Rick Debe Insurance Agency - DBI Insurance Services
(262) 363-8650
Office Hours: M - Th 8:30 - 5:30 Friday 8:30 - 3:00

We've listed all the relevant insurance terminology we could think of...and then some!  If you don't find what you're looking for, just send us an email with your question and we'll get right back to you with the answer!


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A-Share Variable Annuity

A form of variable annuity contract where the contract holder pays sales charges up front rather than eventually having to pay a surrender charge.

Accelerated Death Benefits

A life insurance policy option that provides policy proceeds to insured individuals over their lifetimes, in the event of a terminal illness. This is in lieu of a traditional policy that pays beneficiaries after the insured's death. Such benefits kick in if the insured becomes terminally ill, needs extreme medical intervention, or must reside in a nursing home. The payments made while the insured is living are deducted from any death benefits paid to beneficiaries.

Accident and Health Insurance

Coverage for any accidental injury, death and any other health expenses. The benefits will pay for preventative services, medical expenses, and catastrophic care, with limits.

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs)

Activities that are a normal part of everyday life, such as bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring.

Actual Cash Value (ACV) 

The value of the property when it is damaged or destroyed. This is usually figured by taking the replacement cost and subtracting depreciation.

Actual Charge 

The amount of money a doctor or supplier charges for a certain medical service or supply. This amount is often more than the amount Medicare approves.


An insurance professional skilled in the analysis, evaluation, and management of statistical information. As well they evaluate insurance firms' reserves, determines rates and rating methods, and determines other business and financial risks.

Additional Living Expenses 

If your home is so damaged that you are unable to live there, most homeowner insurance policies pay for some additional living expenses while repairs are being made. This could include limited motel, restaurant, and warehouse storage expenses.


An insurance company representative who seeks to determine the extent of the firm's liability for loss when a claim is submitted.

Administrative Services Only (ASO) 

An arrangement whereby an organization (usually an employer) hires an outside firm to perform specific administrative services, such as providing claim forms and processing claims, for a group health insurance program. The organization retains financial responsibility for paying claims.

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Admitted Assets

Assets recognized and accepted by state insurance laws in determining the solvency of insurers and reinsurers. To make it easier to assess an insurance company's financial position, state statutory accounting rules do not permit certain assets to be included on the balance sheet. Only assets that can be easily sold in the event of liquidation or borrowed against, and receivables for which payment can be reasonably anticipated, are included in admitted assets.

Admitted Company

An insurance company licensed and authorized to do business in a particular state.

Adult Day Care 

Care given in a nonresidential facility, community-based group program designed to meet the needs of functionally impaired adults. It is a structured, comprehensive program that may provide a variety of health, social, and related support services during any part of a day.

Adverse Selection 

Occurs when the applicants for insurance represent a sample of the population that is biased toward those with a greater loss exposure rather than a true random sample. In flood insurance, those persons and businesses with serious flood exposures are likely to purchase flood insurance.

Affinity Sales

Selling insurance through groups such as professional and business associations.

Agency Companies

Companies that market and sell products via independent agents.


A person licensed by a state insurance department who solicits, negotiates, or effects insurance contracts on behalf of one or more insurers.

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Alien Insurance Company

An insurance company incorporated under the laws of a foreign country, as opposed to a foreign insurance company that does business in states outside its own.

All Risks Coverage 

The term "all risk" means there is coverage for all perils except those excluded. A particular exposure would be insured against economic loss by any peril that is not specifically excluded under the terms of the contract.

Allied Lines

Property insurance that is usually bought in conjunction with fire insurance; it includes wind, water damage, and vandalism coverage.

Allowable Charge 

The amount Medicare considers a reasonable charge for medical services or supplies based on the usual or customary charges in your area (Medicare pays 80% of the amount).

Alternative Dispute Resolution / ADR

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

Alternative Markets

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

Alternative Plan of Care 

If you otherwise qualify for benefits, this provision allows you to qualify for benefits not specifically listed in the policy upon the agreement of you, your physician, and the company.

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A formal document changing the provisions of an insurance policy signed jointly by the insurance company and by the policyholder or his or her authorized representative.

Annual Annuity Contract Fee

Covers the cost of administering an annuity contract.

Annual Election Period (AEP) 

An annual period, during which Medicare beneficiaries may enroll in or un-enroll from a Medicare Advantage plan. The AEP occurs November 15 through December 31 each year. The plan coverage becomes effective on January 1 of the coming year.

Annual "Out-of-Pocket" Maximum 

The most you will have to pay in any given year for all services received under an insurance policy. This amount includes copayments, coinsurance and deductibles. If you exceed this amount, the insurance company will pay all other expenses for the remainder for that year.

Annual Statement

Summary of an insurer's or reinsurer's financial operations for a particular year, including a balance sheet. It is filed with the state insurance department of each jurisdiction in which the company is licensed to conduct business.


The person(s) who receives the income from an annuity contract. Usually the owner of the contract or his or her spouse.


The conversion of the account balance of a deferred annuity contract to income payments.

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An investment that provides an income over a specified period of time, often used as a device for retirement income.

Annuity Accumulation Period

The period during which the owner of a deferred annuity makes payments to build up assets.

Annuity Administrative Charges

Covers the cost of customer services for owners of variable annuities.

Annuity Beneficiary

In certain types of annuities, a person who receives annuity contract payments if the annuity owner or annuitant dies while payments are still due.

Annuity Contract

An agreement similar to an insurance policy for other insurance products such as auto insurance.

Annuity Contract Owner

The person or entity that purchases an annuity and has all rights to the contract. Usually, but not always, the annuitant (the person who receives incomes from the contract).

Annuity Death Benefits

The guarantee that if an annuity contract owner dies before annuitization (the switchover from the savings to the payment phase) the beneficiary will receive the value of the annuity that is due.

Annuity Insurance Charges

Covers administrative and mortality and expense risk costs.

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Annuity Investment Management Fee

The fee paid for the management of variable annuity invested assets.

Annuity Issuer

The insurance company that issues the annuity.

Annuity Prospectus

Legal document providing detailed information about variable annuity contracts. Must be offered to each prospective buyer.

Annuity Purchase Rate

The cost of an annuity based on such factors as the age and gender of the contract owner.

Antitrust laws

Laws that prohibit companies from working as a group to set prices, restrict supplies or stop competition in the marketplace. The insurance industry is subject to state antitrust laws but has a limited exemption from federal antitrust laws. This exemption, set out in the McCarran-Ferguson Act, permits insurers to jointly develop common insurance forms and share loss data to help them price policies.


An appeal is a special kind of complaint you make if you disagree with any decision about your health care services. This complaint is made to your health plan. There is usually a special process you must use to make your complaint.


A statement of information made by someone applying for insurance. The information gathered helps the insurance company assess whether the risk presented by the applicant is acceptable.

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The dividing of a loss proportionately among two or more insurers that cover the same loss.


A review of a property claim to determine the value of a particular item or the value of the loss to the damaged property.

Approved Amount or Charge 

Also called the allowable, eligible, or accepted charge, this is the maximum fee set by Medicare that it will approve for a particular service or procedure, of which Medicare will reimburse 80%.

Appurtenant Structures 

Buildings on the same premises as the main building, insured under a property insurance policy.  A detached garage, a tool shed or a gazebo would be called an appurtenant structure.

Arbitration Clause 

Clause of a policy that provides that if a policyholder and the company cannot agree on the amount of a claim settlement, each appoints an appraiser. The appraisers select a neutral umpire. When at least two of the three, appraisers and umpire, agree on the settlement amount, it is binding on both the insured and the insurer.


The deliberate setting of a fire.

Asset-Backed Securities

Bonds that represent pools of loans of similar types, duration and interest rates. Almost any loan with regular repayments of principal and interest can be securitized, from auto loans and equipment leases to credit card receivables and mortgages.

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Bonds that represent pools of loans of similar types, duration and interest rates. Almost any loan with regular repayments of principal and interest can be securitized, from auto loans and equipment leases to credit card receivables and mortgages.

Assigned Risk Plans

Facilities through which drivers can obtain auto insurance if they are unable to buy it in the regular or voluntary market. These are the most well-known type of residual auto insurance market, which exist in every state. In an assigned risk plan, all insurers selling auto insurance in the state are assigned these drivers to insure, based on the amount of insurance they sell in the regular market.

Assisted Living Facility

A facility certified or registered by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS). These facilities exist to bridge the gap between independent living and nursing homes and provide a variety of services depending on the needs of the residents.

Attained Age

This means that as you age, your premiums will change to meet your age range and your premiums will become higher.

Auto Insurance

A type of insurance that protects the policyholder against losses involving automobiles. Different coverages can be purchased depending on the needs and wants of the insured.

Automatic Premium Loan

A provision in a life insurance policy that any premium not paid by the end of the grace period (usually 31 days) is automatically paid by a policy loan if there is sufficient cash value.

Aviation Insurance

Commercial airlines hold property insurance on airplanes and liability insurance for negligent acts that result in injury or property damage to passengers or others. Damage is covered on the ground and in the air. The policy limits the geographical area and individual pilots covered.