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Glossary of Insurance Terms

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Umbrella Liability Policy: A policy designed to provide additional protection against catastrophic losses covered under liability policies, such as the business auto policy, commercial general liability policy, watercraft and aircraft liability policies and employers liability coverage. It provides excess limits when the limits of the underlying liability policies are used up by the payment of claims and it drops down and picks up where the underlying policy leaves off when the aggregate limit of the underlying policy in question is exhausted by the payment of claims. It also provides protection against some claims not covered by the underlying policies, subject to a self-insured retention

Underinsured Motorists Coverage: Provides coverage for bodily injury, and in some states property damage, for losses incurred by an insured when an accident is caused by a motorist who does not have sufficient insurance limits

Underlying Coverage: The insurance or coverage in place on the same risk that will respond to loss before the excess policy is called on to pay any portion of the claim

Underwriter: Company receiving premiums and accepting responsibility for fulfilling the policy contract. Also, company employee who decides whether the company should assume a particular risk; or the agent who sells the policy

Uninsurable Risk: A person who is not acceptable for insurance due to excessive risk.

Universal Life: An interest-sensitive life insurance policy that builds cash values. The premium payer has control over how the policy is structured. He has the flexibility to eliminate the premiums (essentially pay up the policy and pay no more premiums) or have the premiums continue for life. It is a matter of juggling three variables: the assumed interest rate, the cash value and the premium payment plan. The policy is interest-sensitive, and if interest rates change from the assumed interest, it will affect the other two variables. In the past, many Universal Life Policies were structured assuming a higher interest rate then was actually received, therefore, most of them have under performed. If you have a Universal Life Policy, you should have it evaluated to see if it needs to have the premiums adjusted to get it back on track. A fourth variable that has not been a factor but could be in the future, and the owner should be aware of, is the Mortality variable. Universal Life policies are usually structured assuming current mortality rates. The insurance companies reserve the right to change those rates.

Unearned Premium: That portion of the policy premium that represents the unexpired policy term

Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Provides coverage for bodily injury, and in some states property damage, for losses incurred by an insured when an accident is caused by a motorist who is not insured

Utility Service Interruption Coverage: Coverage for the loss to an insured due to lack of incoming electricity which was caused by damage from a covered cause of loss, such as a fire or windstorm, to property away from the insured's premises - usually the utility generating station. Also referred to as 'off-premises power coverage'

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