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Insurance Terms  -  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W Home / Insurance Dictionary



That part of the policy describing the named insured, address, effective date, term of the policy, applicable coverages, the amount of insur­ance and the premium.


Decreasing Term Life Insurance:

Term insurance, the face value of which decreases each year over a stated period. Family income and mortgage cancellation are common types of decreasing term insurance.



A provision in an insurance contract stating that the insurer will pay that amount of any insured loss that is in excess of a specified amount. The specified amount is the deductible.


Deductible Collision and Deductible Comprehensive Coverages:

Forms of collision or comprehensive auto insurance coverages which specify that an insurance company will pay the damage less a specified amount under the particular coverage. For example: For $100 Deductible Collision Coverage, the company would deduct $100 from the total damage under the collision coverage and be liable for the amount in excess of $100. Rates are reduced as the amount of the deductible is increased.



The conversion of insurance companies from mutual companies owned by their policyholders into publicly-traded stock companies.



A decrease in the value of property due to age, wear and tear.



In insurance, reducing regulatory control over insurance rates and forms. Commercial insurance for businesses of a certain size has been deregulated in many states.


Diminution of Value:

The idea that a vehicle loses value after it has been damaged in an accident and repaired.

Directors and Officers Liability


Insurance (D&O):

Coverage for directors and officers of firms or organizations against liability claims arising out of alleged errors in judgment, breaches of duty, and wrongful acts related to their organizational activities.


Direct Premiums Written:

Property/casualty premiums collected by the insurer from policyholders, before reinsurance premiums are deducted. Insurers share some direct premiums and the risk involved with their reinsurers.


Direct Sales/Direct Response:

Method of selling insurance directly to the insured through an insurance company’s own employees, through the mail, or via the Internet. This is in lieu of using captive or exclusive agents.


Direct Writer:

An insurer whose distribution mechanism is either the direct selling system or the exclusive agent system. (See Agent.)


Disability Threshold:

In no-fault insurance states with the disability threshold, it provides that a victim may not sue in tort unless he/she has been disabled (defined differently in various state plans) from an accident for a specific period of time.



(1) Policyholder Dividend—The return of part of the premium paid for a policy issued on a participating basis by an insurer. Any such dividend is dependent upon premiums collected in excess of losses and expenses for the particular class of business at the end of the policy period. (2) Stockholder Dividend—A portion of the surplus paid to the stockholders of a corporation.

Dollar Threshold:

In no-fault auto insurance states with the dollar threshold, it prevents individuals from suing in tort to recover for pain and suffering unless their medical expenses exceed a certain dollar amount.


Domestic Insurance Company:

An insurance company organized or domiciled in a given state is referred to in that state as a domestic carrier.


Double Indemnity:

See Accidental Death Benefit (Life Insurance).


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