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Glossary of Terms


The certificate of insurance details the insurance cover the policyholder has specifically agreed to take out. In addition to the cover purchased any additional terms imposed by the insurer will be shown. These could be exclusions or conditions that the policyholder must comply with to ensure that their insurance remains valid.

The certificate of insurance is normally issued once the premium has been received (or monthly payments set up) and is issued with the terms and conditions of the policy.


An arrangement by which the insurer and the insured share, in a specified ratio, payment of losses covered by the policy after the excess has been paid. Sometimes also referred to as a co-payment


This indicates the amount of any claim that you will have to cover before the insurer will start to pay. For example if the value of your claim was £750 and your excess is £100 – you will pay the first £100 and the insurer will pay the difference, up to the sum insured, in this instance £650.

The excess amount will often affect the premium, a higher excess will often mean a lower premium as the insurance company decreases the potential payout in a claim.


Noted conditions or risks that are not covered under the policy

 Extension Periods

Apply to expired policies when cover is extended beyond the expiry date of the policy, normally 12 months from the date of the onset of a condition

 Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

Regulates the general insurance industry and authorises individual companies allowing them to sell insurance products. You can check on the regulation of a company by visiting the FCA’s website or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768

 Financial Ombudsman Service

The organisation that handles complaints by policyholders against insurance providers.

 Inception Date

This is the start date of the policy

 Insurance Agent

An intermediary who has a contract to sell and administer policies on behalf of the insurer.

 Insurance Broker

An Intermediary who acts on behalf of the client

 Limit of Indemnity

Refers to the insurer’s maximum liability in respect of any one event or series of events i.e. the total amount to which you are covered up to. In some cases you will be offered a choice to the limit of indemnity and in other instances it will be fixed.

 Market Value

The price at which the insured item would change ownership between a willing seller and a willing buyer, with both parties having reasonable knowledge of the facts.

 Period Of Insurance

The period of time covered by the policy as shown on the insurance certificate and policy documents for which the insurer agrees to insure you, normally this is 12 months.

 Pre-existing Conditions

Those conditions that manifested before the inception date and are therefore not covered by the insurance.


The amount payable by the insured to the insurer for the agreed cover, either a one off payment at the start of the policy or by monthly instalments

 Proposal Form

The basis of the contract between the insured and insurer. The insurer will ask questions in relation to the ‘risk’ to which the insured must answer fully and honestly. Failure to do so may void the cover in the event of a claim.


The point at which the insurer invites the policyholder to reinsure for a further year. Normally terms will be issued at least 6 weeks prior to your renewal date and will stipulate the terms of the new policy.


The payout received by the policyholder at the resolution of a claim and in line with the terms and conditions of the policy.

 Underwriter or the insurer

A Lloyd’s syndicate, insurance company or mutual insurer who accepts the risk that the insurance policy covers in return for payment of the premium. The underwriter/ insurer sets the rates and determines the terms and conditions of the policy.