Business Insurance Glossary

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Package policies

Bundled or combination policies with several coverages included in one contract. Examples are the Business Owner’s Policy (BOP), homeowners’ policy, blanket crime policy, and a special multi-peril policy.

Partial loss

A loss that does not completely destroy or render useless the insured property, nor exhaust the insurance applied to it.

Peril

The cause of a loss. Examples of perils are fire, wind, an accident and acts of vandalism.

Permanent disability benefits

Periodic compensation, usually weekly, for a disability that renders any employment impossible. Disability can be determined to be total or partial. Compensation may be limited by a maximum time or a maximum amount. If unlimited, it may run for the lifetime of the covered person. Typically this coverage can be found within a Workers’ Compensation Policy.

Personal and advertising injury coverage

Injury arising out of an offense committed during the policy period occurring in the course of the named insured's advertising activities if injury arises out of libel, slander, defamation, violation of right of privacy, piracy, unfair competition or infringement of copyright title or slogan.

Physical hazard

A condition that creates or increases the chances of a loss. Examples include: slippery floors, congested traffic, unguarded premises and uninspected boilers.

Policy

A written contract of insurance between an insurer and a policyholder. A policy typically includes a declarations page, a policy form, and amendments or endorsements that modify the coverage or terms on the standard form.

Policy anniversary

As a general rule, the date on which coverage under an insurance policy became effective. 

Policy holder surplus

Excess of an insurance company’s assets above its legal obligations to meet the benefits (liabilities) payable to its policyholders. Also, the net worth in an insurance company adjusted for the overstatement of liabilities.

Policy rider

An amendment to an insurance policy that becomes part of the insurance contract and either expands or limits the benefits payable under the contract.

Policyholder

This term is synonymous with “the insured.” It refers to the person or company that owns the policy.

Pollution cleanup and removal coverage

This is an aggregate first party coverage that applies to your expense in extracting pollutants from land or water at your location, if the release of the pollutants is caused by or results from a covered loss.

Preferred risk

A proposed insured who presents a significantly less than average likelihood of loss and who is charged a lower than standard premium rate. 

Premises

The location where property coverage applies, usually described within the policy as a legal address. Can also refer to building(s) or land occupied or owned by an insured.

Premium

The cost of the insurance policy that is paid in monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual installments.

Premium audit

Certain types of insurance policies (most commonly Worker’s Compensation policies and other business insurance policies) contain a provision subjecting the major factors behind the price of the policy to an audit by the insurance company. When the policy is initially rated and sold, factors such as annual sales, payroll, employee counts are estimated for the year ahead, and the premium charged is based on those estimates. At the end of the policy term, the premium audit substitutes actual values for those that were initially estimated, and a premium adjustment is made according to the premium audit provisions in the policy.

Primary insurance

In situations where multiple insurance policies may cover a loss, the primary insurance is the policy that will pay for the loss before all other applicable insurance.

Product liability

This is the liability for bodily injury or property damage incurred by a merchant or manufacturer due to a defect in the product sold or manufactured.

Professional liability insurance

Liability insurance protecting professionals for loss or expense resulting from claims of mistakes, errors or omissions committed or alleged to have been committed by the insured in his professional activities.

Property damage liability

Protection against liability for damage to the property, loss of use of damaged property, or loss of use of undamaged property of another not in the care, custody and control of the insured—as distinguished from liability for bodily injury.