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Glossary



A

ABI

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is the voice of the UK's world leading insurance and long-term savings industry. It is the public voice of the insurance sector and helps to encourage understanding of the sector and its practices. It is not the insurance industry regulator.

Absence management solutions

Absence management solutions are programmes designed to help businesses reduce the level of employee absences caused by sickness. They work by offering employees access to health-related advice, support and treatments.

Accident, sickness and unemployment cover

Accident, sickness and unemployment cover is designed to provide low cost short term protection against the unexpected. It is useful if you're worried about how you and your family would cope financially if you lost your job through unexpected redundancy or ill health.

Acute medical condition

An acute condition refers to the sudden onset of an illness or disease, which progresses rapidly and needs urgent care, but is normally treatable and doesn't last long.

B

Beneficiary

A beneficiary is the person, company or estate that receives the payouts from an insurance policy. For health insurance, this is usually yourself or the healthcare supplier who needs to be paid. For a life insurance policy it will be the person you named to receive the payout in the event of your death.

Benefit

In insurance terms a benefit is the money your insurers pay you, or the healthcare provider owed, upon making a successful claim.

Employee benefits however, are perks a company may offer its staff in addition to their normal salaries, such as private medical insurance, or life insurance.

Broker

An insurance broker is an independent adviser who searches the market on behalf of their clients to obtain the best insurance product to meet their needs.

Business interruption insurance

Insurance policy which covers business earnings lost following an unexpected event causing your business to close or move premises, for example, a fire.

Business loan protection

Business loan protection is a type of insurance policy. It provides funds to allow a business to settle a debt should a key employee (for example a CEO or Director) pass away. A company's overdrafts, loans and even commercial mortgages would all be covered by this type of insurance.

C

Cancellation

Cancellation occurs when you decide to stop your insurance policy. Most policies come with a cooling off period of around 14 days, during which you can cancel and receive a full refund, provided you haven't claimed.

Chronic medical condition

A chronic medical condition is an ongoing disease or illness which requires regular treatment and relief of symptoms, and is long-term, with no known cure.

Claim

A claim is when you call on your insurance policy to pay for a treatment or cost. For example, under a health insurance policy, a claim could ask the insurers to pay for the cost of an operation.

Claim expenses

These are the costs incurred by your insurance provider whilst investigating and settling your claim, for example, legal fees.

Continuous cover

A policy which does not require renewal, it runs until it is cancelled.

Corporate legal liability

A policy which provides cover for a company to protect against a prosecution for negligence or mistakes such as violation of safety or tax laws.

Critical illness

Critical illness cover will pay out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a certain illness that is named in the policy. Each insurer will have its own criteria for critical illness but typically it might include cancer, heart or kidney failure, and diseases like Parkinson's and Motor Neurone Disease.

Cyber risks insurance

Insurance to protect your business against any kind of cyber-attack.

D

Date of expiry

Your insurance policy will have an end date and if you choose not to renew for another year, the end date, or date of expiry, will be the last date you are covered by the policy.

Death in service

A death in service policy is often offered as a benefit by employers. If an employee was to pass away while still employed, their family receives a lump sum from the policy, which gives employees some financial peace of mind.

Denial of claim

A denial of claim is when an insurance company refuses to pay for the cost of the healthcare being claimed for. It could be because they haven't had all of the information required, or that the claim was for something not covered by the policy.

Dependant

A dependant is someone who depends on you for financial support - for example, a child.

Direct settlement

This refers to an arrangement whereby the medical costs are settled directly by the insurer so the policyholder doesn't have to settle bills and then reclaim them.

E

Emergency medical condition

An illness, injury or symptom which is severe enough to put your health at risk if you don't get immediate medical attention is considered an emergency medical condition.

Emergency repatriation

Emergency repatriation covers the costs of transporting you back to the UK following an illness or accident you suffer while abroad, which affects your return travel plans.

Employee assistance programme (EAP)

An employee assistance programme (EAP) is an employee benefit, whereby a business offers its employees support to help with personal, emotional or financial problems that may affect their performance at work. This could include phone support lines, counselling, online resources and access to medical advice.

Employee benefits

These are benefits offered to staff outside of their salary, for example, private medical insurance or dental plans, which can help with recruitment and retention for businesses and help support employees' health and wellbeing

Employers' liability insurance

Protection for your company against an employee suing after suffering injury or illness while at work. It is legally required by companies which have employees.

Employment practices liability

This insurance cover is for managers of the company and protects against claims from employees or ex-employees for harassment, wrongful dismissal, discrimination, or unfair redundancy.

Excess

Sometimes also known as a deductible. The amount you may need to contribute towards settlement of a claim. With some policies you may be able to reduce your premium by agreeing to a higher excess when you take out your policy. Not all policies carry an excess.

F

Fact find

A fact find is a document insurance brokers use to gather information about you, your family, your dependants and your current state of health to provide you with the right advice to meet your particular needs.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The FCA is the conduct regulator for 58,000 financial services firms and financial markets in the UK.

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)

The FOS is an independent arbitrator set up to settle complaints against financial services companies. You can use the FOS if you have gone through a company's complaints procedure but remain dissatisfied.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

The FSCS protects customers of financial services firms which have failed. If you've been dealing with a company and they are unable to pay claims due to bankruptcy or insolvency, the FSCS can step in to pay compensation.

Fixed term

The set amount of time which an insurance policy will last for - a fixed term means the policy has a defined end date.

Free cover limit (FCL)

A free cover limit is the amount of cover a policy member can have on a group protection scheme without any medical evidence or underwriting.

G

Group policy

A group policy is an insurance policy which is offered by a company to more than one employee, and is usually paid for by the employer. Group policies often form the basis of an employee benefits package and can include group health insurance and group risk insurance, among others.

Group risk

Group risk insurance is a form of employee benefit offered by the employer, which can provide protection for employees should they need it, for example, group life insurance or group critical illness insurance would come under a group risk umbrella.

I

Income protection

Income protection insurance is a policy that protects you against loss of income due to unemployment, illness or accident. Group income protection can be offered as an employee benefit which can be offered as a group scheme by businesses.

Insurance broker

A broker will search the whole of the market to find the best insurance product for your needs, at the best price. They are not usually tied to a particular insurance company.

Insurance provider

The insurance provider is the company which provides the cover to protect you against medical or other expenses. Each provider will offer a range of insurance products and different types of insurance.

Intermediary

An intermediary is another name for an insurance broker.

J

Joint plan

A joint plan is any insurance policy that's designed to cover two people.

K

Key employee

A key employee is someone in a business who is considered indispensible, such as a shareholder, partner, director, proprietor or key salesperson.

Key person insurance

This covers the business if someone who is a vital member of the company becomes unable to work due to injury or sickness and pays out a lump sum to the business.

Kidnap and ransom insurance

This is a specialist insurance cover for employees who are working in high risk countries, to help support them and their families if they were to be kidnapped for a ransom.

L

Lapse

An insurance policy will lapse if it's not paid for, and cover will be terminated, which means any claim made after the lapse would be declined.

Life assurance

This is another name for life insurance. It is a policy which will pay out a lump sum to designated beneficiaries upon the death of the policyholder. Group life insurance is when this policy is provided by an employer to many employees, as a benefit.

Life insurance

This insurance policy will pay out to your family if you were to die suddenly.

Limit of indemnity

This is the amount of finance which your policy will cover.

Loss adjuster

Someone from your insurance company who will assess the claim and help to get the business back on track.

Lump sum

A lump sum is a single large payment of money received from an insurance policy.

M

Medical history disregarded underwriting (MHD)

MHD is a form of underwriting on a health insurance policy. It usually applies to group or individual private health schemes where all pre-existing conditions are covered, meaning there is no requirement to go through medical assessments or to declare conditions.

Mental health

Mental health refers to our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. A broad range of medical conditions and issues come under mental ill health, including anxiety, depression, stress and addictions.

Moratorium underwriting

Moratorium underwriting is when your private health insurance policy excludes and won't cover you for treatment for medical conditions you've suffered from over a recent time period - usually two to five years.

Mortgage protection insurance

This is a form of life insurance which covers the cost of any remaining mortgage payments if you were to die suddenly.

N

Network

Many insurance providers will talk about their network which refers to the group of hospitals and healthcare providers who work within the offered health plan.

No claims bonus

This is a discount offered when you renew or take out a new policy, based on the number of years of you have held a policy without making a claim.

Non-disclosure

Non-disclosure means not declaring information. When it comes to health insurance non-disclosure means you have failed to tell your insurers something important when applying for your policy, such as leaving out a current medical condition. As a result, you may be refused cover, or your claim could be rejected.

O

Office insurance

This covers your company buildings and contents for damage or theft claims.

Out of pocket

Out of pocket refers to money you have to pay yourself, which isn't covered by your insurance policy. It could be your excess or fees.

P

Pended claims

A pended claim is when an insurance claim has been submitted to the insurance provider but is still pending as more information is required before payment can be made.

Period of insurance

This relates to how long your insurance policy covers you for, from starting date to renewal date.

Policy document

Your policy document contains all the information about your policy, including your membership number, the terms and conditions and any payment conditions.

Pre-authorisation

This is where your insurer needs to be contacted to confirm a proposed treatment is covered before it is provided. If your policy requires pre-authorisation you must do this, otherwise you could risk being liable for the cost of your own treatment.

Premium

A premium is the amount you pay for your insurance policy - this can be an annual or monthly fee and doesn't include any required excess.

Professional indemnity (PI) insurance

This protects businesses against claims which come from third parties or from customers, for example, for making a mistake, giving bad advice or copyright breach.

Prudential Regulation Authority

The Prudential Regulation Authority is run by the Bank of England and is responsible for the prudential regulation and supervision of banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers and major investment firms.

Public liability (PL) insurance

This protects companies against third party claims relating to injury or damage to property for example, if a visitor suffered an injury in your office.

Q

Quote

A quote is an estimate of how much your policy will cost. Insurers will take into account a range of information including your age, lifestyle and medical history before providing you with a quote so prices can vary between policies and between providers.

R

Relevant life cover

If you are a company director of a small business, and also classed as an employee, you can buy a relevant life cover policy through your business, providing you with life insurance on an individual basis. This type of policy is perfect for small businesses which don't have enough employees to warrant the cost of a group life insurance scheme, but still want to provide cover for high earning employees. It can also be used to top up existing benefits. Relevant life cover is not suitable for self-employed or equity partners.

Renewal

A renewal is when you decide to extend your insurance policy after its original term has finished. Generally health insurance policies renew on a yearly basis.

Risk

Insurance is all about mitigating risk. The more likely you are to claim on medical costs, the more risk you pose to your insurance provider, so the higher your premiums will be, to offset that potential cost.

S

Schedule

Schedule is the name of the document which outlines the cover provided by your insurance policy, including cover limits and other terms and conditions.

T

Term

This refers to the length of time the insurance policy will last for.

Treating Customers Fairly (TCF)

TCF is part of the regulatory obligation upon a financial services business to pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly. Companies have to demonstrate that treating their customers fairly is at the heart of their corporate culture. It is a key part of the Financial Conduct Authority's regulatory regime.

U

Underinsurance

This term refers to having an insurance policy where the cover is insufficient for your needs and would lead to you being out of pocket in the event of a claim.

Underwriting

This is the process which insurance providers use to assess your application and decide how much cover they will give you, and the cost.

V

Voluntary group insurance plans

If a company offers a group insurance scheme to its employees but they have to pay the premium out of their salary, this is known as a voluntary plan. It provides a benefit to the staff but at no cost to the business.

W

Waiting period

Some insurance cover includes a waiting period which is a time frame between taking the policy out and being able to make your first claim - this is to make sure you are not trying to claim on a pre-existing condition.

Waiver of premium

This is a policy add-on which will help to pay your life or critical illness policy premiums, should you be sick or unable to work.