Resources

Please click on the links below to view some handy insurance tips we have assembled. As always, our staff will be happy to provide you with all of the information you need about the coverage we provide.

Auto

How to Prevent Vehicle Theft

Although you can not ensure your vehicle will not be stolen you can take a few easy steps to prevent the likelihood of it happening, by making it more difficult for a thief to steal your vehicle and its contents.

  • Always lock your vehicle
  • Never leave your keys in the vehicle
  • Turn off your ignition whenever you leave your car
  • Avoid parking on the street
  • Conceal items left in your car, keep things in the trunk and never leave money or compact discs in the open
  • Whenever possible, park your vehicle in a well-lit, well-guarded, highly visible area
  • Ask your neighbours to watch out for your vehicle and do the same for them
  • Install an anti-theft deterrent such as car alarms or an ignition disabler.

For tips and more information to help you avoid having your car broken into or stolen please contact the appropriate industry organization in your area.

Vehicle Safety and Maintenance

  • Read your vehicle owner’s manual to understand its maintenance needs.
  • Maintaining your vehicle according to the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule will go a long way in extending the life of your vehicle and spotting minor problems before they become major repairs.
  • Have your vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic whenever you notice a change in braking or handling.
  • Consider taking a recognized driver safety course.

Brakes

Your brakes are obviously one of the most important components on your automobile. Proper care and regular maintenance is essential to protect both yourself and others from the potential harm caused by faulty brakes. Some signs that your brakes may be failing or require maintenance include:

  • The brakes squeal, grind or bang when applied. If this occurs you should immediately have your brakes checked
  • The car pulls to one side when you apply the brakes
  • The brakes stick or a loss of engine power when you are driving . Your brakes may not be releasing properly which can lead to total brake loss.
  • The brakes grab when lightly applied. This could be caused by loose or broken brake parts
  • The brakes need a lot of pressure to work or the pedal needs to be near the floor before it works. This may be a sign that your brakes are worn and replacement is necessary
  • The brake pedal, steering wheel or entire car vibrates when you step on the brakes

Child Restraint Safety

  • It is important to install a child’s restraint seat properly in order for it to be effective.
  • Read the manufacturer’s installation instructions thoroughly
  • Many police departments have programs to help with proper installation

For tips and information regarding child seat safety please contact the following organizations:

Road Safety

Road safety is an important issue on today’s crowded roadways. For statistics and information regarding road safety and its impact on social and medical costs please contact Transport Canada.

Airbags and Seatbelts

Airbags have been the topic of much discussion since they have become a standard feature with newer automobiles. For information and guidelines pertaining to use and safety issues of air bags please contact the following organizations:

Drinking and Driving

Drinking and driving has been the cause of many unfortunate accidents resulting in serious injuries and loss of life on our roadways. The following organizations can provide statistics and information pertaining to drinking and driving:

Cell Phones and Safety

Cell phones can be valuable equipment in a car when you need to call for assistance. However, they can also be a distraction if they are used while driving, and many jurisdictions are considering restrictions on cell phone use while driving.

For safety’s sake, don’t use your cell phone while driving. If you need to make a call, stop your car safely away from traffic before picking up the phone.

Preparing for Winter Driving

Canadians know that winter driving can be treacherous at the best of times. The following organizations can provide tips and information to help you prepare yourself and your vehicle for safe winter driving.

What to Do When You Are Involved in an Accident

Being involved in an accident can be a very stressful event. To help you protect both yourself and your interests, we have provided some basic hints:

  • Call the police immediately, and an ambulance if necessary.
  • Do not admit liability.
  • Record details of the accident including date, time, location, a description of the accident, any injuries, and any charges laid.
  • Record details concerning the other party and vehicle such as owner’s name and address, phone number, and vehicle year, make and model.
  • It is very important to obtain the insurance information of the other driver. This includes the name of the insurance company and the policy number and the name of the broker or agent.
  • Obtain a copy of the police report from the attending officer as this will have the accident report number for future reference.

These tips are general rules of thumb only, and may not fit all situations. For the definitive word, contact your insurance broker for more information.

Business

 

General Commercial Crime Prevention

  • Ensure that all exterior doors have deadbolt locks with a minimum one inch bolt into the strike plate.
  • Secure exposed exterior door hinge pins to prevent their removal.
  • Protect all grade floor glass through the use of bars, metal screens or burglary resistant glazing materials.
  • Install a burglar alarm system which is monitored offsite. We recommend that the system be certified by Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC).
  • Continually check for unsafe work conditions and practices, and take prompt corrective action.
  • Provide a complement of serviced, multi-purpose fire extinguishers in your premises and instruct all staff in their use.

Protecting Your Computer Equipment

  • Clamp or lock PCs to desks/work stations. Security kits are available at nominal cost.
  • Backup data and programs on a regular basis and store them offsite in a secure location.
  • Laptop computers are portable and easy targets for theft. Do not leave them unsecured or unattended.
  • Maintain records of serial numbers for all of your computer equipment.

Business Interruption Prevention

  • Employ the services of a professional accountant to:
    • Prepare financial statements.
    • Perform an annual audit of your books.
  • Maintain a list of secondary suppliers of materials in the event your primary supplier suffers a loss.
  • Be prepared with a plan of action as to how you will continue to service your customers while your premises are being repaired after a loss. This will help you to avoid losing your customer base. Consider availability of temporary premises where you can resume operations immediately.
  • Reduce the physical and moral hazards of your business.
  • Duplicate your business records and store them off-site; in the event that your premises are damaged, you will have documents to substantiate any business interruption loss

Top

Contractors’ Loss Prevention Tips

  • Focus on pre-job and pre-task planning. The principle of planning the work and working the plan should be followed.
  • All tools and equipment should be kept in a locked area at all times when not in use.
  • All tools should be stamped with an identification number to assist in recovery. Tools should be painted with bright, easily recognizable colours to ease in their identification.
  • Any onsite storage of materials should be in a secure storage area. Where the materials are considered a high target, they should be kept inside a building in a locked area or brought to the site only when they are needed.
  • Warning signs should be posted limiting access and indicating the safety equipment required to gain entry.
  • All electrical cords that pass through pedestrian areas should be secured so that tripping is avoided.
  • All mud or water on public traffic areas should be cleaned regularly.
  • The local utilities should be contacted to locate underground services in the event that any excavations are to be performed.
  • All flammable liquids used should be stored in approved safety containers.
  • All hotwork should be controlled. Combustibles should be removed at least 11 metres from the hotwork. If this is not possible non-combustible shields should be used. A fire watch should be provided for at least a half-hour after the hotwork is completed. All hotwork permit regulations must be followed.
  • All combustible refuse created during the work should be cleaned up regularly. Oily rags should be separated and stored in metal containers with tight fitting lids.
  • Fire extinguishers of the appropriate type should be available at all times.
  • Certificates of liability should be obtained from all subcontractors to ensure they are maintaining adequate liability coverage.
  • All new equipment should be tested and inspected when the work is completed. Customers should signoff the job once complete.
  • Ensure that the project complies with all applicable codes and standards.
  • Records of all jobs including plans, testing documents and approvals should be maintained. 

Office Loss Prevention Tips

  • Avoid overloading of electrical outlets, particularly in older buildings equipped with fuses instead of circuit breakers.
  • If existing electrical service is inadequate, ensure that any required electrical modifications are done by a professional electrician.
  • Ensure that life and safety features such as fire alarms, exit signs and emergency lights are operational and serviced as per applicable fire code specifications.
  • Clean all spills or wet floors immediately, post signs warning of wet or damp floors and check floor surfaces for potential hazards on a regular basis. Non-slip rugs should be used during the winter months.

Commercial Vehicles Loss Prevention Tips

  • Be SELECTIVE when hiring drivers for your vehicles by obtaining pre-employment checks on all employees. Your vehicles should be suitable for the type of work you do and the relative experience of your drivers. A safety conscious driver, with a clean driving and operating record, is the key to reducing the risk of personal injury to the driver and passengers as well as any damage or injury to others.
  • Drivers should NEVER pick up hitchhikers or allow anyone who is not authorized by the OWNER, to ride in the vehicle.
  • Proper MAINTENANCE improves road safety and should be completed by experienced and qualified mechanics. Regular maintenance schedules and records should be kept to prevent accidents caused by unexpected mechanical failures.
  • Inspect your vehicle every day against a standardized checklist. Keep your vehicle equipped with a flashlight, good spare tire, jack and flares in case of emergencies.
  • Proper USE of vehicles extends the life of your vehicle as well as preventing damage to the property of others. Drive on well-maintained and well-travelled roads. Travel at speeds that are not in excess of the posted speed limit. Properly secured loads prevent your load from spilling on the roadways causing damage to others. Improper loading or overloading leads to load shift and/or upset or rollover. Vehicles should only be used for their intended purpose.
  • Always lock your vehicle and take the keys with you, even if it is only for a few minutes.
  • Never leave the engine running while your vehicle is unattended.
  • Safeguard your keys – NEVER keep your vehicle keys or business keys on the same key ring and NEVER attach identification tags to them.
  • Valuable items exposed to view are an invitation to thieves, e.g. log books, delivery schedules, cash, cheques. Drivers should NEVER reveal the contents of their vehicles, their loads, their destination or leave their loads unattended.
  • Deliveries should not be made unless the receiving party signs them for.
  • Parking in well-lit areas is important for personal safety and for the protection of your vehicle and cargo. Keep your vehicle in a locked garage or protected location when not in use.
  • Choose your anti-theft devices carefully. There are many types of anti-theft devices available to protect your vehicle and cargo. Choose the mechanical device, alarm or electronic immobilizer that is best suited to protect your vehicle and cargo. 

Repair Garage Loss Prevention Tips

  • Establish, post and strictly enforce a rule forbidding customers from entering the service bay area. By establishing a clean, safe waiting area for customers, you will significantly reduce the possibility of “slip and fall” types of losses. An added benefit is that customers will not disturb your mechanics while they are working on vehicles.
  • Ensure that you always get signed customer work orders that outline the authorized repairs. This will eliminate any disputes as to the work that was authorized by the customer.
  • When preparing a customer’s work order, all completed repairs should be listed along with all recommended repairs declined by the customer; the customer should sign-off the work order. Including declined recommendations in the work order could protect you from a potential liability loss.
  • Make sure that the front, rear and interior of your business premises are well lit, particularly when closed for business.
  • When overnight storage of customers’ vehicles is necessary, they should be stored inside if possible. If outside storage of vehicles is required on a regular basis, the area should be well lit, adequately fenced and padlocked overnight.
  • Establish a key control procedure with employees to limit access to customers’ keys. Keys should be kept under lock and key, within your office premises. This will reduce the accessibility of keys to potential thieves and vandals, reducing the possibility of customers’ vehicles being stolen or vandalized.
  • Limit the amount of cash in the till by using a safe or money-limiting device. Make regular bank deposits, varying the time of deposits and the route taken.
  • Ensure that you maintain accurate inventory records for all stock, including tools, automobile parts and miscellaneous retail items. In the event of a theft loss, accurate records will make it easier for the insurance adjuster to settle your claim fairly, quickly and equitably.
  • Obtain driver abstracts for all employees on a regular basis. This will help you to determine which employees should be test-driving customers’ vehicles.
  • Establish guidelines for employees as to when and who is permitted to test drive customers’ vehicles.
  • Ensure that test drives follow a predetermined route, in areas that have relatively light vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This can significantly reduce your chance of suffering a loss with a customer’s vehicle.

Top

Retail Loss Prevention Tips

  • Never store combustible material, such as cardboard or paper, near heaters or electrical equipment and remove combustible waste on a regular basis.
  • In sprinklered buildings, keep stock more than 18 inches below the sprinkler heads, so as not to interfere with the system’s effectiveness in the event of a fire.
  • Avoid overloading of electrical outlets, particularly in older buildings equipped with fuses instead of circuit breakers.
  • Keep all of your stock off the floor, stored on skids, shelves, or racks.
  • Make sure the front, rear and interior of your business premises are well lit, particularly when closed for business.
  • Arrange the interior layout of the store so that the till area is clearly visible from the exterior of the building.
  • Limit the amount of cash in the till by using a safe or money-limiting device.
  • If your store is open long hours, consider the installation of closed circuit television cameras and hold-up alarms.
  • Make regular bank deposits, but vary the timing of the deposits and the route taken.
  • Install anti-shoplifting devices and surveillance equipment or keep high priced merchandise under lock and key in display cases.
  • Ensure that life and safety features such as fire alarms, exit signs and emergency lights are operational and serviced as per applicable fire code specifications.
  • Do not block exits with stock or equipment. Ensure that all exit doors are unlocked during store hours.

Slip and Fall Loss Prevention Tips

  • Inspect the interior of your premises on a regular basis for unsafe conditions that could lead to a slip & fall loss. Maintain a daily log of when the inspection was done, what conditions were noted and what corrective action was taken.
  • Floors should be kept clean and in good repair at all times, with loose or defective flooring being replaced immediately.
  • Ensure that aisles are kept clear and free of fallen merchandise or stock. (e.g. fruit, vegetables, clothes etc.)
  • During periods of inclement weather, all entrances should have mats or rugs to help keep the floor clean and dry. Damaged mats should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • Non-slip wax should be used on floor surfaces, where required.
  • Water and other spills should be mopped up immediately and a Caution-Wet Floor sign should be posted.
  • For surfaces that are consistently slippery, specialized non-slip epoxy coatings or non-skid flooring materials may be used.
  • For spills involving oil or other industrial materials, absorbent non-combustible cleaning materials should be used.
  • Ensure that all entranceways and aisles are clear of obstructions and/or promotional displays.
  • Inspect the exterior of your premises on a regular basis for unsafe conditions that could lead to a slip & fall loss. Maintain a daily log of when the inspection was done, what conditions were noted and what corrective action was taken.
  • Any damage to stairs, sidewalks and pavement should be repaired as soon as possible, with signs and barriers posted, until such time as repairs are completed.
  • A snow and ice removal program should be implemented and adhered to, with a single individual having responsibility for the program.
  • Have the appropriate equipment, tools and materials available for use by your staff, in the case of a weather related emergency. e.g. shovels, salt, sand etc.
  • Professional snow removal contractors should be contracted to plow, sand and salt your parking and walkway facilities. Ensure that the contractor keeps a comprehensive log of the work performed.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts and ensure that melt water is directed away from sidewalks and walkways. Check that exterior lighting is adequate and check on a regular basis for malfunctioning light fixtures.
  • Establish and maintain a daily garbage removal program, whereby the walkways and sidewalks are swept and the debris removed on a regular basis.

Home

Crime Prevention Tips

Burglary is always a crime of opportunity. Here are some interesting facts you should know about burglary:

  • Studies show that most burglars attack during the daytime when dense bushes and trees protect them from view, and the building appears unoccupied
  • One-third of burglars enter from the basement
  • One-third of burglars force entry through a window or door
  • One-third of burglars gain access from an unlocked/open door or window

To best protect your home, look at it from a burglar’s perspective. What are the vulnerable parts? If you take a few simple and inexpensive steps to make sure your home is not an attractive target, you’ll greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim.

The following are some tips to help you prevent a burglar from entering your home:

Tips for Inside your Home

The goal of indoor crime proofing is to secure your premises, and to make them appear occupied at all times. Here are a few simple tips:

  • Secure your premises.
    • Close blinds and curtains at night so that a burglar can’t scope your belongings.
    • Lock all doors and windows before leaving.
    • Lock windows so that they can’t be opened from the outside. If they can’t be locked, you can pin them by drilling a hole through both window frames and inserting a bolt or metal pin. The pin must be easily removable for emergency situations.
    • Home burglar alarm systems are a great deterrent. Even if you have an alarm system, don’t neglect the other security measures available to you. An alarm provides an extra layer of security, but is no replacement for good common sense. Alarm owners should still do what they can to make sure their home is not an attractive target for thieves.
  • Make your home look occupied at all times.
    • Use timers to maintain normal lighting patterns.
    • Leave a radio on when you are away from your home for short periods of time.
  • Protect your valuables.
    • Consider marking your valuables indelibly (engraved) with your drivers licence or social insurance number.
    • Take an inventory of your home with a videotape and/or photographs.
    • Keep jewellery and negotiables in a safety deposit box or an unlikely place (i.e. Not your bedroom).

Tips for Outside Your Home

There are many things that you can do to the exterior of your house or in the yard to deter burglars and make it more difficult to force entry.

  • Keep your shrubbery cut back so that it doesn’t block windows and doors.
  • Secure window air conditioners from the inside.
  • Illuminate as much of your property as possible.
  • Exterior doors should be solid, not hollow. Metal doors provide the best protection against forced entry.
  • Use a fencing style that would not conceal a burglar’s activities. Remember if you can’t see out, others can’t see in.
  • Secure any glass that is less than 40′ from a door lock. Either coat exterior glass with an acrylic or polycarbonate to strengthen, or replace with laminated or tempered glass.
  • Door hinges that are on the outside should have a non-removable center pin that can’t be tampered with.
  • Install deadbolt locks.
  • Dogs are great deterrents to burglars. Even a strategically placed “Beware of Dog” sticker can make a burglar think twice. Of course, vicious dogs are never a good idea. If your dog bites someone, you might find yourself in court. A dog that barks is better than one that bites.
  • Place hinged security bars over basement windows. Remember to keep the key nearby for emergency exits.
  • Pin sliding patio doors together when closed. Another easy security step is to drill a hole in the upper track and insert a screw that extends out into the runner to prevent the door from being lifted up and out of its track.
  • Ensure that a burglar cannot access the roof from high trees or a ladder left outside. 

What NOT to Do

  • Don’t put up a nameplate outside of your house with your full name. A burglar can use this information to look up your number in the phone book and call to see if you are home.
  • Don’t leave a note on the door or in the mailbox telling a friend/family member that you aren’t home.
  • Don’t leave spare keys in an obvious place such as the mailbox or under the front door mat. This makes it very easy for a burglar to rob your house quickly without forcing entry.
  • Don’t leave cash and handbags in view in your home.
  • Don’t leave any doors unlocked when you are at the other end of the house or in the yard.

Going on Vacation

If you are going on vacation it is especially important to make your home appear inhabited. To fully protect your home you will need to enlist the help of trusted neighbours, family and friends. Here are some things that you can do:

  • Stop all mail delivery.
  • Arrange for a neighbour to cut the grass or shovel snow.
  • Cancel all deliveries during the time you will be away.
  • Maintain normal lighting patterns by using electronic timers.
  • Ask a neighbour to put one of their garbage bags in front of your house on collection day.
  • Leave a radio on, with a timer if necessary to simulate normal use.
  • Ask a neighbour to park in your driveway.
  • Arrange for neighbours to pick up flyers.
  • Don’t talk about your vacation plans with strangers or service people.
  • Use your work address on your luggage tags so a potential burglar won’t know where your empty house is.
  • If practical, remove valuables from your home. Small valuables should be stored in a safety deposit box.
  • Lock garage door.

Note: Before you leave, you should tell someone you trust:

  • That you will be away
  • How long you will be absent
  • Whether or not you will have a house sitter
  • The number where you can be reached

What to Do if Your House is Broken Into

Despite your best efforts, a burglar may still penetrate your home. If you return to find that your house has been robbed:

  • Don’t stay – Always think of your safety first
  • Never confront a burglar or block the exit route
  • Go immediately to a neighbour’s home or nearby location and phone the police

The definitions appearing in this Glossary are provided solely for general informational purposes. They are not intended to be complete descriptions of all terms, conditions and exclusions applicable to the products and services defined. As well, in the case of any inconsistency between the definitions in this Glossary and the definitions appearing in the actual policy, the definitions contained in the actual policy shall govern.

A

ACCIDENT: An unexpected event, which happens by chance and is not expected in the normal course of events.

ACT OF GOD: A sudden and violent act of nature, which could not have been foreseen or prevented. Examples: flood, earthquake

ACTUAL CASH VALUE: The current cost of replacing an article with a similar one in the same condition. Any item has three basic values: original cost, actual cash value, and replacement value. For example, if you originally paid $400 for your living room couch; its actual cash value might be $175. But if it’s destroyed in a fire, replacing it will cost you $800.

ADDITIONAL INTEREST INSURED: Another person or company who may be liable for an accident involving an insured or an insured vehicle and who has been named as an Additional Interest Insured under the policy.

ADDITIONAL PREMIUM: An extra charge for an alteration, during the policy period, which increases the hazard or the Company’s liability.

ADJUSTER: A person who investigates a loss and negotiates settlement with the claimant on the Company’s behalf.

ALL PERILS: An optional coverage designed to provide protection for your vehicle for all types of losses except those specifically excluded in your policy. All perils coverage is the most complete coverage you can select to protect yourself from loss or damage to your own vehicle. This coverage is optional and may be purchased in addition to the mandatory coverages required by law, and it is subject to a deductible.

ALL RISK: Coverage against loss or damage from all perils except those specifically excluded.

AMOUNT OF RISK: The Company’s total liability at a specific location

APPLICATION (APP): A form on which the prospective insured states facts requested by the insurance company and on the basis of which (together with any information from other sources) the insurance company decides whether or not to accept the risk, modify the coverage offered, or decline the risk.

APPRAISAL: A valuation of property made for determining its insurable value or the amount of loss sustained.

ARSON: The willful and malicious burning of property.

ASSUMED LIABILITY: Liability, which would not rest upon a person except that he has accepted responsibility by contract expressed or implied. This is also known as contractual liability.

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: Coverage on the risks associated with driving or owning an automobile. It can include collision, liability, comprehensive, medical, and uninsured motorist coverages.

AVOIDANCE OF RISK: Taking steps to remove a hazard, engage in an alternative activity, or otherwise end a specific exposure.

B

BASIC RATE: The standard charge for a given type of risk.

BI/PD: Bodily Injury / Property Damage Liability Coverage.

BINDER: A temporary or preliminary agreement, which provides coverage until a policy can be written or delivered.

BODILY INJURY: Term used in Auto and Casualty policies meaning physical injury, including sickness, disease, mental injury, shock or death.

BODILY INJURY LIABILITY: Pays when an insured person is legally liable for bodily injury or death caused by your vehicle or your operation of most non-owned vehicles. This coverage also pays for your legal defense if you are sued.

BROAD FORM: Any of the commercial or personal lines property forms which provide coverage on a named perils basis. This form normally adds the Extended Coverage and Vandalism and Malicious Mischief coverages. This form is generally used for coverages on a Homeowners Policy

BROKER: An independent person or firm who acts on behalf of the insured in placing business with the insurance company. Responsible for the collection of premiums but having no authority to give coverage on the insurance company’s behalf without their specific agreement. Compensation is on a commission basis.

BURGLARY: Unlawful removal of property from premises involving visible forcible entry.

BUSINESS INTERRUPTION: Insurance against business expenses and loss of income resulting from fire or other insured peril.

C

CANCELLATION: Termination of an insurance coverage during the policy period by the voluntary act of the insurance company or insured, effected in accordance with provisions in the contract or by mutual agreement.

CATASTROPHE: A sudden, great disaster.

CIVIL LIABILITY: Liability to other motorists, pedestrians and property owners that you assume when operating your automobile on a public roadway.

CLAIM: Notice to an insurer that under the terms of a policy, a loss may be covered.

CLAUSE: A term used to identify a particular part of a policy or endorsement.

COINSURANCE: In property insurance, a clause under which the insured shares in losses to the extent that he is underinsured at the time of loss.

COLLISION COVERAGE: An optional coverage designed to provide protection for your vehicle when damage occurs as a result of a collision with another object. This coverage is optional and may be purchased in addition to the mandatory coverages required by law, and it is subject to a deductible.

COMPREHENSIVE INSURANCE: Comprehensive insurance reimburses you for damage to your own car from causes other than collision or overturning. The comprehensive portion of your policy pays for loss due to perils like hail, flood, theft, fire, glass breakage, falling objects, missiles, explosions, earthquakes, windstorms, vandalism or malicious mischief, riot or civil commotion, and collision with a bird or an animal.

When you look at a policy’s comprehensive coverage, check for exclusions or limitations. If you have a special audio system installed in your car, for example, you should make sure your policy would cover the cost of the equipment if it were damaged or stolen.

It’s also important to know if the policy pays for the actual cash value of damaged or stolen property (its current value after depreciation has been subtracted or the full amount required to replace it today.)

COMPULSORY INSURANCE: Any form of insurance, which is required by law.

CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGE: A loss, which is an indirect result of an accident or fire, e.g. food spoiled through breakdown of a refrigerator.

COVER: To insure.

COVERAGE: Insurance.

D

DECLARATIONS (DEC SHEET) : A term used in insurance for the portion of the contract which contains information such as the name and address of the insured, the property insured, its location and description, the policy period, the amount of insurance coverage, applicable premiums, and supplemental representations by the insured.

  • the types of coverage you have elected;
  • the limit for each coverage;
  • the cost for each coverage;
  • the specified vehicles covered by the policy;
  • the types of coverage for each vehicle covered by the policy; and
  • other information applicable to the policy.

DEDUCTIBLE: The portion of a loss that you are required to pay before your insurance coverage will respond. Deductibles can be used to reduce your physical damage premiums. For example, if you owned a policy with a $200 deductible and you suffered a covered loss totaling $1,000, you would pay the first $200 and the insurance company would pay the remaining $800. If the loss were only $200, you would pay the entire amount and the insurance company would pay nothing.

DEPRECIATION: Decrease in the value of property over a period of time due to use, wear, tear, and obsolescence. For example, if you paid $500 for a television set five years ago, its current value minus depreciation might be only $125, for example.

DIRECT LOSS (OR DAMAGE): A loss, which is a direct consequence of a particular peril. Fire damage to a refrigerator would be a direct loss. Spoiling of food in the refrigerator as a result of the fire damage would be an indirect loss.

DIRECT WRITER: An insurance company, which sells its policies through salaried employees (licensed agents) who represent it exclusively, rather than through independent local agents, who represent several insurance companies.

E

EARTHQUAKE INSURANCE: Insurance covering damage caused by an earthquake as defined in the contract.

EFFECTIVE DATE: The date on which an insurance policy or bond goes into effect, and from which protection is furnished.

EMBEZZLEMENT: The fraudulent use of money or property, which has been entrusted to one’s care.

EMPLOYERS LIABILITY INSURANCE: Coverage against common law liability of an employer for accidents to employees, as distinguished from liability imposed by a workers’ compensation law.

ENDORSEMENT: Amendment to the policy used to add or delete coverage. Also referred to as a “rider.”

EXCLUSIONS: Certain causes and conditions, listed in the policy, which are not covered.

EXPIRATION: The date upon which a policy will end.

EXPOSURE: Degree of hazard threatening a risk because of external or internal physical conditions.

EXTENDED COVERAGE (EC): A common extension of property insurance beyond coverage for fire and lightning. Extended coverage adds insurance against loss by the perils of windstorm, hail, explosion, riot and riot attending a strike (civil commotion), aircraft damage, vehicle damage, smoke damage and volcanic eruption.

F

FAIR MARKET VALUE: The price that a willing buyer would pay a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to sell or buy.

FIRE: Combustion sufficient to produce a spark, flame, or glow and which is hostile (as opposed to friendly: i.e., not in the place where it is intended to be, such as in a furnace.)

FIRE INSURANCE: Coverage for loss of or damage to a building and/or contents due to fire.

FIRE RESISTIVE CONSTRUCTION: A building, which has exterior walls, floors, and roof constructed of masonry or other fire-resistive materials.

FLOATER POLICY: A policy under the terms of which protection follows moveable property, covering it wherever it may be.

FLOOD INSURANCE: A form of insurance designed to reimburse property owners from loss due to the defined peril of flood. Usually sold in connection with a government Flood Insurance plan.

FORGERY: In general, any false writing with intent to defraud.

FORM: An insurance policy itself or riders and endorsements attached to it.

FORTUITOUS EVENT: An unforeseen accident.

G

GARAGING LOCATION: The postal code where your vehicle is parked or garaged when not in use. This is usually your primary residence.

GRACE PERIOD: A period after the premium due date, during which an overdue premium may be paid without penalty. The policy remains in force throughout this period.

H

HAZARD: A specific situation that increases the probability of the occurrence of loss arising from a peril, or that may influence the extent of the loss. For example, accident, sickness, fire, flood, liability, burglary, and explosion are perils. Slippery floors, unsanitary conditions, shingled roofs, congested traffic, unguarded premises, and uninspected boilers are also hazards.

HOMEOWNER INSURANCE: An elective combination of coverages for the risks of owning a home. Can include losses due to fire, burglary, vandalism, earthquake, and other perils.

HOUSEKEEPING: The general care, cleanliness and maintenance of an insured property.

I

IMPROVEMENTS AND BETTERMENTS: Additions or changes made by a lessee at his own cost to a building that he is occupying, which enhance its value. These become part of the realty and require special insurance consideration.

INDEMNIFY: To restore the victim of a loss, in whole or in part, by payment, repair, or replacement.

INDIRECT LOSS (OR DAMAGE): Loss resulting from a peril, but not caused directly and immediately thereby. For example: Loss of property due to fire is a direct loss, while the loss of rental income as the result of the fire would be an indirect loss.

IN-FORCE: Insurance on which the premiums are being paid or have been fully paid. In life insurance, usually refers to insurance by face amount. In health, usually refers to premium volume being paid to insurance company or insurance companies in aggregate.

INLAND MARINE INSURANCE: A branch of the insurance business which developed from the insuring of shipments which did not involve ocean voyages. Exposures eligible for this form of protection are described in the nation-wide definition of Marine Insurance. Such diverse properties as bridges tunnels, jewellery and furs can now be written under Inland Marine forms.

INSPECTION: Independent checking on facts about an applicant or claimant, usually by a commercial inspection agency.

INSURABILITY: Acceptability of an applicant for insurance to the insurance company.

INSURANCE: A formal social device for reducing risk by transferring the risks of several individual entities to an insurer. The insurer agrees, for a consideration, to assume, to a specified extent, the losses suffered by the insured.

INSURANCE POLICY: Legal document issued to the insured setting out the terms of the contract of insurance.

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

INSURED: The person (or persons) whose risk of financial loss from an insured peril is protected by the policy. Sometimes call the “policyholder”.

INSURER: The Insurance Company.

J

JOINT TENANCY: Ownership of property shared equally by two or more parties under which the survivor assumes complete ownership. This is different from a tenancy in common where the heirs of a deceased party to the tenancy inherit his or her share.

K

L

LAPSE: Termination of a policy because of failure to pay the premium.

LESSEE: The person, to whom a lease is granted, commonly called the tenant.

LESSOR: The person granting a lease, also known as the landlord.

LIABILITY INSURANCE: In an accident where you are charged with injuring another person or damaging his or her property, liability insurance pays the cost of your legal defense, as well as the cost of any damages for which you are found legally responsible. Liability, Collision and Comprehensive

These are the three main types of coverage available in an auto insurance policy. Liability pays other people if you’ve injured them or damaged their property. Collision pays to repair damage to your car caused by (what else?) collisions. Comprehensive pays you for your losses due to theft and other calamities that are unrelated to collisions: like damage from hail, fire, vandalism, floods, etc.

LIABILITY LIMITS: The sum or sums beyond which a liability insurance company does not protect the insured on a particular policy.

LIBEL: A written statement about someone, which is personally injurious to that individual.

LIMIT OF LIABILITY: The maximum amount, which an insurance company agrees to pay in case of loss.

LIMITS: Maximum amount a policy will pay either overall or under a particular coverage.

LOSS: Generally refers to:

  1. the amount of reduction in the value of an insured’s property caused by an insured peril,
  2. the amount sought through an insured’s claim, or
  3. the amount paid on behalf of an insured under an insurance contract.

LOSS OF USE INSURANCE: Coverage to compensate an insured for the loss of use of property if it cannot be used because of a peril covered by the policy.

M

MARKET VALUE: The price for which something would sell, especially the value of certain types of assets, such as stocks and bonds. It is based on what they would sell for under current market conditions. For example, common stock market value would be the price of the stock as of a specified date.

MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATION: The policyholder / applicant makes a false statement of any material (important) fact on his/her application. For instance, the policyholder provides false information regarding the location where the vehicle is garaged.

MORAL HAZARD: A condition of morals or habits that increase the probability of a loss from a peril.

MORALE HAZARD: An attitude that increases the probability of loss from a peril. The attitude of, “It’s insured; so why worry?” is an example of a morale hazard.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE POLICY: In life and health insurance, a policy the benefits from which are intended to pay off the balance due on a mortgage or meet the payments on a mortgage as they fall due upon or after the death or disability of the insured.

MORTGAGEE: The creditor to whom a mortgage is given and who lends money on the security of the value of the property mortgaged. MORTGAGOR: The debtor who receives money and in turn grants a mortgage on his property as security for a loan.

N

NAMED INSURED: The first person in whose name the insurance policy is issued.

NAMED PERILS: Named perils are the specific dangers a policy insures you against: such as fire, windstorm, and hail in a homeowner’s policy, for example. These perils are “named” or listed in the policy.

NEGLIGENCE: Failure to use that degree of care, which an ordinary person of reasonable prudence would use under the given circumstances. Negligence may be constituted by acts of either omission or commission or both.

NO-FAULT INSURANCE: No-fault insurance is designed to speed up claims payments to accident victims and to lower the cost of auto insurance by reducing the number of lawsuits for minor claims. Under no-fault insurance, a person’s own insurance company pays for financial losses like medical expenses and lost wages due to an accident, regardless of who caused it. (In a fault system, your expenses won’t be paid by the other party’s insurance company until he or she has been proved negligent.) In exchange, the right to sue may be restricted in some cases.

O

OCCASIONAL DRIVER: The person who is not the primary or principal driver of the vehicle.

OCCUPANCY: In insurance, this term refers to the type and character of the use of property in question.

OCCURRENCE: An event that results in an insured loss. In some lines of insurance, such as Liability, it is distinguished from accident in that the loss does not have to be sudden and fortuitous and can result from continuous or repeated exposure, which results in bodily injury or property damage neither expected nor intended by the insured.

P

PARTIAL LOSS: A loss under an insurance policy which does not either (1) completely destroy or render worthless the insured property, or (2) exhaust the insurance applying thereto.

PERIL: Cause of a possible loss. For example, fire, theft, or hail.

PERSONAL ARTICLES FLOATER: Provides all risk coverage, subject to reasonable exclusions for valuable items such as furs, jewellery, cameras, silverware, etc. formerly insured under separate contracts. The items are generally listed by description and value. This can be contrasted to the personal effects floater.

PERSONAL EFFECTS FLOATER: An inland Marine policy covering world-wide except in the insured’s domicile, personal effects usually carried by a tourist. In two forms, “All Risk” or Broad Form and “Specified Perils” form.

PERSONAL INJURY: Injury other than bodily injury arising out of false arrest or detention, malicious prosecution, wrongful entry or eviction, libel or slander, or violation of a person’s right to privacy committed other than in the course of advertising, publishing, broadcasting or telecasting. Contrast with Advertising Injury.

PERSONAL PROPERTY: Any property of an insured other than real property. Homeowner policies protect the personal property of family members, and commercial forms are used to protect many types of business personal property of an insured.

PERSONAL PROPERTY FLOATER: A broad policy covering all personal property world-wide, including insured’s domicile.

PERSONAL PROPERTY LIMITATIONS: Don’t assume everything you own is adequately insured by a standard homeowner’s policy. The typical homeowner’s policy provides only limited coverage for many expensive items. Extra coverage can be purchased separately.

PHYSICAL DAMAGE: A generic term indicating actual damage to property.

PHYSICAL DAMAGE COVERAGE: Physical damage coverage insures you against damage to your car. The physical damage section of an automobile policy can include both comprehensive coverage: which protects you against theft and vandalism, among other things: and collision coverage.

PHYSICAL HAZARD: The material, structural, or operational features of the risk itself, apart from the morale or moral hazards of the persons owning or managing it.

PILFERAGE: Petty theft, especially theft of articles in less than package lots.

POLICY: Legal document issued to the insured setting out the terms of the contract of insurance.

POLICY EXPIRATION DATE: The date when your current insurance policy expires. This date can be found on your current Declaration (or “DEC”) page, insurance identification card, or recent cancellation notice. This date is not to be confused with the date of your next payment or the date when your renewal payment is due.

POLICY LIMIT: The maximum amount a policy will pay, either overall or under a particular coverage.

POLICY PERIOD (OR TERM): The period during which the policy contract provides protection, e.g., six months or one or three years.

POLICYHOLDER: The person (or persons) whose risk of financial loss from an insured peril is protected by the policy.

PREFERRED RISK: An insurance classification indicating a risk that is superior to the average risk on which the rate has been calculated and thus eligible for a reduced rate.

PREMISES: The particular location of property or a portion thereof as designated in a policy.

PREMIUM: The amount of money an insurance company charges for insurance coverage.

PRIMARY RESIDENCE: The place where you will reside for the majority of your policy term.

PRINCIPLE DRIVER: The person who drives the car most often.

PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE: Liability insurance to indemnify professionals, doctors, lawyers, architects, etc. for loss or expense resulting from claim on account of bodily injuries because of any malpractice, error, or mistake committed or alleged to have been committed by the insured in his profession.

PROHIBITED RISK: Any class of business, which an insurance company will not insure under any condition.

PROOF OF LOSS: A formal statement made by the insured to the insurance company regarding a loss. The purpose of the proof of loss is to place before the company sufficient information concerning the loss to enable it to determine its liability under the policy.

PROPERTY DAMAGE LIABILITY: Pays when an insured person is legally liable for damage to the property of others caused by your vehicle or your operation of most non-owned vehicles. This coverage also pays for your legal defense costs if you are sued.

PROPERTY DAMAGE UNINSURED MOTORIST: Property damage uninsured or underinsured coverage protects you in situations where your vehicle has been wrecked by another driver who doesn’t have adequate coverage or no insurance at all, and can’t pay for your losses. With this coverage, your own insurance company would pay up to the limit of your policy, to have your car fixed or replaced.

PROPERTY INSURANCE: Property Insurance indemnifies an insured whose property is stolen, damaged, or destroyed by a covered peril. The term property insurance includes direct or indirect property losses covered in several lines of insurance.

PROTECTION:

  1. Term used interchangeably with the word “coverage” to denote the insurance provided under the terms of a policy.
  2. Term used to indicate the existence of fire-fighting facilities in an area known as a “protected” area.

Q

QUOTE: An estimate of the cost of insurance, based on information supplied to the insurance company by the applicant.

R

RATE: The per unit cost of insurance. (See also Premium).

RATED: Usually used in combination, rated-up or rated policy. A policy issued with an extra premium charge

REIMBURSEMENT: Payment of an amount of money related to the amount of the loss to or on behalf of the insured upon the occurrence of a defined loss.

REINSTATEMENT: Restoring a lapsed policy back in force. The reinstatement may be effective after the cancellation date, creating a lapse of coverage. Some companies require evidence of insurability and payment of past due premiums plus interest.

REINSURANCE:

  1. A contract of indemnity against liability by which the insurance company procures another insurance to insure it against loss or liability by reason of the original insurance.
  2. Insurance by one insurance company of all or part of a risk accepted by it with another insurance company which agrees to reimburse the insurance company for the portion of the claim reinsured. The insurance company obtaining the reinsurance is called the “ceding insurance company;” the insurance company issuing the reinsurance is called the “reinsurer.” A reinsurer may, in turn, seek reinsurance on some portion of the risk it has reinsured, a process known as “retrocession.”

RENEWAL: The continuation in full force and effect of something that is about to expire. With an insurance policy it is made either by the issuance of a new policy or renewal receipt or certificate, to take effect upon the expiration of the old policy.

REPLACEMENT COST: The cost of replacing property without deduction for depreciation.

RIDER: Usually known as an endorsement, a rider is an amendment to the policy used to add or delete coverage.

RISK:

  1. A chance of loss.
  2. A person or thing insured. (Impaired or substandard risk: An applicant whose physical condition or moral habits do not meet the standard on which the rate is based).

RISK MANAGEMENT: Management of the pure risks to which a company might be subject. It involves analyzing all exposures to the possibility of loss and determining how to handle these exposures through such practices as avoiding the risk, retaining the risk, reducing the risk, or transferring the risk, usually by insurance.

ROBBERY: The felonious taking, either by force or by fear of force, of the personal property of another, commonly known as “hold-up.”

S

SETTLEMENT: Usually, a policy benefit or claim payment. It connotes an agreement between both parties to the policy contract as to the amount and method of payment.

SPECIFIED PERILS: An optional coverage designed to provide basic protection for your vehicle for loss or damage resulting from incidents specifically stated in your policy. A few examples of the types of losses insured under named perils coverage include fire, lightning, theft, explosion, earthquake, windstorm and hail. This coverage is optional and may be purchased in addition to the mandatory coverages required by law, and it is subject to a deductible.

SUBROGATION: The right of an insurance company to step into the shoes of the party whom they compensate and sue any party whom the compensated party could have sued.

T

TENANTS POLICY: A Homeowners form, which is specifically designed for people who rent.

THEFT: Any act of stealing. Theft includes larceny, burglary and robbery.

THIRD PARTY INSURANCE: Protection of the insured against liability for damage to or destruction of the bodies or property of others.

TOTAL LOSS: A loss of sufficient size so that it can be said there is nothing left of value. The complete destruction of the property. The term is also used to mean a loss requiring the maximum amount a policy will pay.

TRANSFER OF RISK: Shifting all or part of a risk to another party. Insurance is the most common method of risk transfer, but other devices, such as hold harmless agreements, also transfer risk. One of the four major risk management techniques. See Risk Management.

U

UMBRELLA LIABILITY POLICY: a policy that pays for liability losses in excess of those covered in homeowners and auto insurance.

UNDERWRITER:

  1. A person trained in evaluating risks and determining the rates and coverages that will be used for them.
  2. An agent, especially a life insurance agent, who might qualify as a “field underwriter.” In theory, the agent is supposed to do some underwriting before submitting the case to the home office underwriter; i.e., to make a decision on the basis of facts known to him on whether or not the risk is sound and to report all facts known to him that might affect the risk.

UNDERWRITING: The process of evaluating a risk for the purpose of issuing insurance coverage on it.

V

VANDALISM: Used synonymously with malicious mischief; willful physical damage to property.

VANDALISM AND MALICIOUS MISCHIEF (V&MM): Damage or destruction to property, which is willful. This coverage can be purchased under many Property forms and is automatically covered under most Homeowners policies.

VALUATION: Estimation of the value of an item, usually by appraisal.

VIN: The vehicle identification number (VIN) on your vehicle. This number is usually found on the dashboard of your vehicle on the driver’s side, and is usually listed on the vehicle registration and title. The VIN is a combination of letters and numbers 17 characters in length that can be used to identify the make, model, and year of your car.

W

WAIVER:

  1. A rider waiving (excluding) liability for a stated cause of accident or (especially) sickness.
  2. A provision or rider agreeing to waive (forego) premium payment during a period of disability.
  3. The giving up or surrender of a right or privilege that is known to exist. It may be effected by the agent, adjuster, or insurance company employee or official orally or in writing.

X

Y

Z