Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Duhaime's Insurance Law Dictionary

Duhaime's INSURANCE LAW DICTIONARY: one-stop shop for all legal and law terms in this oft-gobbledygook world of insurance law. We doth hereby insure the reader as against confusion and intellectual disability in all regards as to insurance companies, lawyers and judges who doth throw around legal terms of insurance law as if same are readily understood by all.

Abuse
Physical or nonphysical misuse or maltreatment or use or treatment so as to injure, hurt, or damage.
Accident
An unlooked for mishap or occurrence.
Actual Total Loss
Property that is completely destroyed, or lost and irretrievable; a term of insurance and maritime law.
Actuary
Professionals uniquely skilled in the application of mathematics to risk management, contingent events and opportunity.
Adjuster
A representative or agent of the insurer who attempts to quantify or otherwise determine the extent of the insurer's liability for loss when a claim is submitted.
Appraisal
The informed and objective inspection and estimation of a thing's worth.
Bond
A written guarantee in regards to the fulfillment of a legal obligation.
Bordereau
A detailed statement forming part of an insurance document.
Bumbershoot Policy
Marine insurance covering liability in excess of one or more different underlying policies.
Collateral Source Rule
A tortfeasor is not allowed to deduct from the amount he or she would be held to pay to the victim of the tort, any goods, services or money received by that victim from other 'collateral' sources as a result of the tort (eg. insurance benefits).
Collision
An accidental contact between two or more vehicles or ships which causes damage.
Constructive Total Loss
Insured property that has been abandoned because its actual total loss appears to be unavoidable, or because it could not be preserved or repaired without an expenditure which would exceed its value.
Depreciation
An accounting procedure in which the cost or other recorded value of a fixed asset less estimated residual value (if any) is distributed over its estimated useful life in a systematic and rational manner.
Disability Insurance
An insurance contract in which the insurer agrees to pay money or to other benefits in the event that the person insured becomes disabled.
Double Recovery
Double dipping; accessing funds or property through two different sources effectively or potentially doubling the entitlement.
Dwelling
A place to live in.
Earth Movement
Phenomena related to forces operating within the earth itself, and not to the merely superficial effects of external forces, such as erosion by run-off rainwater.
Entrust
To give over the care of something to another.
Exclusion Clause
A clause in a contract which limits remedies one party may have in specified events; eg. a clause in an insurance contract that eliminates coverage for specified events.
Fair Market Value
The hypothetical most probable price that could be obtained for a property by average, informed purchasers.
Healing Period
A term of disability insurance which bridges, in time, the employee between the injury or sickness, and maximum medical improvement.
Heart Attack Standard
A finding or allegation that conditions of employment are so unusual or extraordinary conditions as to have the potential to cause mental disorder or a heart attack.
Inscrutable Fault
A judicial finding that a fault has occurred but the court is unable to locate the source, to pinpoint a tort-feasor.
Insurance
Where a persons agrees, for consideration, to pay a certain amount on the occurrence of a specified event.
Key-Man Insurance
Life insurance to protect a business upon the death of a key individual.
Known Loss Doctrine
A principle of insurance law which prevents an insured from coverage if the insured knew the loss was probable at the time of the insurance contract.
Occupant
A person holding, in control or inside a thing such as a motor vehicle or rented premises.
Occupation
A job, employment or the character of being physically inside or upon a place.
Pendente Lite
Latin: during litigation.
Performance Bond
A contract wherein a third-party, in exchange for a fee, secures another's fulfillment of a contract or performance of a duty.
Personal Living Expenses
Expenses reasonably necessary to maintain health and well-being, to enjoy life's activities, and the capacity to earn money.
Personal Trip
A trip which would have been made in spite of the failure or absence of the business purpose and would have been dropped in the event of failure of the private purpose, though the business errand remained undone.
Policy
Planning decisions of a government agency; also, an insurance contract.
Pre-existing condition
A typical exemption made by travel insurance companies so that they would not pay for any medical services required to a traveler to to any condition which precedes the date of the insurance contract
Pre-existing Condition
A common exclusion of disability insurance contracts for exacerbation of medical conditions known to have existed within a specified time-frame.
Pro Rata
Latin: to divide proportionate to a certain rate or interest.
Surety
A person who promises to answer for the debt or performance of another.
Surety Bond
A three party bond contract in which a third party (the "surety") backs up a principal by agreeing to honour the principal's obligation(s) towards the obligee of a bond in the event of the latter's default.
Volenti Non Fit Injuria
Latin: to one who is willing, no harm is done.

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