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  • HURRICANE PREPARATION TIPS AND HELPFUL WEB PAGES: Federal alliance for safe Homes
    National Hurricane Center Page
    FEMA-Before & After a Disaster.
    US SECURITY AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC).-

    Actual Cash Value.- The current market value of lost or damaged property at the time of a covered loss. For example, a three-year-old car’s value is based on similar three-year-old cars selling on a used car lot. In a home insurance policy, actual cash value is the replacement cost of the property, less depreciation; the balance is reimbursed upon replacement of the property.

    Actuary.- An insurance professional skilled in the analysis, evaluation and management of statistical information. Evaluates insurance firm’s reserves, determines rates and rating methods, and determines other business and financial risks.

    Additional Insured.- An individual or organization covered by an insurance policy other than the named policyholder. In a car insurance policy, anyone who drives your car with your consent is an additional insured. In a home insurance policy, a mortgage company may be listed as an additional insured.

    Adjuster.- An individual employed by a property/casualty insurer to evaluate losses and settle policyholder claims. These adjusters differ from public adjusters, who negotiate with insurers on behalf of policyholders, and receive a portion of a claims settlement. Independent adjusters are independent contractors who adjust claims for different insurance companies.

    Appraisal.- An evaluation by a claims representative or appraiser estimating the amount of damage to your property or vehicle, and the cost to repair the property or vehicle, or, in the worst-case scenario, the determination of a complete loss.

    Bodily Injury.- Injury to the body of a person. In insurance, people often refer to Bodily Injury as the liability coverage afforded for financial protection against injury to a person resulting from an accident for which the insured is alleged to be legally responsible.

    Cancellation.- The termination of insurance coverage during the policy period. Flat cancellation is the cancellation of a policy as of its effective date, without any premium charge.

    Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Emergency Assessment.- Citizens is responsible for paying hurricane and other covered claims to its policyholders. If Citizens funds are depleted after a catastrophic event, resulting in a deficit, assessments are levied according to Florida law. This ability to levy assessments provides Citizens with resources to pay claims after an event. Below is a summary of the Emergency Assessment.

    • A broad base of property and casualty policyholders, including Citizens policyholders, is assessed directly by their insurer at renewal.
    • For each of the 3 Citizens accounts, this assessment may not be more than 10 percent of the policy premium or 10 percent of the remaining deficit, whichever is greater. That means that assessable policyholders could be assessed a maximum of 30 percent of assessable premium if there is a deficit in each of the 3 Citizens accounts. The Emergency Assessment can be spread over multiple years, which could reduce the burden on Florida policyholders.

    Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Regular Assessment.- Citizens is responsible for paying hurricane and other covered claims to its policyholders. If Citizens funds are depleted after a catastrophic event, resulting in a deficit, assessments are levied according to Florida law. This ability to levy assessments provides Citizens with resources to pay claims after an event. Below is a summary of the Regular Assessment.

    • A broad base of licensed Florida property and casualty insurance companies, including property and automobile insurers are assessed if a deficit remains.
    • These companies are required to remit their share of the Regular Assessment to Citizens within 30 days of the levy and are permitted to recoup this amount by passing it on their policyholders at renewal.
    • Insureds who purchase coverage from surplus lines insurers are also subject to the regular assessment.
    • This assessment can be up to 6 percent per account of assessable premium. That means that assessableinsurers, and thus their policyholders, could be assessed a maximum of 18 percent of assessable premium if there is a deficit in all 3 of Citizens’ accounts.
    • This assessment is a one-time assessment.
    • Citizens policyholders are not charged this assessment.
    • If the Citizens Policyholder Surcharge and the Regular Assessment do not cure a deficit for any account, the Emergency Assessment is levied.

    Catastrophe.- A sudden, severe disaster that results in a large amount of damage and causes a high number of car and home insurance claims.

    Claim.- A request for payment under an insurance contract due to a covered loss or accident.

    Conditions.- Provisions that set forth the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the parties to an insurance contract.

    Additional Living Expense.- If you are temporarily unable to live in your home because of a covered loss, an additional living expense is any necessary increase in living expenses you incur, so your household can maintain its normal standard of living.

    Damages.- A sum of money that a party is legally obligated to pay to another as compensation for property damage or injury.

    Declarations.- The part of the policy that provides detailed information about the policyholder, the insurer, and the various coverages provided by the policy.

    Deductible.- The amount of a claim that you agreed to pay at the time you purchased insurance. This amount is deducted from a claims payment.

    Effective Date.- The date coverage begins under an insurance contract (policy). An endorsement, which modifies coverage, may also have an effective date.

    Endorsement.- An endorsement is attached to your policy to modify the terms of the insurance contract. It can amend your policy to cover unique items or circumstances. An endorsement can also represent a change to a policy that is made during the policy’s term.

    Exclusion.- Part of an insurance contract that excludes coverage of certain risks, persons, property, or locations.

    Expiration Date.- The ending date of an insurance contract (policy).

    Fire Insurance.- Part of your homeowner’s policy, insuring against direct loss by fire, lightning, and other defined causes.

    Independent Agent.- Contractor who represents different insurance companies and who searches the market for the best coverage based on a client’s insurance needs.

    Insuring Agreements.- Part or parts of an insurance policy that state the various coverages provided by the policy.

    Hazard.- Situation or condition that increases the possibility or extent of a loss, such as flammable liquid kept on your property or downspouts pouring onto a driveway or walkway.

    Insurance to Value.- The amount of coverage provided by your policy compared with the replacement value of the property.

    Liability Insurance.- If you injure someone, or damage someone’s property, in a car or other accident, liability insurance protects you for covered losses up to your liability limit.

    Limit of Liability.- The maximum amount available under your policy for covered losses.

    Loss.- A car accident or damage to your home covered by your insurance policy, the amount sought in a claim, or the amount paid on your behalf under an insurance contract. A partial loss is a loss that does not completely destroy your property.

    Loss of Use Insurance.- Compensation for loss you incur due to the inability to use your property or vehicle.

    Mortgage or Loss Payee Clause.- A clause in your insurance policy that makes a claim jointly payable to you and your lender.

    Named Insured.- The person or persons named as insureds in the policy declarations. Additional persons or entities may also be added as additional named insureds under certain circumstances.

    Medical Payments Insurance.- In certain states, Medical Payments insurance is a coverage under which an insurer agrees to pay, up to a specified limit, for medical, surgical, hospital, and funeral expenses, regardless of liability.

    Ordinance or Law Coverage.- Coverage for the additional loss caused by the enforcement of laws that regulate building repair or construction.

    Peril.- The cause of a possible loss. For example, fire, theft, or hail.

    Policy.- A formal written contract of insurance. The policy includes your declarations and all endorsements.

    Policyholder.- The person or persons to whom a policy is issued who agrees to pay a premium to an insurer in return for the insurer’s promise to provide specified insurance protection.

    Premium.- The amount that you agree to pay to the insurance company for an insurance policy.

    Premium Financing.- A policyholder contracts with a lender to pay the insurance premium on his/her behalf. The policyholder agrees to repay the lender for the cost of the premium, plus interest and fees.

    Property Damage.- Damage to a car or someone else’s personal property resulting from an accident that may be covered by an insurance policy.

    Property Insurance.- Part of home, condominium or renters insurance, this is first party personal property insurance against physical loss or damage.

    Renewal.- A policy issued to replace one that has expired.

    Replacement Cost.- Coverage for the cost of replacing your car or property with new materials in the event of a covered loss.

    Quote.- An estimate of the cost of insurance, based on information supplied to the insurance company by the applicant.

    Subrogation.- When an insurance company pays money to you, for a loss caused by another person, the insurance company has the right to recover that money from the party that was legally at fault for the loss. This typically includes money paid for property damage, medical expenses and rental expenses. As part of this process, your insurer will reimburse the appropriate percentage of your deductible to you based on the amount recovered.

    Total Loss.- An accident or event that leaves your car or home irreparable by insurance company standards.

    Scheduled Property.- Listing specific personal property for a stated policyholder value. This is usually considered for valuable items that are subject to limited coverage.

    Underwriting.- The process of selecting applicants for insurance and classifying them according to their degrees of insurability so that the appropriate premium rates may be charged.