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Life Insurance Glossary

Accelerated Benefits Rider: A life insurance rider that allows for the early payment of some portion of the policy's face amount should the insured suffer from a terminal illness or injury.

Accidental Death Benefit Rider: A life insurance policy rider providing for payment of an additional cash benefit related to the face amount of the base policy when death occurs by accidental means.

Accidental Death Insurance: Insurance providing payment if the insured's death results from an accident.

Agent: An authorized representative of an insurance company who sells and services insurance contracts.

Annually Renewable Term: A form of renewable term insurance that provides coverage for one year and allows the policy owner to renew his or her coverage each year, without evidence of insurability. Also called yearly renewable term.

Assignment: The transfer of the ownership rights of a Life Insurance policy from one person to another.

Attained Age: Your current age. Your attained age is one of the factors life insurance companies use to determine your premiums. The older you are, the greater chance you'll die while you are covered - so the higher your premium.

Backdating: A procedure for making the effective date of a policy earlier than the application date. Backdating is often used to make the age of the consumer at issue lower than it actually was in order to get lower premium. State laws often limit to six months the time to which policies can be backdated.

Beneficiary: The person designated to receive the death benefit when the insured dies.

Binder: A temporary insurance policy that expires at the end of a specific time period or when the permanent policy is written. A binder is given to an applicant for insurance during the time the complete policy paperwork is being completed.

Cash Benefits: Money that is paid to the insured upon settlement of a covered claim. Often found with Hospital Income Programs, "cash benefits" are paid directly to the insured rather than the doctor or the hospital directly.

Cash Value: The equity amount or "savings" accumulation in a whole life policy.

Claim Notification: to an insurance company that payment of an amount is due under the terms of the policy.

Conditional Receipt: Given to policy owners when they pay a premium at time of application. Such receipts bind the insurance company if the risk is approved as applied for, subject to any other conditions stated on the receipt.

Contestable Clause: A provision in an insurance policy setting forth the conditions under which or the period of time during which the insurer may contest or void the policy. After that time has lapsed, normally two years, the policy cannot be contested. Example: Suicide.

Contingent Beneficiary: Person or persons named to receive proceeds in case the original beneficiary is not alive. Also referred to as secondary or tertiary beneficiary.

Coverage: Another word for insurance. Insurance companies use the term coverage to mean either the dollar amounts of insurance purchased ($200,000 of liability coverage), or the type of loss covered (coverage for theft).

Conversion Privilege: Allows the policy owner, before an original insurance policy expires, to elect to have a new policy issued that will continue the insurance coverage. Conversion may be effected at attained age (premiums based on the age attained at time of conversion) or at original age (premiums based on ageat time of original issue).

Convertible: Term A policy that may be changed to another form by contractual provision and without evidence of insurability. Most term policies are convertible into permanent insurance.

Cross-Purchase Plan: An agreement that provides that upon a business owner's death, surviving owners will purchase the deceased's interest, often with funds from life insurance.

Death Benefit: The amount of money paid to the beneficiary when the insured person dies.

Decreasing Term Insurance: Term life insurance on which the face value slowly decreases in scheduled steps from the date the policy comes into force to the date the policy expires, while the premium remains level. The intervals between decreases are usually monthly or annually.

Double Indemnity: Payment of twice the basic benefit in the event of loss resulting from specified causes or under specified circumstances.

Evidence of Insurability: Any statement or proof of a person's physical condition, occupation, etc., affecting acceptance of the applicant for insurance.

Exclusions: Specified hazards listed in a policy for which benefits will not be paid.

Expiry: The termination of a term life insurance policy at the end of its period of coverage.

Face Amount: The amount of insurance provided by the terms of an insurance contract, usually found on the first page of the policy. In a life insurance policy, the death benefit.

Final Expenses: Expenses incurred at the time of a person's death. These include funeral costs, court expenses associated with probating his or her will, current bills or debt, and taxes. Depending on their circumstances, the survivors may also want to pay the outstanding balances of mortgage and loans.

First To Die Insurance: Insurance policy whose death benefit is paid to the surviving insured upon the death of one of the insured's. There is no longer a benefit once the benefit is paid, however, the surviving insured usually has the option of purchasing a policy of the same amount without providing evidence of insurability.

Fixed Benefit: A death benefit, the dollar amount of which does not vary.

Free Look: Provision required in most states whereby policy owners have up to 20 days to examine their new policies at no obligation.

Funeral Expenses: Expenses incurred for a funeral and burial. These can include casket, vault, grave plot, headstone and funeral director.

Grace Period: Period of time after the due date of a premium during which the policy remains in force without penalty.

Graded Premium Policy: A type of whole life policy designed for people who want more life coverage than they can currently afford. They pay a lower premium rate that increases gradually over the first three to five years and then remains constant over the life of the policy.

Guaranteed Term: A form of renewable term insurance that remains in force as long as the premiums are paid on time. With guaranteed term insurance, the insurance company cannot terminate the policy during the term.

Guaranteed Insurability: (Guaranteed Issue) Arrangement, usually provided by rider, whereby additional insurance may be purchased at various times without evidence of insurability.

Incontestable Clause A clause in a policy providing that a policy has been in effect for a given length of time (two or three years), the insurer shall not be able to contest the statements contained in the application. In life policies, if an insured lied as to the condition of his health at the time the policy was taken out, that lie could not be used to contest payment under the policy if death occurred after the time limit stated in the incontestable clause.

In Force: Insurance on which the premiums are being paid or have been fully paid.

Insurability: All conditions pertaining to individuals that affect their health, susceptibility to injury and life expectancy; an individual's risk profile.

Insurable Interest: Requirement of insurance contracts that loss must be sustained by the applicant upon the death of another and it must be sufficient to warrant compensation.

Insurance: A formal social device for reducing risk by transferring the risks of several individual entities to an insurer. The insurer agrees, for a consideration, to pay for the loss in the amount specified in the contract.

Insurance Policy: The printed form which serves as the contract between an insurer and an insured.

Insured The party who is being insured. In life insurance, it is the person because of his or her death the insurance company would pay out a death benefit to a designated beneficiary.

Insurer Party: that provides insurance coverage, typically through a contract of insurance.

Irrevocable Beneficiary: A beneficiary that cannot be changed without that beneficiary's consent.

Increasing Term Insurance: Term life insurance in which the death benefit increases periodically over the policy's term. Usually purchased as a cost of living rider to a whole life policy.

Lapse: Termination of a policy upon the policy owner's failure to pay the premium within the grace period.

Level Term Insurance: Term coverage on which the face value and premiums remain unchanged from the date the policy comes into force to the date the policy expires.

Life Expectancy: The average number of years remaining for a person of a given age to live as shown on the mortality or annuity table used as a reference.

Life Insurance: An agreement that guarantees the payment of a stated amount of monetary benefits upon the death of the insured.

Limited Pay Policy: A type of whole life insurance designed to let the policyholder pay higher premiums over a specific period such as 10 or 20 years and then not pay any premiums for the rest of his or her life.

Medical: A document completed by a physician or another approved examiner and submitted to an insurer to supply medical evidence of insurability (or lack of insurability) or in relation to a claim.

Medical Expenses: Reasonable charges for medical, surgical, x-ray, dental, ambulance, hospital, professional nursing, prosthetic devices, and funeral expenses. (The insurance company defines what is reasonable.)

Misrepresentation: Act of making, issuing, circulating or causing to be issued or circulated an estimate, an illustration, a circular or a statement of any kind that does not represent the correct policy terms, dividends or share of surplus or the name or title for any policy or class of policies that does not in fact reflect its true nature.

Modified Premium Policy: (See Graded Premium Policy)

Mortality Charge: The charge for the element of pure insurance protection in a life insurance policy.

Mortality Cost: The first factor considered in life insurance premium rates. Insurers have an idea of the probability that any person will die at any particular age; this is the information shown on a mortality table.

Mortality Rate: The number of deaths in a group of people, usually expressed as deaths per thousand.

Mortality Table: A table showing the incidence of death at specified ages. Non medical Insurance A contract of life insurance underwritten on the basis of an insured's statement of his health with no medical examination required.

Occupational Hazard: A condition in an occupation that increases the peril of accident, sickness, or death. It usually will mean higher premiums.

Offer and Acceptance: The offer may be made by the applicant signing the application, paying the first premium and, if necessary, submitting to physical examination. Policy issuance, as applied for, constitutes acceptance by the company. Or the offer may be made by the company when no premium payment is submitted with the application. Premium payment on the offered policy then constitutes acceptance by the applicant.

Original Age: The age you were when you bought the policy.

Other Insured Rider: A term rider covering a family member other than the insured that is attached to the base policy covering the insured.

Ownership: All rights, benefits and privileges under life insurance policies are controlled by their owners. Policy owners may or may not be the insured. Ownership may be assigned or transferred by written request of current owner.

Para-Med (Paramedical) Examination: The medical examination of an applicant for Life Insurance.

Para-Med (Paramedical): A physician, nurse, or para-med appointed by the medical director of a life insurance company to examine applicants.

Permanent Life Insurance: A term loosely applied to life insurance policy forms other than Group and Term, usually Cash Value Life Insurance, such as Whole Life Insurance.

Policy: The printed document issued to the policyholder by the company stating the terms of the insurance contract.

Policy Holder: The person who owns a life insurance policy. This is usually the insured person, but it may also be a relative of the insured, a partnership or a corporation.

Preferred Risk: A risk whose physical condition, occupation, mode of living and other characteristics indicate a prospect for longevity superior to that of the average longevity of unimpaired lives of the same age.

Premium: The periodic payment required to keep an insurance policy in force.

Premium Flexibility: The policy holder's right to vary the amount of premium paid each month towards a universal life policy.

Primary Beneficiary: In life insurance, the beneficiary designated by the insured as the first to receive policy benefits.

Primary Policy: The insurance policy that pays first when you have a loss that's covered by more than one policy.

Probate Costs: The legal fees and other costs incurred in the probate process, which is the legal processing of your will. Assets that you leave to other people through your will cannot be distributed until the will is probated.

Provisions: Statements contained in an insurance policy which explain the benefits, conditions and other features of the insurance contract.

Rated: Coverage's issued at a higher rate than standard because of some health condition, or impairment of the insured.

Re-entry Option: An option in a renewable term life policy under which the policy owner is guaranteed, at the end of the term, to be able to renew his or her coverage without evidence of insurability, at a premium rate specified in the policy.

Reinstatement: Putting a lapsed policy back in force by producing satisfactory evidence of insurability and paying any past-due premiums required.

Renewable Term/Annual Renewable Term: Term insurance that may be renewed for another term without evidence of insurability. Level term usually turns into renewable term with increasing premiums after the level premium period.

Replacement: A new policy written to take the place of one currently in force.

Representation: Statements made by applicants on their applications for insurance that they represent as being substantially true to the best of their knowledge and belief but that are not warranted as exact in every detail.

Revocable Beneficiary: The beneficiary in a life insurance policy in which the owner reserves the right to revoke or change the beneficiary. Most policies are written with a revocable beneficiary.

Rider: An attachment to a policy that modifies its conditions by expanding or restricting benefits or excluding certain conditions from coverage.

Risk: The chance of injury, damage, or loss.

Risk Selection: The method a home office underwriter uses to choose applicants that the insurance company will accept. The underwriter must determine whether risks are standard, substandard or preferred and set the premium rates accordingly.

Secondary Beneficiary: An alternate beneficiary designated to receive payment, usually in the event the original beneficiary predeceases the insured.

Single Premium: Policy A whole life policy for people who want to buy a policy for a one-time lump sum, and then be covered for the rest of their lives without paying any additional premiums.

Standard Risk: Person who, according to a company's underwriting standards, is entitled to insurance protection without extra rating or special restrictions.

Substandard Risk: Person who is considered an under-average or impaired insurance risk because of physical condition, family or personal history of disease, occupation, residence in unhealthy climate or dangerous habits.

Term Insurance: Protection during limited number of years; expiring without value if the insured survives the stated period, which may be one or more years but usually is five to twenty years, because such periods usually cover the needs for temporary protection.

Term Period: for which the policy runs. In life insurance, this is to the end of the term period for term insurance.

Tertiary Beneficiary: In life insurance, a beneficiary designated as third in line to receive the proceeds or benefits if the primary and secondary beneficiaries do not survive the insured.

Third-Party Owner: A policy owner who is not the prospective insured. The policy owner and the insured may be, and often are the same person. If for example, you apply for and are issued an insurance policy on your life, then you are both the policy owner and the insured and may be known as the policy owner-insured. If, however, your mother applies for and is issued a policy on your life, then she is the policy owner and you are the insured.

Underwriter: Company receiving premiums and accepting responsibility for fulfilling the policy contract. Also, company employee who decides whether the company should assume a particular risk; or the agent who sells the policy.

Uninsurable: Risk A person who is not acceptable for insurance due to excessive risk.

Universal Life: An interest-sensitive life insurance policy that builds cash values. The premium payer has control over how the policy is structured. He has the flexibility to eliminate the premiums (essentially pay up the policy and pay no more premiums) or have the premiums continue for life. It is a matter of juggling three variables: the assumed interest rate, the cash value and the premium payment plan. The policy is interest-sensitive, and if interest rates change from the assumed interest, it will affect the other two variables. In the past, many Universal Life Policies were structured assuming a higher interest rate then was actually received, therefore, most of them have under performed. If you have a Universal Life Policy, you should have it evaluated to see if it needs to have the premiums adjusted to get it back on track. A fourth variable that has not been a factor but could be in the future, and the owner should be aware of, is the Mortality variable. Universal Life policies are usually structured assuming current mortality rates. The insurance companies reserve the right to change those rates.

Variable Life: Life insurance under which the benefits relate to the value of assets behind the contract at the time the benefit is paid. The assets fluctuate according to the investment experience of funds managed by the life insurance company. Premium payments may be fixed as to timing and amount (scheduled premium variable life) or subject to change by the policy holder (flexible premium variable life).

Waiver of Premium: Rider or provision included in most life insurance policies exempting the insured from paying premiums after he or she has been disabled for a specified period of time, usually six months.

Whole Life Insurance: Life insurance that is kept in force for a person's whole life as long as the scheduled premiums are maintained. All Whole Life policies build up cash values. Most Whole Life policies are guaranteed as long as the scheduled premiums are maintained. The variable in a Whole life Policy is the dividend which could vary depending on how well the insurance is doing. If the company is doing well and the policies are not experiencing a higher mortality than projected, premiums are paid back to the policy holder in the form of dividends. Policyholders can use the cash from dividends in many ways. The three main uses are: it can be used to lower or vanish premiums, it can be used to purchase more insurance or it can be used to pay for term insurance.

Yearly Renewable Term (YRT): (See Annually Renewable Term)

Disclaimer: The terms and definitions outlined in this glossary have been compiled from various sources for the convenience of our clients and although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information InsuranceInMinutes.com or Dan Kampani is not liable for errors or omissions.

The definitions provided in this web site are intended for general reference only. Any coverage issued is subject to the terms of the policy, which may contain other exclusions and restrictions. Some policy provisions may vary by state. Products may not be available in all states. 

Glossary of Critical Illness Insurance Terms                                 Top

Acute: A term used to describe a disorder or symptom that comes on suddenly. Acute conditions may or may not be severe and are usually of short duration.

Akinesa: A complete or almost complete loss of movement.

Alzheimer’s Disease: A progressive condition in which nerve cells in the brain degenerate and the size of the brain substance shrinks. There are 3 stages: (1) increasing forgetfulness; (2) severe memory loss; (3) severely disoriented and confused.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease it is the most common type of motor neuron disease. Wherever the disease first appears, all four extremities soon become involved in the wasting of muscles. Nerve degeneration cannot be slowed down and the disease typically goes on to affect the muscles involved in breathing and swallowing.

Aorta: It is an artery which originates at the heart’s left ventricle, passes upward, curves behind the heart and runs downward, passing through the thorax (chest) and into the abdomen. The aorta is thick-walled and large in diameter to cope with the high pressure and large volume of blood that passes through it.

Atrophy: The shrinkage or wasting away of a tissue or organ due to a reduction in the size or number of its cells.

Auditory: The auditory nerve, also called the acoustic nerve, is the eighth cranial nerve and is concerned with the sense of hearing.

Balloon Angioplasty: A technique for treating narrowing or blockage of a blood vessel or artery by inserting a balloon into the vessel to widen the constricted area and increase or restore blood flow.

Basal Cell Carcinoma: The most common skin cancer appearing most commonly on the face or neck. The tumor seldom spreads to other parts of the body. The tumor is named after cells in the innermost, or basal, skin layer. Treatment usually results in a complete cure.

Benign: A term used to describe a non-cancerous and relatively mild form of tumor or disease.

Biopsy: A diagnostic test during which tissue or cells are removed from a patient to be microscopically
examined.

BPH: BPH, or Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, is a term used when the inner zone of the prostate gland becomes enlarged.

Bradykinesis: An abnormal slowness of movement manifesting in a sluggishness of physical and mental responses.

Bypass Grafts: A term most commonly referring to the surgical procedure of transplanting arteries or veins from another part of the body to repair or replace diseased or defective arteries or veins and eliminate blockage.

Carcinoma: A malignant cancerous tumor originating in the epithelial tissue, the outer layer of cells in the covering surface or lining membrane of a body organ. Carcinomas include the most common types of cancers of the breast, cervix, colon, lung, rectum, skin and stomach.

Cardiac Biochemical Markers: Cardiac Biochemical Markers is a broadly based term that includes the following 3 indicators of a heart attack: 1)Myoglobin, 2) CK-MB, and 3) Troponin I or T

Cardiac Enzyme CK-MB (Creatine Kinase-MB): Every cell in the body produces various enzymes. Cardiac enzymes refers to ones from the heart. An enzyme is a protein that acts as a catalyst to regulate the rate of a chemical reaction in the body. Measuring enzyme levels in the blood can be useful for diagnosing disorders of certain organs such as the heart. The level of heart enzymes is raised after a heart attack because the damaged heart muscle cells release enzymes into the bloodstream. An enzyme called CK-MB is normally found in heart muscle and is released into the blood when heart muscle is damaged. Elevated levels show up in the blood within 6 hours of a heart attack and persist for 36 to 48 hours.

Cardiologist: A medical doctor, physician, specializing in the branch of medicine concerned with diseases and abnormalities of the heart.

Cell: The human body is composed of billions of cells, structurally and functionally integrated to perform the
numerous complex tasks necessary for life. Most cells are basically similar in structure. Each is an invisibly
small bag containing a fluid material called cytoplasm which is surrounded by an outer membrane.

Cerebrovascular Incident (Accident or Event): A sudden rupture or blockage of a blood vessel within the brain, causing serious bleeding or obstruction ofblood circulation which leads to nervous system disturbance and damage.

Chronic: A term describing a disorder or set of symptoms that persist for a long time. A person with a chronic condition usually shows little change in symptoms from day to day.

Cognitive Impairment: A deterioration of mental faculties resulting in a loss of intellectual ability to remember, reason and perceive.

Colon Cancer (Duke’s Stage “A”): A malignant tumor of the colon. Classification of the tumor depends upon the stage of its development and the degree to which it has invaded surrounding tissue. Stage “A” indicates that the tumor is at an early stage.

Coronary: A term used to describe any structure that encircles like a crown. The term usually refers to the coronary arteries that encircle and supply the heart.

Coronary Artery Disease: A disease of the arteries that supply blood to the heart resulting in damage to, or malfunction of, the heart caused by narrowing or blockage of those arteries.

Coronary Bypass: An operation to circumvent narrowed or blocked coronary arteries by grafting on additional blood vessels, taken from another part of the body, to permit the regular flow of blood.

Cyst(s): An abnormal lump or swelling, filled with fluid or semisolid matter or particles that may occur in any body tissue or organ.

Dementia: A general decline in all areas of mental ability. It is usually due to progressive brain disease.

Dementing Organic Brain Disorders: Refers to dementia caused by the presence of disease, usually from unknown causes.

Demyelination: Refers to the breakdown of the fatty sheath ( myelin) that surrounds and electrically insulates nerve fibers and is vital to the passage of electrical impulses along them. Demyelination causes the nerves to shortcircuit resulting in the loss of feeling, co-ordination and power in various areas of the body.

Dermis: The skin is the largest organ of the body. The skin consists of a thin outer layer (the epidermis) and a thicker inner layer, the dermis. The dermis is composed of connective tissue interspersed with various structures such as, hair follicles, sweat glands, sebaceous glands, nerves, blood and lymph vessels.

Duct: A tube like passage leading from a gland to allow the flow of fluids.

Early Prostate Cancer: Often referred to as Stage “A” (or T1a & T1b) is easily treated. Stage “A” is not considered life threatening and has not spread outside the prostate gland. It is diagnosed at time of “TRUP” for “BPH”.

Electrocardiogram: Frequently referred by the abbreviated form ECG or EKG. It produces a record of the electrical impulses that immediately precede contraction of the heart muscle. It is used for diagnosing disorders of the heart, many of which produce deviations from normal electrical patterns.

Electrocardiograph: A method of obtaining an image of the structure of the heart using ultrasound. The sound waves are reflected differently by each part of the heart, resulting in a complex series of echoes which can be detected and displayed visually. It is a major diagnostic technique used to detect structural and functional abnormalities of the heart wall, heart valves and the heart’s major vessels.

Embolism: The blockage of an artery by a fragment of material traveling in the bloodstream. The particle causing the blockage is called an embolus and may consist of a blood clot, a bubble of air, fat or any other substance.

Granulomas: A group of cells usually resulting from a reaction to an infectious agent or the presence of a foreign body.

Heart Valve: A structure at the exit of each of the four heart chambers that allows blood to only flow out. The proper functioning of these valves is vital to the heart’s efficiency.

Hemiplegia: A paralysis on one side of the body caused by damage, from injury or disease, affecting the motor nerve tracts in the opposite side of the brain.

Hemodialysis: One of two methods used to remove waste products from the blood in people suffering kidney disease or failure. Hemodialysis filters out wastes by passing blood through an artificial kidney machine.

Hemorrhage: As a medical term that refers to bleeding.

Histology: The study of tissues, including their cellular structure and function. The main practical use is in the diagnosis and detection of disease.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus): Human Immunodeficiency Virus belongs to the class of retroviruses. It is responsible for causing AIDS and AIDS-related complex. HIV is an RNA virus and, after invading a cell, it manufactures an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, which it uses to make copies of itself. HIV works by weakening the cell-mediated arm of the immune system. It invades and disrupts one type of T-lymphocyte so that the body’s normal defenses are lost.

Hodgkin’s Disease: Also known as Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a malignant disorder in which there is a proliferation of cells in the lymphoid tissue ( found mainly in the lymph nodes and spleen) and a resultant enlargement of the lymph nodes. Lymphoid tissue is an important part of the immune system. The most common sign is painless enlargement of a group of lymph nodes usually in the neck or armpit.

Infarction: The death of an area of tissue caused by ischemia (lack of blood supply).

In-Situ: The phrase ‘carcinoma in situ’ is used to describe tissue (particularly of the skin or cervix) that is cancerous only in its surface cells and is completely surrounded by normal cells without any signs that it has spread to deeper layers.

Internist: A physician trained in the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of diseases in adults. Most internists specialize in a particular organ system such as the cardiovascular system (cardiology) and the digestive system (gastroenterology).

Kaposi’s Sarcoma: A condition characterized by malignant skin tumors, which is a prominent feature of AIDS.

Lacunar: Refers to a small, hollow space.

Laser Embolectomy: A surgical removal of an embolus ( a fragment of material carried in the blood stream) that has blocked a blood vessel by the use of a device that produces a concentrated beam of light radiation which cuts through or destroys the embolus.

Lesion: An all-encompassing term for any abnormality of structure or function in any part of the body referring to a wound, infection, tumor, or chemical abnormality.

Leukemia: Any of several types of cancer in which the production of red blood cells, platelets, and normal white blood cells is impaired as normal cells are squeezed out from the bone marrow by abnormal white cells (leukemic cells).

Malignant: A term used to describe a condition that tends to become progressively worse and to result in death. It is a term commonly used to refer to a cancerous tumor that spreads from its original location to other parts of the body.

Malignant Melanoma: The most serious of all types of skin cancer. The tumor usually develops on exposed skin, but may occur anywhere on the body, including under the nails and in the eye. Melanoma usually grows from an existing mole; but may occasionally develop on normal skin.

Measurable Neurological Deficit: Refers to the outward physical symptoms or signs that show damage to the brain has occurred. Typical examples are paralysis of the limbs or slurred speech.

Meninges: The three membranes that cover and protect the brain and the spinal cord.

Meningioma: A benign brain tumor that develops from the meninges. Meningiomas are rare but may occur at any age.They may be operable or inoperable in nature.

Metastasis: A secondary malignant tumor, one that has spread from a primary cancer site to other parts of the body.

Motor Neuron Disease: A group of disorders in which there is degeneration of the nerves within the central nervous system that control muscular activity. This degeneration leads to weakness and wasting of the muscles.
Multiple Sclerosis: A progressive disease of the central nervous system in which patches of the myelin sheath covering nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord are destroyed causing a short circuit effect for nerve impulses to various parts of the body.

Myocardial Infarction: A sudden death of part of the heart muscle, commonly referred to as a heart attack.

Myoglobin: A protein found in the heart, which is tested by blood samples to indicate if a heart attack occurred. Myoglobin levels become elevated within 2 – 3 hours of a heart attack and return to normal levels after about 24 hours. Myoglobin is also found in other muscles; so additional tests are usually required to determine if there has been damage to the heart muscle.

Neurologist: A physician trained in the medical discipline concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and study of the nervous system and its disorders.

Noninvasive: A term used to describe any medical procedure that does not involve penetration of the skin or entry into the body through any of the natural openings. The term also applies to benign tumors that do not spread throughout body tissue.

Oncologist: A physician specializing in the study and treatment of cancers.

Ophthalmologist: A physician specializing in the study of the eye, including the diagnosis and treatment of all disorders that affect the eye.

Organ: A collection of various tissues integrated into distinct structural units that perform specific functions, ie: the skin (body’s largest organ), brain, heart, kidney, and liver.

Otolaryngologist: A physician specializing in the diseases and functions of the ear and throat.

Paralysis: Refers to a complete loss of controlled movement caused by the inability to contract one or more muscles. Paralysis can be temporary or permanent and can affect any muscle in the body.

Paraplegia: A paralysis of both legs and sometimes part of the body’s trunk caused by nerve damage in the brain or spinal cord.

Pathology: The study of disease, its causes, mechanisms and effects on the body.

Peritoneal Dialysis: Peritoneal dialysis uses a natural filtering membrane within the body’s abdomen (the peritoneum) by inserting a catheter into the abdomen, to remove waste products from the body of patients with kidney failure.

Permanent Neurological Deficit:
Refers to damage to the brain resulting in the death of brain cells, as evidenced by scar tissue in the case of a stroke. 

Pituitary Gland:
A pea-sized structure that hangs from the base of the brain. It is an endocrine gland that regulates and controls the activities of other endocrine glands and many body processes.

Plastic Surgeon:
A physician specializing in operating to reconstruct or repair skin and underlying tissue that has been damaged by injury or disease. Plastic surgery is usually performed to repair damage caused by severe burns, injuries, cancer and certain operations. Operations performed mainly to improve appearance in otherwise healthy individuals are known as cosmetic surgery.

Polyp(s): A growth that projects, frequently on a stalk, from the lining of the nose, the cervix, the intestine, the larynx or any other mucous membrane.

Primary Idiopathic: A term applied to a disease of unknown cause that has originated within the affected organ or tissue, and was not derived from any other cause or source.

Primary Lateral Sclerosis: A motor neuron disease of unknown cause which causes the degeneration of nerves within the central nervous system primarily affecting muscles in the arms and legs.

Progressive Bulbar Palsy: A motor neuron disease of unknown cause that leads to the degeneration of nerves of the central nervous system affecting the muscles of chewing, swallowing and talking.

Progressive Spinal Muscular Atrophy: A motor neuron disease of unknown cause which leads to a progressive weakness of nerves of the central nervous system until eventually affecting the muscles involved with breathing and swallowing.

Prostatectomy: An operation to surgically remove part or all of the prostate gland, usually when enlargement is obstructing urine flow.

Psuedo Bulbar Palsy: A rare slowly progressive variant of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which affects the muscles of the face, jaw and throat.

Psychiatric Illness: A broad term referring to mental illness, including emotional and behavioral problems.

Quadriplegia: A paralysis of all four limbs and the trunk caused by damage to the spinal cord in the neck region.

Renal: A term meaning related to the kidney.

Rigidity: Increased tone in one or more muscles, which causes them to feel tight; the affected part of the body becomes stiff and inflexible due to injury or disease.

Sarcoma: A cancer of connective tissue (material that surrounds body structures and holds them together).

Silent Myocardial Infarct: A heart attack with the absence of chest pain.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma: One of three common types of skin cancer which starts as a small, firm, painless lump or patch, usually on the lip, ear or back of the hand.

Third Degree Burns: The most severe type of burn, one which destroys the full skin thickness and usually requires special treatment and skin grafts.

Thrombosis: The formation of a thrombus (blood clot) within an intact blood vessel. Thrombus formation is abnormal and dangerous to one’s health.

Transient Ischemic Attack: A brief interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain that results in temporary impairment of vision, speech, sensation, or movement. Typically, the attack lasts for several minutes or, at most, a few hours but definitely not longer than 24 hours. An attack is followed by a full recovery.

Tremor: An involuntary, rhythmic, oscillating movement in the muscles of part of the body, most commonly the hands, feet or head.

Troponin: A family of proteins found in the blood. Blood samples are tested for elevated Troponin levels when a heart attack is diagnosed. Troponin levels remain elevated for 1 – 2 weeks after a heart attack, which is longer than any other substance tests used for diagnosing a heart attack. Troponin testing involves modern diagnostic technology, which is not currently universally available in all hospitals.

TRUP: TRUP, or Transurethal prostectomy, is the most commonly used method of removal of the prostate gland. It avoids an abdominal incision and usually permits a shorter hospital stay.

Visual Acuity: visual acuity is concerned with the sharpness of central vision, not with the extent or clarity of the peripheral field of vision.

Disclaimer: The terms and definitions outlined in this glossary have been compiled from various sources for the convenience of our clients and although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information InsuranceInMinutes.com or Dan Kampani is not liable for errors or omissions.

The definitions provided in this web site are intended for general reference only. Any coverage issued is subject to the terms of the policy, which may contain other exclusions and restrictions. Some policy provisions may vary by state. Products may not be available in all states.

Glossary of Disability Insurance Terms & Riders                       Top

Beneficiary: The person(s) or entity(ies) designated to receive an insurance policy's death benefit. The various types of Beneficiaries are: Primary Beneficiaries (those first entitled to proceeds); Secondary Beneficiaries (those entitled to proceeds if no primary beneficiary is living when the insured dies); and Tertiary Beneficiaries (those entitled to proceeds if no primary or secondary beneficiaries are alive when the insured dies).

Benefit Period: The maximum amount of time you may receive benefits for each Continuous Disability. Subject to underwriting requirements, you may choose a Benefit Period of two years, five years or to your normal retirement age at 66 or 67.

Cash or Accrual Method: During a partial disability, while you are collecting benefits under the "residual" provision, proof of loss of earnings is required. You can choose the accounting method, cash or accrual, that is best for you to determine monthly earnings. However you must use the same method for any one disability.

Commencement Date: The first day of covered disability immediately following the completion of the Waiting Period.

Concurrent Disability: A Disability caused by more than one Injury or Illness. Benefits for a Concurrent Disability will be paid as if there is only one Injury or Illness. In no event will you be considered to have more that one Disability at the same time. Once a continuous period of Disability starts, it will be one period of Continuous Disability no matter what Injuries or Illnesses, or how many, caused the Disability or cause it to continue.

Conditional Receipt: Given to policyowners when they pay a premium at the time of application. Interim coverage during the underwriting process may be provided subject to the terms and conditions of the receipt.
Continuous Disability: Recurrent periods of Disability from the same cause or causes are one period of Continuous Disability if separated by Your Recovery of less than twelve full months.

Cosmetic or Transplant Surgery: After six months of coverage, total disability due to cosmetic surgery or transplant surgery will be considered the same as total disability due to Illness.

Disability Benefit/Benefits: Any payment or payments for Disability that are made under the policy provisions.

Effective Date : The date on which the policy becomes effective.

Future Purchase Option Rider: This Rider allows you to buy additional monthly Benefits on specific option dates regardless of your health as long as your earned income at that time justifies the increase.

Grace Period: The 31-day period immediately following the due date of all premiums except the first. The policy will continue in force during the grace period. If a premium is not paid by the end of its grace period, all coverage will end as of the premium due date.

Guaranteed Renewable: As long as premiums are paid by the end of each Grace Period, we cannot change any part of the policy except its premium. After three years we can change the premium but only if the change applies to all policies with like Benefits insuring the same Risk Class.

Indexed Cost of Living Indemnity Benefit Rider: This rider pays an additional monthly benefit tied to the change in the Consumer Price Index, starting on the 366th day of disability, while a total or residual benefit is payable. This additional benefit is recalculated annually for each year of Continuous Disability.

Injury:
Accidental bodily injury sustained by you:
    1.  After the Effective Date; and
    2.  While the policy is in force.

Insurance Company Ratings: Provide information on insurance company financial performance, stability claims paying ability, and more. The five major insurance industry ratings services are: A. M. Best, Standard & Poor's, Moody's, Duff & Phelps, and Weiss. Their top ratings are: A. M. Best= A++, Standard & Poor's= AAA, Moody's=Aaa, Duff & Phelps=AAA, Weiss=A+.

Medical Examination: Usually conducted by a licensed paramedic. The medical report is part of the application, becomes part of the policy contract and is attached to the policy.

Non-Cancelable Rider: Changes the policy and all riders from Guaranteed Renewable to Non-cancelable and Guaranteed Renewable. Provided that all premiums are paid by the end of each Grace Period, we cannot change the policy or its premiums.

Pre-Existing Conditions: Any mental or physical condition for which:
    1.  You have consulted a Physician; or
    2.  You have received medical treatment or services; or
    3.  You have taken prescribed drugs or medications; or
    4.  A reasonably prudent person would have sought medical advice,
         care or treatment during the 365-day period ending the day
         before the policy's Effective Date.

Preferred Risk Class: A class of individuals whose anticipated mortality or morbidity (based on health, family medical history, occupation, etc.) is lower when compared to the Standard Risk Class.

Premium: The periodic payment required to keep an insurance policy in force.

Presumptive Total Disability: Your total and permanent loss, because of your injury or illness, of one of the following:
    1.  Speech
    2.  Hearing in both ears, not restorable by hearing aids
    3.  Sight in both eyes (see below)
    4.  Use of both hands
    5.  Use of both feet
    6.  Use of one hand and one foot
Total and permanent loss of sight in both eyes means that both eyes must measure at or below 20/200, after reasonable efforts are made to correct their vision, using the most advanced medically acceptable procedures and devices available.

Regular Occupation: Your occupation at the time Disability begins. If you have limited your practice to a professionally recognized specialty in medicine or law, the specialty will be deemed to be your Regular Occupation.

Rehabilitation Benefit: If you join a vocational rehabilitation program, approved by us, while you are receiving total disability benefits, we will continue these benefits for up to 36 months, and we will pay any reasonable costs for the program not paid by other plans, policies or programs.

Residual Disability Rider: Provides a reduced Basic Monthly Benefit if you are not Totally Disabled, but you are Residually Disabled.

Rider: Any supplemental agreement attached to and made a part of the policy that expands or limits the policy's conditions, coverage, or benefits.

Smoker Rating: A higher premium rate charged to applicants who use tobacco products. Insurers will generally give a lower premium rate to buyers who do not smoke or use tobacco. If you smoked in the past, most carriers will consider you a non-smoker if you have not smoked for one year prior to applying for coverage. Consumers should be aware that nicotine can be detected in a variety of routine screening tests that are now commonly required by most insurance companies.

Standard Risk Class: A class of individuals whose anticipated mortality or morbidity, according to a company's underwriting standards, is regarded as average. Most insured are included in the Standard Risk Class.

Supplemental Social Insurance Rider: If you are receiving a Benefit for Total Disability under a policy, this Rider will pay additional Benefits, less any Legislated Benefits (such as Social Security or Workers Compensation) paid to you, for the same period. This Benefit will be paid monthly. This payment is in addition to any other benefits payable under a policy.

Survivor Benefit: An amount payable to the policyowner, the policyowner's estate, or the policyowner's designee should you die while receiving total disability benefits.

Term of Policy/Policy Renewability: Period for which the policy runs. Disability Insurance is often annually renewable to normal retirement age. Some policies may continue after that as long as the policyholder continues actively working and pays the required premium.

Total Disability/Totally Disabled: You are totally disabled if, due to injury or sickness, you are:

  1. Unable to perform the substantial and material duties of your regular occupation;
  2. Not engaged in any other gainful occupation; and
  3. Are under the care of a physician appropriate for your injury or illness.

Total Disability in Your Occupation Rider: Changes the definition of Total Disability by allowing you to engage in another gainful occupation while you are Totally Disabled from your Regular Occupation.

Underwriter: Company receiving premiums and accepting responsibility for fulfilling the policy contract. Also, company employee who decides whether the company should assume a particular risk.

Uninsurable Risk: An individual who is not accepted for insurance due to excessive risk of loss.

Waiting Period: That period, measured from the first day of Your Disability, throughout which you must be Disabled before Disability Benefits become payable.

Waiver of Premiums: Exempts the insured from paying premiums after he or she has been Continuously Disabled for a specified period of time.

Disclaimer: The terms and definitions outlined in this glossary have been compiled from various sources for the convenience of our clients and although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information InsuranceInMinutes.com or Dan Kampani is not liable for errors or omissions.

The definitions provided in this web site are intended for general reference only. Any coverage issued is subject to the terms of the policy, which may contain other exclusions and restrictions. Some policy provisions may vary by state. Products may not be available in all states. 

Long Term Care Insurance glossary                                              Top

AARP: - The American Association of Retired Persons: A non-profit organization engaged in activities such as education, lobbying, research, etc. for the benefit of the senior population.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs): Activities that people do independently everyday - eating, bathing, dressing, moving about (mobility), transferring (for instance, from a bed to a chair), using the toilet, and maintaining bladder and bowel continence - used to measure the ability to function.

Acute Care: Care for illness or injury that develops rapidly, has pronounced symptoms and is finite in length. Medical care that is required for a short period of time to cure a certain illness and/or condition.

Adult Day Care: Social, recreational and/or rehabilitative services provided for persons who benefit from daytime supervision. An alternative between care in the home and in an institution. Refers to health support and rehabilitation services provided in the community to people who are unable to care for themselves independently during the day but are able to live at home at night.

Adult Foster Care: A live-in arrangement where one adult lives with and is provided care and/or services by an unrelated individual or family. Such arrangements may be certified by the state or managed independently.

Ageism: Prejudice against people because of their age.

Aging in Place: When an older individual continues to live at home or within the community, outside of an institutional environment.

Alternate Facility: A licensed residence other than a skilled nursing facility where care services are delivered (i.e. hospice, assisted living, Alzheimer's or Christian Science setting).

Alternate Plan of Care Benefit: Payment for a special arrangement of services specifically designed to allow the person to reside in a setting other than a nursing facility (i.e. services to provide assistance and capital improvements such as ramps, grab bars and/or durable medical equipment).

Alzheimer's Disease: A form of organic dementia resulting in premature mental deterioration, first described in 1906 by German neurologist, Alois Alzheimer.

Alzheimer's Units: Special living units within skilled nursing facilities or assisted living facilities specifically providing care and services for those with Alzheimer's disease.

Aphasia: Loss of the ability to use or understand language.

Assessment: A determination of physical and/or mental status by a health professional based on established medical guidelines.

Asset Protection: Willful legal planning to achieve protection from Medicaid ""spend-down" requirements, typically provided by irreversible trusts - recently outlawed by Congress except under specific conditions.

Assisted Living Facility ( ALF): A non-medical institution providing room, board, laundry, some forms of personal care, and usually recreational services. Licensed by state departments of social services, these facilities exist under several names including domiciliary care facility, sheltered house, board and care home, community-based care facility, residential care facility, etc.

Bankruptcy: An event we are trying to avoid by utilizing the insurance mechanism.

Bed Reservation Benefit: Pays the cost of reserving you place in a care facility should you need to be hospitalized during a covered stay.

Benefit Period: The maximum time, usually in days, that a policy will pay the daily benefit. The average stay in a skilled nursing facility is 2.8 years, so many people choose either a 3 year plan (1095 days) or 4 year plan (1465 days) to cover the average stay plus a little time to spare. Others feel safest with an unlimited benefit period.

Capital Improvements: Permanent physical adaptations to a residence which enables an individual to remain and function in that environment.

Care Coordinator: A health care professional whose training includes managing and arranging for long term care services. This person can be a doctor, nurse, social worker or other similarly trained and, licensed professional.

Care Management: Services provided by a professional, typically a nurse or social worker, to assess, coordinate, and monitor the overall medical, personal, and social services needed by an individual requiring long-term care.

Caregiver - Primary: The key person (usually a relative) overseeing and providing the care for a person who is incapacitated.

Caregiver(s) - Secondary: Relatives or others who assist part-time in giving care.

Catastrophic Illness: Illness resulting in sudden temporary or permanent change or significant disruption to a person's normal lifestyle.

Chronic Care: Care for an illness continuing over a protracted period of time or recurring frequently. Chronic conditions often begin inconspicuously and symptoms are less pronounced than acute conditions.

Cognitive Impairment: Refers to the loss or deterioration of mental capacity in people suffering from conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.

Cognitive Reinstatement: A provision to continue a policy which has lapsed (providing that back premiums are paid) when the cause of the lapse was due to cognitive impairment.

Continuing Care Retirement Community: A residential community providing a variety of living arrangements and services from independent living apartments to ALF and SNF care.

Custodial Care: Services that can be given safely and reasonably by a non-medical person, designed mainly to assist with ADLs, including bathing, eating, dressing and other routine activities.

Daily Benefit Amount: A specified, maximum, daily, dollar amount payable on a covered period of care. Policies offer a range of choices in ten-dollar increments.  Your choice should take into account the local costs of care, how much you could pay for care out of your own resources (without dipping into savings), and how much money or care you could count on from your family.

Elimination Period: A deductible. A specified time period of covered care where no benefits are payable. Ideally, should be selected as the longest period that you could sustain care costs using your available, expendable assets.

Home Health Care: Referst to a wide range of services, from skilled care and physical therapy to personal care delivered at home or in a residential setting.

Homemaker Services: Assistance given in managing and maintaining household activities that allows you to remain safely in your home when you can not manage those activities on your own. May include meal preparation, laundry, cleaning, chores, etc.

Inflation Protection: Increases the daily benefit amount on an annual basis. If elected, increases benefits in order to protect against the effects of inflation. Most common is the Compound 5% Inflation Rider which increases the daily benefit amount each year by 5% of the previous years daily benefit amount. The compound effect really begins to take off around the 20th year, so if you are younger when you buy, this seems to be the best choice. If you are in retirement, it's a toss-up between paying for the extra protection or simply starting out with a higher daily benefit at the beginning.

Intermediate Nursing Care: Assistance needed for stable conditions that require daily, but not 24-hour, nursing supervision. Such care is ordered by a physician and supervised by registered nurses. It is less specialized than skilled nursing care, often involves more personal care, and is generally needed for a long period of time.

Long Term Care (LTC): Also called custodial care. Assistance, expected to be provided over a long period of time, to people with chronic health conditions and/or physical disabilities who are unable to care for themselves without the help of another person.

Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI): Insurance available through private insurance companies as a means for individuals to protect themselves against the high costs of long-term care. Medicaid is a means-tested program supported by federal, state, and local funds and administered by each state to provide health care for eligible low-income individuals

Medicare: A federal government insurance program to assist those age 65 and over and the disabled with medical and hospital expenses. Medicare covers only skilled care in a skilled nursing facility and limited skilled nursing care at home.  It does not provide benefits for personal or custodial care. Medicare requires co-payments and deductibles.

Medicare Supplement or "Medigap": Policies...are private insurance policies that supplement Medicare benefits by covering co-payments and deductibles for medical and hospital expenses. These policies do not provide coverage for personal or custodial care.

Non forfeiture Benefit: This benefit returns some of the investment if the coverage is eventually lapsed or dropped. It usually takes the form of a paid-up coverage with reduced benefits. Sometimes this benefit is offered in the form of a "return of premium" which returns all or some of your premium payments after a period of time or upon death. The extra cost can add from 10 - 100% to the premium cost depending upon your specifications.

Nursing Home: A facility that provides room and board and a planned, continuous medical treatment program, including 24-hour-per-day skilled nursing care, personal care, and custodial care.

Personal Care: Refers to assistance provided by another person to help with walking, bathing, eating, and other routine daily tasks. It is provided by aides who are not medical professionals but are trained to help with these tasks.

Pre-Existing Conditions: Medical conditions that existed prior to the effective date of the policy. Some policies may exclude claims stemming from a condition that falls under this definition for a specified period of time.

Respite Care: Is nursing home or home care that temporarily replaces the existing level of support received from an informal, non paid caregiver for the purpose of providing care and supervision to the patient while relieving the caregiver.

Skilled Nursing Care: Nursing and rehabilitative care provided by or under the direction of skilled medical personnel - available 24-hours a day & ordered by a physician under a treatment plan. Can be either in a facility setting or at-home. Note: Medicare and Medicaid both have their own definitions of "skilled nursing care" which do not necessarily match those found in LTC policies.

Skilled Nursing Facility ((SNF): A state licensed institutional setting which provides nursing and rehabilitative care provided by or under the direction of skilled medical personnel - available 24-hours a day & ordered by a physician under a treatment plan.

Spend-down: Depleting almost all assets to meet eligibility requirements for Medicaid.

Third-Party Notification: Gives you the option of having the "premium overdue" notice sent to a third party as a precaution to insure that the policy does not unintentionally lapse.

Waiver of Premium: A provision which allows you to stop paying premiums once you are in a period of covered care. Usually applies to only to a facility stay, although some policies do waive premiums for approved home health care as well. Date when premium stoppage begins varies with each company.

Disclaimer: The terms and definitions outlined in this glossary have been compiled from various sources for the convenience of our clients and although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information InsuranceInMinutes.com or Dan Kampani is not liable for errors or omissions.

The definitions provided in this web site are intended for general reference only. Any coverage issued is subject to the terms of the policy, which may contain other exclusions and restrictions. Some policy provisions may vary by state. Products may not be available in all states.                                                                                                         Top


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