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     Glossary of insurance terms…


Balance Sheet:
An accounting term which refers to a listing of the assets, liabilities, and surplus of a company or individual as of a specific date:

Basic Limit:
Usually refers to Liability policies and indicates the lowest amount for which a policy can be written: This amount is either prescribed by law or company policy:

Basic Premium:

A fixed cost charged in a retrospective rating plan: It is a percentage of the standard premium and is designed to give the insurer the money needed for administrative expenses and the agent's commission plus an insurance charge: See also Retrospective Rating:

Basic Rate:
The manual rate from which discounts are taken or to which charges are added to reflect the individual circumstances of a risk:

Financial reimbursement and other services provided insureds by insurers under the terms of an insurance contract: An example would be the benefits listed under a Life or Health Insurance policy or benefits as prescribed by a Workers Compensation law:

An agreement executed by an agent or insurer (usually the latter) putting insurance into force before the contract has been written or the premium paid: This term is not usually used in Life Insurance: See also Cover note:

Birth Rate:
The number of births related to the total population in a given group during a period of time: It is usually expressed as births per 100,000 people in 1 year:

Blanket Contract:
See Blanket Insurance:

Book of Business:
A total of all insurance accounts written by a company or agent: It may be treated in different ways: For example: an insurer's book of automobile business, or an agent's overall book of business, or an agent's book of business with each insurer:

Book Value:
Refers to the value of assets as shown in the official accounting records of the company:

(1) A written report of individual cessions, usually detailed to show such items as reinsurance premiums or reinsurance losses with respect to specific risks: (2) A memorandum containing information concerning documents that accompany it: Used extensively in passing reinsurance from one insurer to another under a reinsurance agreement and by Property and Liability agents for passing information to various insurers on coverages written: (R,G)

Borderline Risk:
An insurance prospect of doubtful quality from an underwriting point of view:

An unfair trade practice which occurs when someone in the insurance business refuses to have business dealings with another until he or she complies with certain conditions or concessions:

Branch Manager:
An executive who manages a branch office for an insurer or an agency: See also Regional Office: Branch Office:

See Regional Office:
Brick Construction:
Refers to a building where at least 75% of the exterior walls are of some type of masonry construction, i:e:, brick, stone or hollow masonry tile, poured concrete or reinforced concrete, or hollow masonry block:

Brick Veneer Construction:
Refers to a building where the outside walls are constructed of wood with a facing of a single layer of brick:

One who represents an insured in the solicitation, negotiation or procurement of contracts of insurance, and who may render services incidental to those functions: By law the broker may also be an agent of the insurer for certain purposes such as delivery of the policy or collection of the premium:

Broker of Record:
A broker who has been designated to handle certain insurance contracts for the policyholder:

(1) The fee or commission received by a broker: (2) Insurance placed by brokers contrasted with that placed by agents:

Brokerage Business:
Business offered to an insurer by a broker: This is sometimes called excess or surplus business:

Brokerage Department:
A department of an insurer whose purpose is to deal with brokers in the placing of insurance:

One acting as an agent of one or more insurers and as a broker in dealing with one or more other insurers:

Building Code:
This refers to municipal or other governmental ordinances regulating the type of construction of buildings within its jurisdiction:

Refers to precious metals, such as gold, in the form of ingots or bars:
Bureau, Rating:

See Rating Bureau:

Burning Ratio:
The ratio of losses suffered to the amount of insurance in effect:

In Property, Liability, and Health lines, it usually refers to the volume of premiums:

"Buy-Back" Deductible:
A deductible which may be eliminated for an additional premium in order to provide "first-dollar" coverage:


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