Property and Casualty Glossary



The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to protect citizens from discrimination based on disability in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications and government activities.

Agency Captive

A separate company formed by an insurer, agent or broker that is designed to provide risk mitigation to a specific client. Usually used when outside factors have caused insurance providers to reduce overall policies.

Association Captive

Similar to a captive, but owned by two or more companies; provides risk-mitigation services to its owners, usually when they’re unable to find an outside firm that will insure a particular risk.

Auto Liability

Insurance that protects against loss or legal liability resulting from ownership, maintenance or operation of a motor vehicle.

Auto Physical Damage

Automobile coverage that insures against damage to the policyholder’s vehicle. Typically, coverage is provided for incidents such as theft, collision, vandalism and fire.


The act of measuring performance, usually against competitors, using a standard scale. It helps to determine where a company stands in comparison to the competitive field and find areas to improve.

Bid Bond

A third-party guarantee that if a contractor submits a bid for construction, they’ll enter into a contract at that price. Should the contractor decline, the bond covers the difference between the defaulting contractor’s bid and the next lowest offer.


A three-party contract in which the surety guarantees the performance or honesty of a second party to a third party, to whom the debt or obligation is owed.

Bonding Company

A company, such as a bank or surety, that provides a guarantee of performance or honesty on behalf of a first party (obligor) to a second party (obligee).

Brand and Image Risk

A threat or danger to the reputation of a business or entity. Damage can result from the direct actions of a company, indirectly through the actions of employees or tangentially through third parties or associates.

Builder’s Risk

An insurance policy designed to cover the property during the course of construction. It typically covers both the site and offsite storage, with the limit of insurance being the estimated value of the completed project.

Business Interruption

Insurance coverage that replaces business income lost during a disruption of normal business operations. Not sold as a separate policy, it’s usually bundled with property/casualty insurance or as part of a comprehensive plan.

Business Personal Property

The contents of a business such as the building, equipment, furniture or other personal property that is owned by the insured and used in his or her business.


A company that provides risk-mitigation services to its owner, usually formed by the parent company if an outside firm is unable to insure against a particular risk.


A general insurance category that protects risk against loss of bodily injury, property damage or other liabilities in vehicle, liability, theft and elevator insurance.

CCIP Program

A centralized insurance program procured by one party that covers most or all parties working on a construction site. It can be contractor controlled (CCIP) or owner controlled (OCIP) and cover more than one project (ROCIP). Also called Wrap Up coverage.

Claims Management

Involves the management of claims filed, including the timely notification and record keeping of individual claims and the overall loss history of the organization.

Claims Support

The management of claims filed by policyholders. This includes assessing the validity of the claim, determining solutions to the damage and ensuring that the policy is upheld.

Commercial Auto

Insurance coverage that protects businesses from risks pertaining to company vehicles. Policies can provide collision, liability and uninsured motorist insurance.

Commercial Umbrella

A liability insurance policy that offers coverage in addition to claim limits set in a company’s other policies. It may also cover losses that are not included in a primary insurance policy.

Construction Risk

The probability of a potential loss or claim occurring during construction.


An independent party who agrees to provide services, goods, material, equipment or personnel at a rate and timeframe agreed upon with the contractee or project manager.

Corporate Risk

The financial uncertainty of an investor with stake or securities in a specific firm. Corporate risk can be mitigated by diversifying investments with other companies or industries.

Corporate Veil

A legal concept that separates the actions of the corporation from its shareholders. This protects them from being liable for the company’s debts and other obligations.

Coverage Audits

An examination of a company’s books, records and operations to determine the actual value or risk associated with the policyholder’s coverage.

Crime and Fidelity

Insurance that protects companies from loss of money, property or securities due to crime. Common claims include employee dishonesty, embezzlement and robbery.

Custody Services

A bank or other custodial organization that holds and safeguards a customer’s assets, be they cash, securities or anything else of value.

Dealers Open Lot Coverage

Insurance that protects vehicles, mainly private passenger vehicles like cars, trucks, SUVs and vans, against loss or theft from the policyholder’s open-lot car dealership.


The dollar amount paid out of pocket by the policyholder when a claim is submitted before the insurance company will cover the remaining costs.

Directors & Officers (D&O) Liability

Liability insurance that protects directors and officers in the event of claims made against them while serving on the board of a corporation.


For tax purposes, this serves as the primary residence. Established via a driver’s license, voter registration and billing address, it is not necessary for one to permanently reside at their domicile.

Employee Benefits Liability

Liability insurance covering an employer in the event of an error and/or omission in the administration of employee benefits. For example, failing to inform an employee about available benefit programs.

Employment Practices Liability

Liability insurance covering an employer against damages resulting from wrongful acts in the employment process. Common claims include wrongful termination, discrimination and sexual harassment.

Entity Structure

The structure of corporate entities designed to limit the liability of the owner(s) and his or her assets. Typically, this occurs through the formation of Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), which protect from lawsuits and act as tax shelters.

Environmental Risk

The actual or potential risk of harm to the environment or its inhabitants through emissions, waste or resource depletion resulting from a company’s actions.

Errors & Omissions

Liability insurance that protects the policyholder from claims made against them for inadequate work or negligent actions.

Excess Liability

Excess insurance that provides further coverage for a policyholder in the event that a claim exceeds their policy’s limits. In the event of a conflict, the underlying policy always takes precedence over the excess coverage policy.

Executive Management

The person or group who is appointed and given the responsibility of managing an organization at the top levels. Within set parameters, their authority drives the company’s major decisions.


The potential for loss an organization is exposed to through various activities. Companies often assess their risks according to probability of occurrence, and may consider areas such as liability issues, property loss or damage, and market volatility.

Feasibility Studies

An analysis determining the likelihood of a positive outcome for a specific project. It takes into account legal, economic, technical and scheduling factors to determine the feasibility before a large financial investment.

Fiduciary Liability

Liability insurance that protects the insured in the event of damages resulting from alleged failure to prudently act within the terms of the Pension Reform Act of 1974, a federal law that establishes minimum standards for pension plans in private industry.

Financial Risk

Potential risk associated with any financial investment that may result in a lower than expected return or a loss.


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was established January 1, 2000 in an effort to improve the safety of commercial motor vehicles and their drivers.

Foreign Employers Liability

Protects the employer from legal or financial liability in the event of injury to employees working in foreign countries.

Garage Liability

Liability insurance that protects automobile dealerships and repair shops against claims resulting from property damage or bodily injury during the operation of an auto garage.

General Liability

Insurance that protects the policyholder against liability in the event of claims made due to injury or damages during performance of business operations.

Governance Risks

The potential risk of liability a company is exposed to due to either the inadvertent or intentional actions of executive employees including, but not limited to harassment, money laundering or negligence.

Group Captive

A captive established by a group of companies with similar businesses or risk profiles, responsible for risk mitigation of its owners and affiliates.

Guaranteed Cost Insurance Program

Insurance for which the policyholder pays a fixed premium or rate regardless of the claims or losses that occur during the term of the policy. As opposed to a loss sensitive plan, which adjusts cost based on losses during the plan period.

Hail Coverage

Insurance that protects the policyholder against claims of damage due to hail. May be included in Dealers Open Lot Coverage.

Hi-Tech Act

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, signed into law in 2009, encourages healthcare providers to adopt electronic health records (HER) with financial incentives until 2015 and penalties thereafter.


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act stipulates that anyone belonging to a group health plan must be allowed to purchase new health coverage within a period of time after their earlier coverage is lost. The act also protects the privacy and security of health information.

Incurred Loss Retrospective

Insurance premiums that fluctuate based on incurred losses or claims throughout the term of the plan.

Large Deductible Program

An insurance program where the insured is responsible for reimbursing the insurance provider up to its deductible amount. The insurer will pay off claims in excess of that amount. Deductibles begin as low as $50,000 and may go up to $1 million per claim.

Legal Liability Risk

The potential risk of an organization to be financially and legally responsible for a claim of damage, negligence or other violation.

Letter of Credit

A letter written on behalf of a client ensuring credit. May be required when purchasing loss sensitive plans such as large deductibles, retrospective rating and captive programs.

Life Safety Issues in Housing

The consensus standard that seeks to ensure the safety of residents by guiding the construction process and materials used to minimize danger in the event of a fire.

Liquor Liability

Insurance liability coverage that protects the insured against claims of damage as a result of a client becoming intoxicated and injuring themselves and others.

Loss Sensitive Insurance Purchasing

A fluctuating premium that varies based on losses incurred throughout the term of the policy.

Maximum Premium

The agreed upon highest point that an insurance premium can fluctuate in a loss-sensitive policy. Because the rate can be lower, the insured can benefit from emphasizing safety and loss-control activities.

Minimum Premium

The agreed upon lowest point that an insurance premium can fluctuate in a loss-sensitive policy. Because the rate could rise in the event of increased loss, the insured can benefit from emphasizing safety and loss-control activities.


The agreed upon task, cost and timetable that a builder specified in the bid and contract of a project.


The owner or upper-tier contractor who has entered into an agreement with a contractor that specifies the task, cost and timetable of a project.

OCIP Program

A centralized insurance program (CIP) procured by the owner of a building project and covering most or all parties working on a construction site.

Operational Risk

The potential risk arising from the people, systems or processes through which a company operates, usually due to inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems, or external events.

Paid Loss Retrospective

Generally used in workers’ compensation insurance, this cash flow plan allows the insured to hold on to reserves until they’re paid out in claims.

Payment Bond

A deposit, typically 20% of the bid amount, submitted by the winning bidder to assure that, upon completion of the project, all moneys owed to its employees, suppliers, subcontractors and creditors will be paid in full.

Performance Bond

A written guarantee submitted from a third party, usually a bank or insurer, ensuring financial reimbursement should a contractor fail in full performance of the contract.

Personnel Risk

The potential risk associated with the death, injury, disability or departure of employees. Coverage can include employee replacement as well as benefits mandated under workers’ compensation laws.

Political Risk

The potential risk associated with loss of investment as a result of political changes or instability in a country. Also known as geopolitical risk.


One component of a mortgage payment, the principal is the amount of money used to pay down the loan.

Privacy and Security

Associated with handling confidential customer data like credit information, health records or other personal details. Losses can include forensic costs to discover the source of the breach, notification costs and reputational damage.

Product Liability

Liability insurance that protects the insured against potential damage resulting from claims of injury due to defective merchandise that it has provided for sale.

Professional Liability

Liability insurance that protects against claims of negligence or damage toward professionals such as accountants, doctors and lawyers. Professionals with expertise in specific areas are not covered by general liability insurance.

Proof of Coverage for Volunteers

Required to protect against liability due to injury, damage or negligence resulting from volunteer service on behalf of the organization.

Pure Captive

A company, formed by a parent company, that writes insurance only for its owner.

Real Property

Rental, residential or business property that is tied directly to the land it’s on, including the land itself. Real property includes not just buildings or structures, but also rights and interests.

Regulation 114

Created by the Insurance Department of New York State, Regulation 114 describes a type of trust used primarily by captives to hold assets or securities in the event that they need to be paid out to the captive’s beneficiary, the fronting company.

Regulatory Risk

The potential risk associated with changing laws, regulations and policies that may negatively impact a business, its processes or its investments.


A captive owned by a third party, who makes its licenses and capital available to participants in exchange for a fee. Often used for programs that are too small to justify the creation of their own captive.


A predetermined amount of money that the insured must pay before the insurer will respond to a claim.

Retrospective Rating Programs

Often associated with workers’ compensation insurance, retrospective rating programs have a premium that fluctuates based on annual losses. This encourages onsite safety and security measures, resulting in premium refunds.

Risk Avoidance

A means of mitigating risk once the full situation is assessed. Risk avoidance can include not entering into a deal or eliminating a specific aspect of the situation.

Risk Management

The process of investigating and analyzing potential risks, and determining the proper course of action surrounding decision making. Four possible results are risk avoidance, reduction, sharing or retention.

Risk Retention

A form of self insurance resulting from risk management, in which it is determined that potential risk can be mitigated by budgeting for and accepting the possible outcomes.

Risk Transfer

The basic principle behind insurance in which one party (the insured) transfers the risk to another party (the insurer) who is willing to take it on in exchange for a fee.

ROCIP Program

The Rolling Owner Controlled Insurance Program covers construction projects when there are several structures that may be built for one project. Examples may be universities or hospital systems. It provides general liability and workers’ compensation usually for the first several tiers of contractors at a reduced rate due to bulk purchase.

Single Parent Captive

A company, formed by a parent company, that writes insurance only for its owner.

Small Deductible Program

A form of workers’ compensation insurance in which the employer pays a reduced premium, but must reimburse the insurer for claims that don’t exceed the deductible.


Designed to find areas of possible improvement, analyze trends and benchmark claims trending. Stewardship programs bring together the insured and the insurer to examine trends in claims made through workers’ compensation.

Stop Loss/Aggregate

Designed to limit the impact of claims and losses to a specific amount. Coverage ensures that either specific, high-cost claims or numerous aggregate claims over the term will be reimbursed by the stop-loss insurance.

Strategic Risk

Potential risk exposure resulting from a corporate or investment strategy that turns out to be defective or inappropriate.


The organization or individual that assumes responsibility if the debtor defaults or cannot make payments. A guarantor.

Third Party Administrators (TPAs)

An administrative group that handles group insurance policies for an employer. They work between the insurer and the insured to communicate information, process claims and determine eligibility.

Texas House Bill 300

Signed into Texas Law in 2011, this bill places stricter requirements on patient privacy than HIPAA laws while expanding the definition of covered entities.


The Texas Department of Transportation is a government organization that manages roads and transportation in the state of Texas. In addition to roads, they oversee aviation, rail and public transportation.

Umbrella Liability

Insurance that covers the policyholder against damages resulting from claims that exceed the limits of their general liability insurance, which would otherwise have to be covered out of pocket.

Voluntary Accident Policies

An optional insurance policy available to full-time employees that covers them for damages related to accidental loss of life, dismemberment or paralysis, whether injuries occurred on or off the job.

Workers’ Compensation

A state-sponsored program that protects employees through financial compensation in the event that they are injured or disabled in the course of their employment.

Wrap Up Program

A large-scale liability insurance policy that covers all contractors and subcontractors working on a site. Typically, a Wrap Up Program is used on large projects costing over $10 million and can be owner or contractor controlled. See also (OCIP, CCIP and ROCIP)