Common Terms In Insurance

• Insurance – a contract in which an insurance company promises to compensate an insured.
• Insurer – Is the company that accepts risks after receiving premiums and pays claims.
• Insured – This refers to the person who has taken insurance and pays premium
• Agent – A person or a group of people selling insurance on behalf of an insurance company.
• Broker – An independent insurance professional licensed under the Insurance Act who advises customers on insurance. In Kenya, most brokers are members of the Association of Insurance Brokers of Kenya (AIBK).
• Underwriter – The person who calculates how much premium to charge for various insurance products and accepts or rejects risks on behalf of insurance companies.
• Underwriting – The process an insurance company uses to decide whether to accept or reject an application for an insurance cover.
• Proposal Form – This is an application form completed by a potential client for an insurance cover.
• Policy – It is a formal contract /document issued by an insurance company to the insured (insured) setting out terms on which the insurance cover has been provided.
• Policy period – The period a policy is in force, from the beginning or effective date to the expiry or end date.
• Premium – The amount the insured pays an insurance company. It could be a one off payment or regular installments or as per the agreement with the insurer.
• Claim – A request for payment when the insured event occurs as per the terms of the insurance policy.
• Excess – This is the amount the insured pays when making a claim. The amount is specified in the policy.
• Liability – The effects of your actions or lack of actions on others while undertaking your responsibilities.
• Grace period – The time – usually 31 days – during which a policy remains in force after the premium is due but not paid. The policy lapses after this period if premium is not paid.
• Lapse – The termination of an insurance policy because premium has not been paid.
• Cancellation Notice – Termination of an insurance policy by either the Insurance Company or the insured before the renewal date.
• Renewal – Continuation of a policy after expiry date
• First/ Second / Third Party – The first party is the insured, the second is insurance company and the third party is any other person(s) who may be affected by the insured actions.
• Third-party claim – A claim filed by a third party against the first party’s insurance policy.
• Sum insured- It relates to the value of the insurance and this is the basis upon which premium is calculated and claim paid.
• Endorsement – A written agreement expanding or limiting the terms and conditions of a policy.
• Rider- This is an additional benefit on a policy.
• Exclusions or limitations – Provisions that exclude or limit coverage of a policy.
• Towing coverage – This is a motor insurance benefit that pays for towing charges when a car cannot be driven. It also pays labor charges, such as repairing at the place where the car broke down.
• Material misrepresentation – A significant untruth on an application form which, if a company had access to, they might have rejected the application.
• Pre-existing condition – A medical problem or illness you had before applying for health care coverage.
• Beneficiary – The person, people, or entity who will receive benefits from an insurance policy or an annuity contract.
• Accident – An unforeseen, unintended event.
• Insurable interest – Any financial interest a person has in the property, person or liability.
• Loss history – This refers to the number of insurance claims previously made by an insured. An insurance company will consider loss history when underwriting a new policy or considering renewal of an existing policy.
• Market value – The current value of the asset you are insuring such as your home, motor vehicle etc.
• Risk/Peril – An occurrence that can cause loss to an individual or a business for example fire, theft, death, accidents and others. A named-peril/risk policy covers the insured only for the risks identified in the policy. An all-risk policy covers all causes of loss except those specifically excluded.
• Refund – An amount of money returned to the insured for overpayment of premium or when a policy is cancelled.