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Insurance Glossary

ACV (Actual Cash Value) – The actual cash value is the current, fair market value at the time your covered item was lost, stolen, or damaged.

Adjuster – Adjusters are insurance professionals responsible for evaluating and estimating insurance losses. The two main types are insurance company adjusters and public adjusters.

Claim – After suffering an insurance loss, the claim is the official notification that tells the insurance company about your loss.

Denial – When a claim is denied, the insurance company is refusing the policyholder's claim.

Deductible – This is the pre-determined amount of a loss that the policyholder is responsible for paying. For instance, a policy with a $1,000 deductible means that the policyholder pays the first $1,000 before the insurance pays its portion. If the total value of the claim is less than the deductible, the policyholder pays it in its entirety.

Depreciation – The decrease in the value of property due to age or wear and tear.

Endorsement – A written change adding or removing coverage to an insurance policy

Exclusion – An exclusion is a specific item, type of damage, or cause of damage that has specifically been excluded from coverage under an insurance policy.

Insured – The policyholder.

Insurer – The insurance company.

Peril – The cause of a loss. A peril can be covered or uncovered. For example, a falling tree is usually a covered peril with damage from the falling tree being covered by insurance whereas earthquakes are often uncovered perils with earthquake damage not being covered (unless an earthquake policy is in effect).

Policy – A written insurance contract between an insurance company and an insured.

Policy Limit – The maximum amount that the insurer will pay under the policy's terms.

Premium – The monthly or annual payment for an insurance policy.

Proof of Claim – Written documentation supporting a claim's scope or loss amount. For example, photos, medical bills, and claims forms can serve as proof of claim.

Proof of Loss – A policyholder's sworn statement covering the loss details such as time and cause of the loss, amount of the loss, property value, and persons or entities with an interest in the property.

Rider – A policy change that adds or deletes specific coverage to or from the policy.

Statute of Limitations – The time period from the loss date and the last possible date that a lawsuit can be filed regarding the claim.