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Use the Glossary

Most of us don't use financial terms everyday, so they can seem a bit confusing. To make life a little easier, we've explained all the financial terms we use in clear English for you. We hope this helps.

Accidental Death Benefits

This is usually a supplementary benefit that provides for an amount of money in addition to the basic death benefit of a life insurance policy. This additional amount is payable only if the insured dies as the result of an accident


A series of periodic benefit payments (either annual or monthly) that begins at retirement and continues throughout the participant's lifetime. A joint and survivor benefit wherein the participant's spouse will keep receiving annuities can also be provided.


The person(s) entitled to receive benefits under the given circumstances/ conditions stated in the Policy. The Beneficiary is stated in the policy application.


Integration of commercial banks into the field of insurance (mostly individual insurance); it is realized through the purchase of operating insurance companies and / or (if permitted by law) organization of a system for selling insurance policies through the extensive network of bank branches and affiliates.


Any payment made under the terms and conditions of the insurance contract.

Capital Growth Dividend

The insurance company may declare a Capital Growth Dividend on any anniversary of the policy. This dividend would apply only to policies that are in force and where all premiums due have been paid on such anniversary.

The Capital Growth Dividend can be in the form of an addition to the face amount of the policy, in which case, the benefits payable to you at the maturity of the policy or to the beneficiaries at death of the insured will increase.

Capital Growth Dividends will not be applied if the policy is cash-surrendered within twenty years from the policy date under the "Cash Surrender" provision of the policy.

Cash Value

In a whole life insurance policy, this is the amount of money that the policy holder will receive if he / she cancels the coverage and surrenders the policy to the insurance company. The Cash Value is determined by the insurance company on any date as equal to the Account Value on that date less any surrender charges and processing fees deducted upon surrender.

Policy owners can, in some cases and subject to the policy terms, borrow against the cash value of the policy. Also called "Cash Surrender Value".

Credit Life Insurance

Life insurance coverage on a borrower designed to repay the balance of a loan in the event the borrower dies before the loan is repaid. It may also include disablement and can be offered as an option in connection with credit cards and auto loans.

Critical Care Insurance

A type of individual health insurance that pays a lump-sum benefit when the insured is diagnosed with a specified illness. Also known as critical diagnosis insurance. Contrast with specified disease coverage.


The conditions which are not covered by the insurance policy and for which no insurance benefits will be paid by the insurance company.

Face Amount

This is the basic insurance amount shown on the "Policy Specification Schedule". The Insurance Company is obligated to pay this amount to the insured at maturity of the policy, if this is specified in the policy, or to the beneficiaries in case of death of the insured.

The amount is generally shown on the first page of the policy. It is also called "face value"

It does not include additional amounts payable under accidental death or other special provisions, or acquired through accumulation of funds


Grace Period

The grace period is applied when a premium payment on a policy is due but unpaid. In such cases, the insurance company looks at the Surrender Value of the policy as on the due date. If this surrender value is not sufficient to cover the premium amount due, then a grace period will be allowed for the policy holder to make the payment.

During this time (usually 31 days) the policy, including all riders, remains in force. If the premium is paid before the end of the grace period, the premium is considered to have been paid on time.

If the insured dies within the grace period, the amount of overdue premium will be deducted from the proceeds.

If the premium is not paid by the end of the grace period, all coverage under the policy will terminate and the policy will end without value.

Group Insurance

A single policy covering a group of individuals, usually employees of the same company or members of the same association and their dependents. Coverage occurs under a master policy issued to the employer or association.

Incontestability Provision

An insurance and annuity policy provision that limits the time within which an insurer has the right to avoid the contract on the ground of material misrepresentation in the application for the policy. Also known as incontestable clause. (See Contestable period; Time limit on certain defenses provision)


A person whose life or life and health are covered by an insurance contract and who is entitled to acquire Insurant’s rights and obligations under the Insurance Contract. It is not allowed to replace the Insured with another person as long as the insurance contract is valid.

Juvenile insurance policy

A life insurance policy purchased by an adult to cover the life of a minor child.


The termination of an insurance policy because a renewal premium is not paid by the end of the grace period.


Net Cash Value

This is an amount equal to the cash surrender value of a life insurance policy plus any paid-up additions, minus any existing indebtedness, including accrued interest and charges.

No lapse guarantee

This is an agreement by the insurance company to keep the policy in force, even if the Cash Value becomes zero or less than zero, provided you have made a specific minimum contribution to the plan within the stipulated time frame. The no-lapse guarantees are usually for a specific period of time.

Partial Withdrawal

Partial withdrawal refers to the act of withdrawing a portion of the account value. The partial withdrawal will result in a reduction in the account value to the extent of the amount withdrawn and any associated charges. Details regarding when partial withdrawals can be made, the related charges, the minimum and maximum withdrawal permitted etc vary from policy to policy and can be found in the policy contract.

Pension plan

A form of long-term investment, usually tax-exempt, wherein regular or periodic contributions made by employers and employees are invested in a pool of funds set aside for the employee's future retirement benefit. The capital and accrued interest will be paid at retirement either as a cash lump sum or in the form of annuities.


The Policyholder is the owner of the policy. This is the person who has the responsibility of paying the premiums to the insurance company. Usually the policyholder is the same person as the insured.

Pre-Existing Condition

(1) According to most group health insurance policies, a condition for which an individual received medical care during the three months immediately prior to the effective date of her coverage.

(2) According to most individual health insurance policies, an injury that occurred or a sickness that first appeared or manifested itself within a specified period—usually two years—before the policy was issued and that was not disclosed on the application for insurance.

Proof of loss

Documents showing the insurance company that a loss occurred.

Return of Premium

Return of Premium is a feature of certain policies whereby the policy holder is refunded, in part or in full, the premium that was paid during the lifetime of the policy on the date of maturity, if the covered risk does not materialise.


The process by which an insurer puts back into force an insurance policy that has either been terminated for nonpayment of premiums or reduced paid-up coverage.


An addition to an insurance policy that becomes part of the contract and that either expands or limits the benefits that would otherwise be paid under the policy terms.


Sum Insured

A sum of money specified by the terms and conditions of the Insurance Contract, within which the Insurer must make a payment to the Insured or Beneficiary, according to insurance provisions, if an insured event occurs.


A person authorized by an insurance company to analyze, accept for insurance (reinsurance) and decline all types of risks, as well as to classify selected risks for the purpose of receiving an optimal insurance premium for such risks.

Variable Life Insurance

A form of permanent life insurance in which premiums are fixed, but death benefits and other values may vary, reflecting the performance of the sub-accounts in an insurer’s separate account.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

A type of variable life insurance where the premiums are flexible and benefits fluctuate based on the value of underlying investments. Premiums and benefits are adjustable at the option of the policyholder.

Waiting Period

The length of time between when an injury or illness occurs and when the benefit payments are received from the insurer. Also known as the "elimination or qualifying period".

Waiver of Premium

This is a provision that waives the remaining premiums due in the event of death or permanent disability of the insured. It is usually offered in a supplementary contract.

The first premium so waived shall be the one falling due immediately after the date on which death or permanent disability occurs. The waiver of premium for disability remains in effect as long as the insured is disabled and premiums are due.

Whole Life Insurance

Life insurance with level premiums which might be kept in force for a person's whole life and which pays a benefit upon the person's death, whenever that might be.