Glossary

Want to understand more the semiotics of insurances? Here is a glossary for art insurances.

Compiled from various resources for you by your 5urich.

A series

ACCIDENT

An event or occurrence which is unforeseen and unintended. The more unlikely the accident or the occurrence, the less expensive it is to insure.

ACTUAL CASH VALUE

A form of insurance that pays damages equal to the replacement value of damaged property minus depreciation.

ACTUARY

An insurance professional skilled in the analysis, evaluation, and management of statistical information. Evaluates insurance firms’ reserves, determines rates and rating methods, and determines other business and financial risks.

ADVERSE SELECTION

The tendency of those exposed to a higher risk to seek more insurance coverage than those at a lower risk. Insurance works best when risk is shared among large numbers of policyholders.

ADJUSTING

The process of investigating and settling losses with or by an insurance carrier. This service is usually conducted by a claims adjustor. Sometimes they are employees of the insurance company and sometimes they are independent.

AFFINITY SALES

Selling insurance through groups such as professional and business associations.

AGENT

Insurance is sold by two types of agents: independent agents, who are self-employed, represent several insurance companies and are paid on commission, and exclusive or captive agents, who represent only one insurance company and are either salaried or work on commission. Insurance companies that use exclusive or captive agents are called direct writers.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION / ADR

Alternative to going to court to settle disputes. Methods include arbitration, where disputing parties agree to be bound to the decision of an independent third party, and mediation, where a third party tries to arrange a settlement between the two sides.

ALTERNATIVE MARKETS

Mechanisms used to fund self-insurance. This includes captives, which are insurers owned by one or more non-insurers to provide owners with coverage. Risk-retention groups, formed by members of similar professions or businesses to obtain liability insurance, are also a form of self-insurance.

APPRAISAL

A survey to determine a property’s insurable value, or the amount of a loss.

ASSETS

Property owned, in this case by an insurance company, including stocks, bonds, and real estate. Insurance accounting is concerned with solvency and the ability to pay claims. State insurance laws therefore require a conservative valuation of assets, prohibiting insurance companies from listing assets on their balance sheets whose values are uncertain, such as furniture, fixtures, debit balances, and accounts receivable that are more than 90 days past due.

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