Dictionary

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Umbrella Liability Policy

Provides broad coverage for an insured’s liability over and above liability covered by underlying contracts or retention limits.

Unauthorized Company

An insurer not permitted to sell insurance within a state, except for Surplus Lines or Reinsurance companies. All insurers must be “authorized,” which means they must obtain a Certificate of Authority from the state. However, Surplus Lines companies (such as Lloyds of London) and companies who “reinsure” other companies are exempt from this requirement. Most states allow Surplus Lines companies (who are “unauthorized”) to write the risks that authorized companies won’t take. Surplus Lines companies do not participate in the State Guarantee Fund or Association and are generally unregulated as to rates and policy forms used.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

Coverage on an Auto policy that stacks coverage for an insured onto inadequate coverage of an individual who negligently caused injury to that insured.

Underwriter

1) A salaried company employee trained in evaluating risks and selecting the proper rates and coverages. No license is required. 2) A producer, especially a Life-insurance producer, is considered to be a “Field Underwriter” or “Front Line Underwriter.” In theory, the producer is supposed to do some underwriting before submitting the application to the home office underwriter in order to assist in making a decision on the basis of known facts. The producer is required to report all facts known to him/her that might affect the risk. Remember, the producer represents the insurer, not the insured.

Underwriting

The process of evaluating a risk for the purpose of issuing insurance coverage on it. Also known as risk “classification.” The underwriter’s job is to select business that fits into the rate structure of the insurer, allowing the insurer to not only pay claims and expenses, but to make an underwriting profit.

Unearned Premium

That portion of an advance premium payment that has not yet been used for coverage written. Thus, in the case of an annual premium, at the end of the first month of the premium period, 11 months of the premium would still be “unearned.” So, if the insurer cancelled a Health policy that had an annual premium of $1,200 after one month on a pro-rata basis, they would have to refund $1,100 in unearned premium.

Uniform Simultaneous Death Act

A uniform law adopted by most states providing that if the Primary Beneficiary and the insured die in the same accident and there is no proof that the beneficiary outlived the insured, the proceeds are paid as if the Primary Beneficiary died first, which means that the proceeds are paid to the Contingent Beneficiary. Also known as the Common Disaster provision.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM)

Automobile Coverage designed to provide Bodily Injury protection for the insured should she be involved in an accident in which the driver at fault has no insurance to cover the loss.

Unoccupancy

The absence of person, return expected. Property coverage on a building is sometimes restricted when there are long periods of vacancy, but not unoccupancy.

Utmost Good Faith

A principle of insurance which states that the insurance company must be able to rely on the honesty and cooperation of the insured, and the insured must rely on the company to fulfill its obligations in good faith.