Our insurance terms glossary is divided alphabetically by insurance terms in a quick reference guide to assist understanding the language commonly used by insurance companies. Policy documents contain a number of insurance terms because they typically define the limitations of risk and liability on the insured and any exclusions of coverage.
If you plan to start a new policy or renew your current policy with a carrier or agency, it is important to review and understand the policy differences behind individual quotes from multiple carriers. Lower policy premiums may be the result of decreased payout benefits, higher deductibles, or maximum damages allowed. It is important to identify these unique features in any policy comparison, otherwise a lower price may come at a much higher cost when you have to file a claim for loss or damages in the future.
See Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. GAAP is important in insurance accounting, because the states, who regulate insurance, use STAT accounting which is more conservative.
General Agency System
Type of life insurance marketing system in which the general agent is an independent businessperson who represents only one insurer, is in charge of a territory, and is responsible for hiring, training, and motivating new agents. This is different from the Independent Agency System where such agents represent a number of companies.
In ocean marine insurance, a loss incurred for the common good that is shared by all parties to the venture.
Damages awarded to an injured person for intangible loss which cannot be measured directly by dollars. Frequently called pain and suffering. General damages are distinguished from special damages which are awarded for actual economic loss, such as medical costs, loss of income, etc.
General Liability Insurance
Coverage that pertains, for the most part, to claims arising out of the insured’s liability for injuries or damage caused by ownership of property, manufacturing operations, contracting operations, sale or distribution of products, and the operation of machinery, as well as professional services. For small businesses, this coverage can be included in the BOP or “Business Owners Policy”.
General Partner Liability Insurance
Coverage designed to protect against claims of loss against a general partner, for failure to properly exercise his fiduciary duty. Also known as General Partners’ Liability and Limited Partnership Reimbursement coverage. A general partner’s management and fiduciary responsibilities to a limited partnership closely parallel the director’s or officer’s to a corporation. Exposure occurs when general partners become the financial managers of a limited partnership. The directors and officers of corporate general partners share this type of exposure.
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
Principles of accounting and reporting business results developed by the American Institute of Public Accountants. As regards the insurance business, this convention varies from Statutory Accounting (State Mandated Accounting) in a number of key areas; asset valuations, expense recognition, tax treatments are some of the most significant. Generally statutory accounting is more conservative.
Generation Skipping Tax
A transfer tax imposed on gift or inheritance to those at least two generations younger than the person making the transfer.
Protection for loss of or damage to glass and its appurtenances. Due to the variety of exposures that exist for plate glass windows on store fronts and elsewhere a special insurance product was created.
Gold Health Plan
A type of plan sold in the Marketplace. Gold Plans typically carry higher premiums but have better cost-sharing than Silver and Bronze health plans.
Good Student Discount
Reduction of automobile premium for a young driver at least sixteen who ranks in the upper 20 percent of his or her class, has a B or 3.0 average, or is on the Dean’s list or honor roll. It is based on the premise that good students are better drivers.
A specified period after a premium payment is due, in which the policyholder may make such payment, and during which the protection of the policy continues.
Graded Commission Scale
A commission scale providing for payment of a high first-year commission and lower renewal commissions.
Grandfathered Health Plan
Health plans that were in place before March 23, 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. These plans could still offer the coverage they did prior to the ACA.
All of the assets and liabilities owned at death.
the intentional failure to perform a manifest duty in reckless disregard of the consequences as affecting the life or property of another. This is a term of art in the insurance and legal world where damages can be quite severe.
The premium paid by the policyholder. Gross premium is distinguished from Net premium. Net premium is usually net of reinsurance costs and policy cancellations and endorsements. Gross premium is the best measure of the size of a policy or an insurance company.
The sum of the pure premium and a loading element.
A pension plan providing annuities at retirement to a group of people under a master contract. It is usually issued to an employer for the benefit of employees. The individual members of the group hold certificates as evidence of their annuities.
Group Annuity Contract
A contract issued by a life insurance company that may be used as the funding instrument for benefits to be made in accordance with a pension plan. A single master contract provides that the group of persons participating in the plan will receive annuities during retirement. Individual certificates stating coverage may be issued to members of the group.
A contract of insurance made with an employer or other entity that covers a group of persons identified as individuals by reference to their relationship to the entity.
Group Creditor Life Insurance
Life insurance provided to debtors by a lending institution to provide for the cancellation of any outstanding debt should the borrower die. Normally term insurance limited to the amount of the loan.
Insurance written on a number of people under a single master policy, issued to their employer or to an association with which they are affiliated.
Group Life Insurance
Life insurance usually without medical examination, on a group of people under a master policy. It is typically issued to an employer for the benefit of employees, or to members of an association, for example a professional membership group. The individual members of the group hold certificates as evidence of their insurance.
Group Ordinary Life Insurance
Group insurance plan providing life insurance for employees. Traditional whole life policy is split into decreasing insurance protection and increasing cash values.
Group Paid-Up Life Insurance
Accumulating units of single premium whole life insurance and decreasing term insurance, which together equal the face amount of the policy. Provided through a group life insurance plan.
Group Permanent Plan
Type of pension plan in which cash value life insurance is issued on a group basis and cash values in each policy are used to pay retirement benefits when a worker retires.
Group Term Life Insurance
Most common form of group life insurance. Yearly renewable term insurance on employees during their working careers.
Group Universal Life Products (GULP)
Universal life insurance plans sold to members of a group, such as individual employees of an employer. There are some differences between GULP plans and individual universal life plans; for instance, GULP expense charges generally are lower than those assessed against individual policies.
Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP) Insurance
In the event of a total vehicle loss, GAP insurance covers the difference between your net auto insurance payout and your outstanding balance on the vehicle’s retail loan or lease contract.
Guaranteed Insurability Option
See Future Increase Option.
Guaranteed Investment Contract
An investment contract with an insurer in which the insurer guarantees both principal and interest on a pension contribution.
Situation whereby a healthcare policy is offered to any eligible person regardless of health status.
Guaranteed Purchase Option
Benefit that can be added to a life insurance policy permitting the insured to purchase additional amounts of life insurance at specified times in the future without requiring evidence of insurability.
An insurance policy feature that obligates the insurer to continue coverage (renew policy) if your premium is paid.
Guaranteed Renewable Contract
A provision in an insurance policy that gives the insured the right to continue the policy in force by the timely payment of premiums for a substantial period of time, during which period the insurer is prohibited from making unilaterally any change in any provision of the contract, while the contract is in force, other than a change in the premium rate for classes of policyholders.
A fund, derived from assessments against solvent insurance companies, to absorb losses of claimants against insolvent insurance companies.
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