ABSOLUTE LIABILITY - The liability of a wrongdoer's automobile insurance company to pay someone harmed by the wrongdoer, even if the wrongdoer has violated the terms of the insurance policy, for example, by driving with an expired license. This is subject to a limit, usually $200,000, and the requirement that the wrongdoer in violation of the contract must reimburse the insurer.
ACCIDENT - An event that happens by chance and is not expected in the normal course of events, which results in harm to people, damage to property or equipment, or a loss of process or productivity.
ACCIDENT BENEFITS - The part of auto insurance that provides medical care and income replacement benefits to insured persons injured in a car collision, regardless of who caused the accident. In some parts of the country, this is referred to as "Section B."
ACTUAL CASH VALUE - The fair market value of property taking into account factors that might augment or reduce the value of the property in question.
ADDITIONAL INTEREST INSURED - A person other than the named insured who is protected by the terms of the policy. Most automobile policies, for example, insure a specific individual as an insured, but also insure anyone driving with that insured's consent. The additional insured may be "named" or "unnamed."
ADDITIONAL LIVING EXPENSE INSURANCE - Coverage applicable when an insured's dwelling is damaged by an insured peril to such an extent that one cannot live in it until repaired. This insurance pays the extra amount it costs to live elsewhere until repairs are made, such as the cost of living in a hotel.
ADDITIONAL PREMIUM - An extra charge for an alteration, during the policy period, which increases the hazard or the insurance company's liability. For example, if you installed a wood stove in your home, you would be charged an additional premium
ADJUSTER - An adjuster reviews and settles claims on behalf of the insurance company. The adjuster could be an employee of the insurance company or an independent contractor hired by the company.
APPLICATION (APP) - A request for insurance. This may be done verbally, in writing or by using a printed form.
APPRAISAL - A valuation or an estimation of the value of property usually done by an expert in that field who has no personal interest in the property.
APPRAISAL CLAUSE - A clause in an insurance policy that gives the insurer the right to demand an appraisal on the damaged property. It gives both the insurer and insured a means of settling disputes over the value of lost or damaged property.
ARBITATION - An alternative to litigation for resolving a dispute between an insurer and its customer or between insurers. An unbiased person or panel is appointed to review the case and determine responsibility for paying for the loss or the amount to be paid.
ARBITRATOR - A person or persons (usually three) chosen by the parties to a dispute to hear their matter of contention and to then render judgment. The parties submit themselves in advance either voluntarily or compulsorily to the arbitrator's decision.
ARREARS - The status of a policy on which the premiums are overdue and unpaid but are still considered collectible.
ARSON - The willful and malicious burning of property.
ASSIGNMENT - Legal transference; the transfer of an entire interest from one party to another. Insurance policies are personal contracts and are not transferable except to spouse unless special consent of the insurance company is granted.
ASSUMED LIABILITY - Liability for which a person has accepted responsibility by entering into an expressed or implied contract.
ASSURANCE - Same as "insurance".
ASSURED - Same as "insured"
ASSURER - Same as "insurer" (insurance company).
AUTHORIZATION - The power or right to act on behalf of another.
AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE - Insurance coverage that provides indemnity and/or compensation for injury or physical damage which ensues from the ownership, use or operation of an automobile.
AVOIDANCE OF RISK - Taking steps to remove a hazard, engage in an alternative activity, or otherwise end a specific exposure.