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Insurance Terminology

We get it. Insurance can be confusing. That’s why we created this insurance translator for all the complicated legal jargon.

A

Actual Cash Value

An estimation of how much it will cost to replace or repair something damaged or stolen minus depreciation (the decrease in value over time).

Additional Insured

A person who has an insurable interest in your home and who is entitled to coverage under your insurance policy. In some cases, an additional insured may be an entity. Usually the insurer will have specific guidelines to address adding an additional insured to your policy.

Additional Interest

A person added to your insurance policy that only receives notification of coverage in effect (e.g. cancellation notice, nonrenewal notice, etc.). An additional interest does not have an insurable interest in your property and is not entitled to collect a claim payout in the event of a covered loss.

Adjuster

Someone who investigates claims to determine how much your insurance company should pay you for damages/losses to your property.

Agent

UPCIC appointed insurance agent who sells, services, or negotiates insurance policies independently on behalf of our company.

C

Coverage

The scope of protection provided under an insurance contract/policy.

D

Declarations Page

This is a summary of your insurance policy, and includes key information such as coverage amounts, deductible, named insureds, agent information, etc. Remember, that this is only a summary of your policy. It is in your best interest to review your policy carefully to determine actual coverages and policy provisions.

Deductible

The dollar amount that must be exceeded before your insurer will pay for a covered loss. The deductible may be reflected as a flat dollar amount or a percentage of one of the Section I coverages. This amount will not be included in any claim payment you may receive. Depending on the state, deductibles may be separated by perils such as hurricane, wind, sinkhole, all other perils, all perils, etc.

E

Effective Dates

The date and time at which your insurance policy coverage begins and ends. These dates define the policy period or policy term.

Emergency Management, Preparedness and Assistance Trust Fund

Established by the Florida Legislature and funded by surcharges on insurance policies. This assessment is exclusive to the state of Florida and goes toward emergency management activities within the state.

Endorsement

An exclusion, addition, or any other type of change to the original terms of your insurance policy.

Exclusion

A provision of your insurance policy referring to a peril, circumstance, or property not covered by the policy.

F

Flood Coverage

Coverage that protects you against loss or damage to real or personal property by the peril of flood. Most Homeowners insurance policies exclude flood coverage.

H

Hazard

An action, condition, circumstance, or situation that makes the occurrence of a peril or loss more likely (e.g. corroded pipes, exposed wiring, unfenced pool, etc.).

I

Insurable Interest

Having a financial stake in a piece of property, to the extent that you would suffer an economic loss if that property were damaged or destroyed.

Insurance Policy

Insurance policies are legal contracts referred to as indemnity contracts, between you and your insurance company. Indemnity is compensation for damages or loss. Therefore, an insurance policy helps to make you “whole again” after covered damages or losses have occurred. Insurance is a way of transferring risk from one person or entity to another.

Insured

A term used to describe the person(s) who are covered under an insurance policy (may also be referred to as policyholder).

Insurer

A company authorized to write property and/or casualty insurance under the laws of a particular state.

L

Limit of Liability

Refers to the maximum amount your insurer may pay for any afforded coverage as stated on your declarations page and/or within the insurance policy language, in the event of a covered loss.

M

Market Value

Amount for which something can currently be sold on the market. Think of this as the price your paid for your home. Because markets fluctuate, your insurance company will not insure your home using the market valuation. Instead, they will use a replacement cost or other form of valuation.

P

Peril

An event or circumstance that causes or may potentially cause a loss (e.g. fire, flood, theft, etc.).

Policy Forms

Insurance contracts that are written to tailor coverage to specific types of property.

Policy Provisions

Clauses in an insurance contract that lay out the exact conditions for which coverage is provided (all the details of your insurance policy).

Premium

Refers to how much your insurance policy costs—what you will pay to be insurer—usually on an annual basis.

Q

Quote

An estimate of how much your insurance policy will cost in relation to what type of coverage you’ll receive. It’s important to remember that a quote is only an approximation of what your final premium will be. Final premium is not determined until the policy is reviewed by the insurer (underwritten).

R

Real Property

Refers to land and any structures attached to it (e.g. fence, shed, garage, etc.), including your home. It is important to note that insurance does not cover land, rather your structures on the land.

Renewal

An insurance policy issued to replace an expiring policy.

Replacement Cost

An estimation of how much it will cost to replace or repair something damaged or stolen with a similar item of the same quality, make, and model. Replacement cost does not consider depreciation and usually does not include the cost of wear and tear.

W

Windstorm Protective Devices

Specific enhancements to your home that can reduce the severity of damage due to high winds (e.g. hurricane shutters).

Resources

3 Home Upgrades That Can Lower Your Insurance Premiums

If you plan on making improvements to your house, it is important to know what may positively or negatively affect your homeowners insurance policy.

5 Big Tax Breaks for Homeowners

There’s been a lot of buzz this year surrounding the new tax laws. If you found it confusing to keep up, don’t worry, we’ve broken it down for you so you can better understand how some of these tax breaks can benefit homeowners.

5 Important Questions Homeowners Should Ask About Insurance

Life happens every day—family, children, jobs, activities, and other commitments. Every day, your home insurance quietly protects your life as it happens. Most homeowners neglect to review their insurance policies annually for one very good reason. They’re just not sure what to look for, so it’s easier to pay the bill and hope for the best.

7 Simple, Inexpensive Updates That Add Curb Appeal to Your Home

Adding curb appeal on a budget can be a challenging task. But if you look hard enough at the exterior of each home, expensive projects aren’t necessarily what catch a person’s eye. Minor details draw them in and bring everything together.

8 Things to Consider: Homebuying Tips for Pet Lovers

When buying a new home, you’ll want your pets to be just as happy and comfortable in the new space as you are.

9 Techniques to Not Fall Prey to Roofing Scams After Storms

The cool winds have prevailed. The rain has stopped falling. All the damage has been done. Storm chaser roofing companies and contractors are now rolling into town disguising their roofing scams as your saving grace.

10 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Winter is coming, and snow will soon be falling in many parts of the country. If you live in a winter wonderland, now is the time to prepare your home to handle the rigors of snowfall, freezing temperatures, increased electric bills, springtime financial surprises and home insurance claims.

15 Tips to Be Prepared for a Winter Storm

Winter storms can strike with fierce intensity. They’re known to bring extreme cold, snow, ice and freezing rain to a large area for an extended period. The most ferocious winter storms knock down or freeze powerlines, cutting off electricity to homes, closing roads and leaving people and their homes vulnerable to the substantially cold weather lurking outside.

A Homeowners Guide to a Successful Outdoor Spring Cleanup

Winter doldrums eventually make way for spring fever. The harshness of the winter months can leave the outside of your lovely home a little on the dirty and unkempt side.

Are Solar Panels Covered by My Homeowners Policy?

More Americans than ever are turning to solar panels to generate sustainable energy for their homes and businesses. The environmentally friendly, renewable resource provides unparalleled efficiency and savings compared to the traditional power grid.

Avoid Halloween Home Insurance Claims with These Tricks

When people think about Halloween, they think about collecting and eating gooey caramel and chocolate bars, sugary sweet gummies and all their favorite candy that’s consumed once or twice per year. They don’t think about the after-effects of a stomach ache.

Budget-Friendly Tips to Prevent Home Break-Ins While You’re Away

Even though your homeowners, renters or condo insurance policy may provide protection for stolen items, nobody wants to file a home insurance claim because their belongings were stolen from their house.

Can Swimming Pools Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Policy?

For many families, late spring is the time to clean up the swimming pool and get it ready for fun in the sun. Above-ground and in-ground swimming pools can be a concern for insurance companies due to the increased liability exposure. It is important to know that the owner of a pool is liable for anyone who uses it whether they have permission to or not.

How a Wind Mitigation Inspection Could Save You Big Money

Wind mitigation is the process of implementing certain features to your home that can help resist or withstand intense wind caused by a major storm or hurricane.

How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim After a Hurricane

Whether a hurricane brings 100-plus-mile-per-hour winds, a torrential downpour or complete catastrophic destruction, you need to know how to get your life back on track after it passes.

How to Get Disaster Assistance After a Hurricane

Finding the right words is tough enough to do after suffering a devastating loss due to a hurricane or other natural disaster. Finding the right government assistance programs and nonprofits to help in your greatest time of need can be even tougher.

How to Prevent Mold in Your Home

The key to mold prevention is to control moisture in the home by keeping your home dry. Mold tends to grow in moist environments, therefore, make sure the humidity in your home is below 60% to prevent mold growth.

How to Turn Off the Main Water Supply to Your Home

Shutting off the main water supply to your home seems so simple, but surprisingly many homeowners don’t know how to do it or even where to look.

Hurricane Safety Checklist: Supplies You Need to Stay Safe During a Storm

When a hurricane is bearing down on your area, you need to do everything in your power to ensure the safety of yourself and your family. Remember to not take the storm lightly and begin preparing as soon as possible. Keep in mind stores and gas stations quickly run out supplies.

Is Flood Insurance Included in Homeowners Insurance?

Hurricane season brings more wind, rain and catastrophic loss to people and phone calls, emails and claims to home insurance companies.

Is My Personal Property Covered by Homeowners Insurance During a Move?

Moving can be thrilling because you may be transitioning into a nicer home. It can also be extremely unpleasant because you must pack everything you own into boxes, load them onto a truck and haul them across the town, state or entire country.

Key Ingredients to Remember for a Safe Thanksgiving

The best time of year is almost in full swing. Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season with more turkey, stuffing and pie than some people may consume in an entire year. OK, well, maybe not an entire year, but it can feel that way.

Moldy Roof? Here's What You Can Do

The roof of your home offers protection for the outside of your home, as well as the inside of your home. It’s a good idea to do a manual inspection of your roof annually. Periodically, it’s also a good idea to have a roofing professional inspect your roof for mold, weather damage, wear and tear, or other types of roof damage.

What Is Loss of Use Coverage and What Does It Do?

What would you do if an unexpected disaster struck today? Do you know what steps you’d take if your home became uninhabitable and you had to find a temporary place to live?

What's Protected in Loss Assessment Coverage?

While your individual condo unit may be in tip-top shape because you take great care of everything inside, certain circumstances could arise that may leave you footing the bill to repair or replace items in common areas.

What to Do After a Hurricane: Tips for Staying Safe Post-Storm

When a hurricane hits, the trouble has only just begun. Picking up the fragments after whipping winds have passed – while staying safe at the same time – is a crucial, and often overlooked, piece of putting everything back together post-storm.

World Animal Day: Elephant Facts You May Not Know

You’ve probably seen them at the zoo. You may have been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of them in their natural habitat in either Africa or Asia. Either way, you probably like them. That’s because, like humans, elephants are mammals.

Forms

Statement of No Loss
4-Point Inspection

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