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Insurance Glossary

Struggling to understand your insurance policy? It probably contains words you're not familiar with. Use this insurance glossary to help.

Actual cash value (ACV) - Insurance replacement costs are often expressed as "actual cost value" or "ACV." If your policy bases replacement costs on ACV, the adjuster will determine what the lost item was worth at the time of loss and use that figure in his or her estimates. If the ACV is just $50, but you originally paid $900 for the item, you'll only get $50. Likewise, if the item would cost $900 to replace right now, but has an ACV of $50, you're only going to get $50 for it.

Denied claim - Insurance companies deny claims for any number of reasons. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible but the damage is only worth $300, you probably won't claim it. If you do, it will be denied. There's more at stake when larger sums of money are involved. If your claim has been denied for any reason, get Marco Island Public Adjusters involved.

Deductible - Insurance deductibles represent the out-of-pocket funds you must pay toward the insurance claim. If your policy has a $1,000 deductible, you are expected to $1,000 toward the claim. The insurance company will then kick in once the deductible has been met.

Depreciation - Your belongings are probably worth less today than they were worth when you first bought them. This is due to the decline in value, or depreciation, due to age, wear and tear, and market conditions.

Endorsement - Your insurance policy may or may not provide coverage for all of your belongings. For example, it probably limits coverage for fine jewelry and artwork. If you have jewelry worth more than the policy limits, you'd need to purchase additional coverage or take the risk of being underinsured. The additional coverage is known as an endorsement.

Exclusions - Typical homeowners insurance policies exclude some items, like earthquakes and mudslides, from coverage. These are known as exclusions.

Perils - A peril is a cause of an insurance loss such as a flood or tornado.

Policy limits - Wouldn't it be great if your insurance policy covered everything without limit? In the real world, policy limits are imposed. For instance, if your dwelling is covered for $400,000 and your personal belongings are covered for $80,000, the most the insurance company will pay toward dwelling-related losses would be $400,000, and the most it would pay toward your lost belongings would be $80,000.

Premiums - The premium is the cost of an insurance policy. You may pay your premiums monthly, quarterly, or yearly depending on the insurance company.

Statute of Limitations - This is the time period where you can file insurance lawsuits related to a loss.