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care.

MEDICAL PAYMENTS INSURANCE
A coverage in which the insurer agrees to reimburse the insured and others up to a certain limit for medical or funeral expenses as a result of bodily injury or death by accident. Payments are without regard to fault.

For more information about Medical Payments Insurance, read our Health Insurance information.

MEDICAL UTILIZATION REVIEW
The practice used by insurance companies to review claims for medical treatment.

MEDICARE
Federal program for people 65 or older that pays part of the costs associated with hospitalization, surgery, doctors’ bills, home health care, and skilled-nursing care.

MEDIGAP/MEDSUP
Policies that supplement federal insurance benefits particularly for those covered under Medicare.

MINE SUBSIDENCE COVERAGE
An endorsement to a homeowners insurance policy, available in some states, for losses to a home caused by the land under a house sinking into a mine shaft. Excluded from standard homeowners policies, as are other forms of earth movement.

MONEY SUPPLY
Total supply of money in the economy, composed of currency in circulation and deposits in savings and checking accounts. By changing the interest rates the Federal Reserve seeks to adjust the money supply to maintain a strong economy.

MORTALITY AND EXPENSE (M&E) RISK CHARGE
A fee that covers such annuity contract guarantees as death benefits.

MORTGAGE GUARANTEE INSURANCE
Coverage for the mortgagee (usually a financial institution) in the event that a mortgage holder defaults on a loan. Also called private mortgage insurance (PMI).

MORTGAGE INSURANCE
A form of decreasing term insurance that covers the life of a person taking out a mortgage. Death benefits provide for payment of the outstanding balance of the loan. Coverage is in decreasing term insurance, so the amount of coverage decreases as the debt decreases. A variant, mortgage unemployment insurance pays the mortgage of a policyholder who becomes involuntarily unemployed.

MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITIES
Investment grade securities backed by a pool of mortgages. The issuer uses the cash flow from mortgages to meet interest payments on the bonds.

MULTIPLE PERIL POLICY
A package policy, such as a homeowners or business insurance policy, that provides coverage against several different perils. It also refers to the combination of property and liability coverage in one policy. In the early days of insurance, coverages for property damage and liability were purchased separately.

MUNICIPAL BOND INSURANCE
Coverage that guarantees bondholders timely payment of interest and principal even if the issuer of the bonds defaults. Offered by insurance companies with high credit ratings, the coverage raises the credit rating of a municipality offering the bond to that of the insurance company. It allows a municipality to raise money at lower interest rates. A form of financial guarantee insurance

MUNICIPAL LIABILITY INSURANCE
Liability insurance for municipalities.

MUTUAL HOLDING COMPANY
An organizational structure that provides mutual companies with the organizational and capital raising advantages of stock insurers, while retaining the policyholder ownership of the mutual.

MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY
A company owned by its policyholders that returns part of its profits to the policyholders as dividends. The insurer uses the rest as a surplus cushion in case of large and unexpected losses.

NAMED PERIL
Peril specifically mentioned as covered in an insurance policy.

NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM
Federal government-sponsored program under which flood insurance is sold to homeowners and businesses.

NO-FAULT
Auto insurance coverage that pays for each driver’s own injuries, regardless of who caused the accident. No-fault varies from state to state. It also refers to an auto liability insurance system that restricts lawsuits to serious cases. Such policies are designed to promote faster reimbursement and to reduce litigation. This coverage is not available in all states, check with us to find out more.

For more information about No Fault and other auto insurance, read our Auto Insurance information.

NO-FAULT MEDICAL
A type of accident coverage in homeowners policies.

NO-PAY, NO-PLAY
The idea that people who don’t buy coverage should not receive benefits. Prohibits uninsured drivers from collecting damages from insured drivers. In most states with this law, uninsured drivers may not sue for noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. In other states, uninsured drivers are required to pay the equivalent of a large deductible ($10,000) before they can sue for property damages and another large deductible before they can sue for bodily harm.

NON-ADMITTED ASSETS
Assets that are not included on the balance sheet of an insurance company, including furniture, fixtures, past-due accounts receivable, and agents’ debt balances

NON-ADMITTED INSURER
Insurers licensed in some states, but not others. States where an insurer is not licensed call that insurer non-admitted. They sell coverage that is unavailable from licensed insurers within the state.

NOTICE OF LOSS
A written notice required by insurance companies immediately after an accident or other loss. Part of the standard provisions defining a policyholder’s responsibilities after a loss.

NUCLEAR INSURANCE
Covers operators of nuclear reactors and other facilities for liability and property damage in the case of a nuclear accident and involves both private insurers and the federal government.

NURSING HOME INSURANCE
A form of long-term care policy that covers a policyholder’s stay in a nursing facility.

OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE
Abnormal condition or illness caused by factors associated with the workplace. Like occupational injuries, this is covered by workers compensation policies.

OCCURRENCE POLICY
Insurance that pays claims arising out of incidents that occur during the policy term, even if they are filed many years later.

OCEAN MARINE INSURANCE
Coverage of all types of vessels and watercraft, for property damage to the vessel and cargo, including such risks as piracy and the jettisoning of cargo to save the property of others. Coverage for marine-related liabilities. War is excluded from basic policies, but can be bought back.

OPEN COMPETITION STATES
States where insurance companies can set new rates without prior approval, although the state’s commissioner can disallow them if they are not reasonable and adequate or are discriminatory.

OPERATING EXPENSES
The cost of maintaining a business’s property, includes insurance, property taxes, utilities and rent, but excludes income tax, depreciation and other financing expenses.

OPTIONS
Contracts that allow, but do not oblige, the buying or selling of property or assets at a certain date at a set price.

ORDINANCE OR LAW COVERAGE
Endorsement to a property policy, including homeowners, that pays for the extra expense of rebuilding to comply with ordinances or laws, often building codes, that did not exist when the building was originally built. For example, a building severely damaged in a hurricane may have to be elevated above the flood line when it is rebuilt. This endorsement would cover part of the additional cost.

ORDINARY LIFE INSURANCE
A life insurance policy that remains in force for the policyholder’s lifetime.

For more information regarding Ordinary Life Insurance, read our Life Insurance information.

ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER PARTS / OEM
Sheet metal auto parts made by the manufacturer of the vehicle.

OVER-THE-COUNTER (OTC)
Security that is not listed or traded on an exchange such as the New York Stock Exchange. Business in over-the-counter securities is conducted through dealers using electronic networks.

PACKAGE POLICY
A single insurance policy that combines several coverages previously sold separately. Examples include homeowners insurance and commercial multiple peril insurance.

PAY-AT-THE-PUMP
A system proposed in the 1990s in which auto insurance premiums would be paid to state governments through a per-gallon surcharge on gasoline.

PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION
An independent federal government agency that administers the Pension Plan Termination Insurance program to ensure that vested benefits of employees whose pension plans are being terminated are paid when they come due. Only defined benefit plans are covered. Benefits are paid up to certain limits

PENSIONS
Programs to provide employees with retirement income after they meet minimum age and service requirements. Life insurers hold some of these funds. Since the 1970s responsibility for funding retirement has increasingly shifted from employers (defined benefit plans that promise workers a specific retirement income) to employees (defined contribution plans financed by employees that may or may not be matched by employer contributions).

PERIL
A specific risk or cause of loss covered by an insurance policy, such as a fire, windstorm, flood, or theft. A named-peril policy covers the policyholder only for the risks named in the policy in contrast to an all-risk policy, which covers all causes of loss except those specifically excluded.

PERSONAL ARTICLES FLOATER
A policy or an addition to a policy used to cover personal valuables, like jewelry or furs.

For information about a Personal Articles Floater for your valuables, read our Jewelry Insurance information.

PERSONAL INJURY PROTECTION COVERAGE / PIP
Portion of an auto insurance policy that covers the treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the policyholder’s car.

PERSONAL LINES
Property/casualty insurance products that are designed for and bought by individuals, including homeowners and automobile policies.

POINT-OF-SERVICE PLAN
Health insurance policy that allows the employee to choose between in-network and out-of-network care each time medical treatment is needed.

POLICY
A written contract for insurance between an insurance company and policyholder stating details of coverage.

POLICYHOLDERS’ SURPLUS
The amount of money remaining after an insurer’s liabilities are subtracted from its assets. It acts as a financial cushion above and beyond reserves, protecting policyholders against an unexpected or catastrophic situation.

POLITICAL RISK INSURANCE
Coverage for businesses operating abroad against loss due to political upheaval such as war, revolution, or confiscation of property.

POLLUTION INSURANCE
Policies that cover property loss and liability arising from pollution-related damages, for sites that have been inspected and found uncontaminated. It is usually written on a claims-made basis so policies pay only claims presented during the term of the policy or within a specified time frame after the policy expires.

PREFERRED PROVIDER ORGANIZATION
Network of medical providers which charge on a fee-for-service basis, but are paid on a negotiated, discounted fee schedule.

PREMISES
The particular location of the property or a portion of it as designated in an insurance policy.

PREMIUM
The price of an insurance policy, typically charged annually or semiannually

PREMIUM TAX
A state tax on premiums paid by its residents and businesses and collected by insurers.

PREMIUMS IN FORCE
The sum of the face amounts, plus dividend additions, of life insurance policies outstanding at a given time.

PREMIUMS WRITTEN
The total premiums on all policies written by an insurer during a specified period of time, regardless of what portions have been earned. Net premiums written are premiums written after reinsurance transactions.

PRIMARY COMPANY
In a reinsurance transaction, the insurance company that is reinsured.

PRIMARY MARKET
Market for new issue securities where the proceeds go directly to the issuer.

PRIME RATE
Interest rate that banks charge to their most creditworthy customers. Banks set this rate according to their cost of funds and market forces.

PRIOR APPROVAL STATES
States where insurance companies must file proposed rate changes with state regulators, and gain approval before they can go into effect.

PRIVATE PLACEMENT
Securities that are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and are sold directly to investors

PRODUCT LIABILITY
A section of tort law that determines who may sue and who may be sued for damages when a defective product injures someone. No uniform federal laws guide manufacturer’s liability, but under strict liability, the injured party can hold the manufacturer responsible for damages without the need to prove negligence or fault.

PRODUCT LIABILITY INSURANCE
Protects manufacturers’ and distributors’ exposure to lawsuits by people who have sustained bodily injury or property damage through the use of the product.

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE
Covers professionals for negligence and errors or omissions that injure their clients.

PROOF OF LOSS
Documents showing the insurance company that a loss occurred.

PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE
Covers damage to or loss of policyholders’ property and legal liability for damages caused to other people or their property. Property/casualty insurance, which includes auto, homeowners and commercial insurance, is one segment of the insurance industry. The other sector is life/health. Outside the United States, property/casualty insurance is referred to as nonlife or general insurance.

PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE CYCLE
Industry business cycle with recurrent periods of hard and soft market conditions. In the 1950s and 1960s, cycles were regular with three year periods each of hard and soft market conditions in almost all lines of property/casualty insurance. Since then they have been less regular and less frequent.

PROPOSITION 103
A November 1988 California ballot initiative that called for a statewide auto insurance rate rollback and for rates to be based more on driving records and less on geographical location. The initiative changed many aspects of the state’s insurance system and was the subject of lawsuits for more than a decade.

PURCHASING GROUP
An entity that offers insurance to groups of similar businesses with similar exposures to risk.

PURE LIFE ANNUITY
A form of annuity that ends payments when the annuitant dies. Payments may be fixed or variable.

QUALIFIED ANNUITY
A form of annuity purchased with pretax dollars as part of a retirement plan that benefits from special tax treatment, such as a 401(k) plan.
RATE
The cost of a unit of insurance, usually per $1,000. Rates are based on historical loss experience for similar risks and may be regulated by state insurance offices.

RATE REGULATION
The process by which states monitor insurance companies’ rate changes, done either through prior approval or open competition models.

RATING AGENCIES
Six major credit agencies determine insurers’ financial strength and viability to meet claims obligations. They are A.M. Best Co.; Duff & Phelps Inc.; Fitch, Inc.; Moody’s Investors Services; Standard & Poor’s Corp.; and Weiss Ratings, Inc. Factors considered include company earnings, capital adequacy, operating leverage, liquidity, investment performance, reinsurance programs, and management ability, integrity and experience. A high financial rating is not the same as a high consumer satisfaction rating

RATING BUREAU
The insurance business is based on the spread of risk. The more widely risk is spread, the more accurately loss can be estimated. An insurance company can more accurately estimate the probability of loss on 100,000 homes than on ten. Years ago, insurers were required to use standardized forms and rates developed by rating agencies. Today, large insurers use their own statistical loss data to develop rates. But small insurers, or insurers focusing on special lines of business, with insufficiently broad loss data to make them actuarially reliable depend on pooled industry data collected by such organizations as the Insurance Services Office (ISO) which provides information to help develop rates such as estimates of future losses and loss adjustment expenses like legal defense costs.

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS
Investments generally owned by life insurers that include commercial mortgage loans and real property

RECEIVABLES
Amounts owed to a business for goods or services provided.

REDLINING
Literally means to draw a red line on a map around areas to receive special treatment. Refusal to issue insurance based solely on where applicants live is illegal in all states. Denial of insurance must be risk-based.

REINSURANCE
Insurance bought by insurers. A reinsurer assumes part of the risk and part of the premium originally taken by the insurer, known as the primary company. Reinsurance effectively increases an insurer’s capital and therefore its capacity to sell more coverage. The business is global and some of the largest reinsurers are based abroad. Reinsurers have their own reinsurers, called retrocessionaires. Reinsurers don’t pay policyholder claims. Instead, they reimburse insurers for claims paid.

RENTERS INSURANCE
A form of insurance that covers a policyholder’s belongings against perils such as fire, theft, windstorm, hail, explosion, vandalism, riots, and others. It also provides personal liability coverage for damage the policyholder or dependents cause to third parties. It also provides additional living expenses, known as loss-of-use coverage, if a policyholder must move while his or her dwelling is repaired. It also can include coverage for property improvements. Possessions can be covered for their replacement cost or the actual cash value that includes depreciation.

For more information about Renters Insurance, read more about our Renters Policies.

REPLACEMENT COST
Insurance that pays the dollar amount needed to replace damaged personal property or dwelling property without deducting for depreciation but limited by the maximum dollar amount shown on the declarations page of the policy.

REPURCHASE AGREEMENT /’REPO’
Agreement between a buyer and seller where the seller agrees to repurchase the securities at an agreed upon time and price. Repurchase agreements involving U.S. government securities are utilized by the Federal Reserve to control the money supply.

RESERVES
A company’s best estimate of what it will pay for claims.

RESIDUAL MARKET
Facilities, such as assigned risk plans and FAIR Plans, that exist to provide coverage for those who cannot get it in the regular market. Insurers doing business in a given state generally must participate in these pools. For this reason the residual market is also known as the shared market.

RETENTION
The amount of risk retained by an insurance company that is not reinsured.

RETROCESSION
The reinsurance bought by reinsurers to protect their financial stability.

RETROSPECTIVE RATING
A method of permitting the final premium for a risk to be adjusted, subject to an agreed-upon maximum and minimum limit based on actual loss experience. It is available to large commercial insurance buyers.

RETURN ON EQUITY
Net income divided by total equity. Measures profitability by showing how efficiently invested capital is being used.

RIDER
An attachment to an insurance policy that alters the policy’s coverage or terms.

RISK
The chance of loss or the person or entity that is insured.

RISK MANAGEMENT
Management of the varied risks to which a business firm or association might be subject. It includes analyzing all exposures to gauge the likelihood of loss and choosing options to better manage or minimize loss. These options typically include reducing and eliminating the risk with safety measures, buying insurance, and self-insurance.

RISK RETENTION GROUPS
Insurance companies that band together as self-insurers and form an organization that is chartered and licensed as an insurer in at least one state to handle liability insurance.

RISK-BASED CAPITAL
The need for insurance companies to be capitalized according to the inherent riskiness of the type of insurance they sell. Higher-risk types of insurance, liability as opposed to property business, generally necessitate higher levels of capital.

 

NOTE: The glossary definitions provide a brief description of the meaning of words, terms and phrases often used within the insurance industry. These definitions are not applicable in all states or for all insurance and financial products. This insurance glossary is provided as a reference only and is not an insurance contract. This informational resource is not intended to fully set out your rights and obligations or the rights and obligations of Today Insurance Services, our agents or any agency or product affiliated with our company. If you have questions about your insurance, contact us.