I – Glossary of Insurance Terms
This page provides a glossary of insurance terms and definitions that are commonly used in the insurance business. New terms will be added to the glossary over time.
The definitions in this glossary are developed by the NAIC Research and Actuarial Department staff based on various insurance references. These definitions represent a common or general use of the term. Some words and/or phrases may be defined differently by other entities, or used in a context such that the definition shown may not be applicable. naic.org
Incontestability Provision – a life insurance and annuity provision limiting the time within which the insurer has the legal right to void the contract on grounds of material misrepresentation in the policy application.
Incurred But Not Reported (IBNR) – (Pure IBNR) claims that have occurred but the insurer has not been notified of them at the reporting date. Estimates are established to book these claims. May include losses that have been reported to the reporting entity but have not yet been entered into the claims system or bulk provisions. Bulk provisions are reserves included with other IBNR reserves to reflect deficiencies in known case reserves. IBNR can sometimes include estimates of incurred but Not Enough Reported (IBNER)
Incurred Claims – paid claims plus amounts held in reserve for those that have been incurred but not yet paid.
Incurred Losses – sustained losses, paid or not, during a specified time period. Incurred losses are typically found by combining losses paid during the period plus unpaid losses sustained during the time period minus outstanding losses at the beginning of the period incurred in the previous period.
Indemnity, Principle of – a general legal principle related to insurance that holds that the individual recovering under an insurance policy should be restored to the approximate financial position he or she was in prior to the loss. Legal principle limiting compensation for damages be equivalent to the losses incurred.
Independent Adjuster – freelance contractor paid a fee for adjusting losses on behalf of companies.
Independent Agent – a representative of multiple insurance companies who sells and services policies for records which they own and operate under the American Agency System.
Independent Contractor – an individual who is not employed for a company but instead works for themselves providing goods or services to clients for a fee.
Index Annuity – an interest bearing fixed annuity tied to an equity index, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or S & P 500.
Individual Annuities – Deferred Variable – an annuity contract that provides an accumulation based fund where the accumulation varies in accordance with the rate of return of the underlying investment portfolio selected by the policyholder. Must include at least one option to have the accumulation vary in accordance with the rate of return of the underlying investment portfolio selected by the policyholder and may include at least one option to have the series of payments vary in accordance with the rate of return of the underlying investment portfolio selected by the policyholder. This annuity contract provides for the initiation of payments at some designated future date.
Individual Annuities – Immediate Variable – an annuity contract that provides for the first payment of the annuity at the end of the fixed interval of payment after purchase. The interval may vary, however the annuity payouts must begin within 13 months. The amount varies with the value of equities (separate account) purchased as investments by the insurance companies.
Individual Annuities – Special – contracts with certain noteworthy attributes.
Individual Annuities- Deferred Non-Variable and Variable – an annuity contract that provides an accumulation based on both (1) funds that accumulate based on a guaranteed crediting interest rates or additional interest rate applied to designated considerations, and (2) funds where the accumulation vary in accordance with the rate of return of the underlying investment portfolio selected by the policyholder. The contract provides for the initiation of payments at some designated future date.
Individual Annuities- Deferred Non-Variable – an annuity contract that provides an accumulation based on funds that accumulate based on a guaranteed crediting interest rate or additional interest rate. This annuity contract provides for the initiation of payments at some designated future date.
Individual Annuities- Immediate Non-Variable – an annuity contract that provides for the fixed payment of the annuity at the end of the first interval of payment after purchase. The interval may vary, however the annuity payouts must begin within 13 months.
Individual Annuities- Immediate Non-Variable and Variable – an annuity contract that provides an accumulation based on both (1) funds that accumulate based on a guaranteed crediting interest rates or additional interest rate applied to designated considerations, and (2) funds where the accumulation vary in accordance with the rate of return of the underlying investment portfolio selected by the policyholder. The contract provides for the initiation of payments at some interval that may vary, however the annuity payouts must begin within 13 months.
Individual Health – health insurance where the policy is issued to an individual covering the individual and/or their dependents in the individual market. This includes conversions from group policies.
Individual Credit – Credit Disability – makes monthly loan/credit transaction payments to the creditor upon the disablement of an insured debtor.
Individual Credit – Life – contracts sold in connection with loan/credit transactions or other credit transactions, which do not exceed a stated duration and/or amount and provide insurance protection against death.
Industrial Life – Industrial life insurance, also called “debit” insurance, is insurance under which premiums are paid monthly or more often, the face amount of the policy does not exceed a stated amount, and the words “industrial policy” are printed in prominent type on the face of the policy.
Inland Marine – coverage for property that may be in transit, held by a bailee, at a fixed location, a movable good that is often at different locations (e.g., off road constructions equipment), or scheduled property (e.g., Homeowners Personal Property Floater) including items such as live animals, property with antique or collector’s value, etc. This line also includes instrumentalities of transportation and communication, such as bridges, tunnels, piers, wharves, docks, pipelines, power and phone lines, and radio and television towers.
Insurable Interest – A right or relationship in regard to the subject matter of the insured contract such that the insured can suffer a financial loss from damage, loss or destruction to it. (Bickelhaupt and Magee )
Insurance – an economic device transferring risk from an individual to a company and reducing the uncertainty of risk via pooling.
Insurance Holding Company System – consists of two or more affiliated persons, one or more of which is an insurer.
Insurance Regulatory Information System (IRIS) – a baseline solvency screening system for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and state insurance regulators established in the mid-1970s.
Insurance to Value – Amount of insurance purchased vs. the actual replacement cost of the insured property expressed as a ratio.
Insured – party(ies) covered by an insurance policy.
Insurer – an insurer or reinsurer authorized to write property and/or casualty insurance under the laws of any state.
Intermediary – a person, corporation or other business entity (not licensed as a medical provider) that arranges, by contracts with physicians and other licensed medical providers, to deliver health services for a health insurer and its enrollees via a separate contract between the intermediary and the insurer.
International – includes all business transacted outside the U.S. and its territories and possessions where the appropriate line of business is not determinable.
Internet Liability Insurance/Cyber Insurance – coverage for cyber commerce including copyright infringement, libel, and violation of privacy.
Investment grade – the obligation has been determined to be in one of the top four generic lettered rating classifications by a securities rating agency acceptable to the commissioner, that the obligation has been identified in writing by such a rating agency to be of investment grade quality, or, if the obligation has not been submitted to any such rating agency, that the obligation has been determined to be investment grade (Class 1 and Class 2) by the Securities Valuation Office of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Investment Income Accrued – investment income earned as of the reporting date but not legally due to be paid to the reporting entity until subsequent to the reporting date.
Investment Income Due – investment income earned and legally due to be paid to the reporting entity as of the reporting date.
Investment Income Gross – shall be recorded as earned and shall include investment income collected during the period, the change in investment income due and accrued, the change in unearned investment income plus any amortization (e.g., discounts or premiums on bonds, origination fees on mortgage loans, etc.)
Irrevocable Beneficiary – a life insurance policy beneficiary who has a vested interest in the policy proceeds even during the insured’s lifetime because the policy owner has the right to change the beneficiary designation only after obtaining the beneficiary’s consent.