GET A QUOTE
Select a Product

Zip Code
insurance journalInsurance Journal insurance blogInsurance Blog state healthcare guidesHealthcare State Guides auto state guidesAuto State Guides business insurance guidesBusiness Insurance Guides your policy termsInsurance Terms Glossary

Insurance Glossary - Understanding Common Terms

Our glossary is divided alphabetically by insurance term in a quick reference guide to assist understanding the language commonly used by insurance companies. Policy documents contain a number of these terms because they typically define the limitations of risk and liability on the insured and any exclusions of coverage.

If you plan to start a new policy or renew your current policy with a different carrier or agency, it is important to review and understand the policy differences behind individual quotes from multiple carriers.  Lower policy premiums may be the result of decreased payout benefits, higher deductibles, or maximum damages allowed.  It is important to identify these unique features in any policy comparison, otherwise a lower price may come at a much higher cost when you have to file a claim for loss or damages in the future.

Select the first letter of the word or term to locate a definition and brief description.  For example, to get help with the terms "Automobile Liability Insurance" or "Premium", select either the letter A or P from the menu bar below: 


Insurance Glossary: Terms that Begin with the Letter 'o'


Occupational Hazards

Occupations which expose the insured to greater than normal physical danger by the very nature of the work in which the insured is engaged, and the varying periods of absence from the occupation, due to the disability, that can be expected.

Occurrence

An accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general, harmful conditions, that results in bodily injury or property damage during the period of an insurance policy.

Occurrence Policy

A liability insurance policy that covers claims arising out of occurrences that take place during the policy period, regardless of when the claim is filed.

Ocean Marine Insurance

Coverage on all types of vessels, including liabilities connected with them, and on their cargoes.

Operating Ratio

The sum of expenses and losses expressed as a percent of earned premium.

Optionally Renewable Contract

A contract of health insurance in which the insurer reserves the right to terminate the coverage at any anniversary or, in some cases, at any premium due date, but does not have the right to terminate coverage between such dates.

Ordinance or Law Insurance

Coverage designed to provide protection against financial loss for (1) the loss of value of an undamaged portion of the existing building which must be demolished and/or removed to conform with municipal ordinance, code, etc. (2) the cost of demolition of the undamaged portions of the building necessitated by the enforcement of building, zoning or land use ordinance or law. (3) any increased expenses incurred to replace the building with one conforming to building laws or ordinances, or to repair the damaged building so that it meets the specifications of current building laws or ordinances.

Ordinary Life Insurance

Life insurance usually issued in amounts of $1,000 or more with premiums payable on an annual, semi-annual, quarterly or monthly basis. Compare Whole Life and Straight Life: The three terms are applied to the type of policy which continues during the whole of the insured's life and provides for the payment at death of an amount insured.

Other Car Insurance

Coverage designed to protect employees or executives of a company or any other person who is supplied a company vehicle, but who does not own a his or her own vehicle, therefore not having personal automobile coverage. The coverage is generally added by endorsement to the automobile policy of the company that furnishes the automobile, giving protection while the named individual or a member of his family is driving a car borrowed from a third party (other than the vehicle named in the policy).

Over-the-Counter Market

A means of buying and selling securities that are not listed on a stock exchange. Negotiations are carried out by telephone or computer network.

Overhead Expense Insurance

A special form of health insurance designed to help offset overhead expenses such as office rent, utilities, employees' wages, and auditors' fees, incurred during total disability. The monthly payments during disability are not a fixed amount of indemnity as on regular disability polices, but the amount of overhead expense actually incurred, or a percentage thereof, up to the limit specified in the policy.

Overhead Insurance

A type of short-term disability income contract that reimburses the insured person for specified, fixed monthly expenses, normal and customary in the operation and conduct of his/her business or office.

Overriding Commission (Overwrite)

A commission paid to general agents or agency managers in addition to the commission paid to the soliciting agent or broker.

Owner's or Contractor's Protective Liability Insurance

Coverage designed to provide for payment on behalf of the insured all damages the insured becomes legally obligated to pay due to bodily injury or property damage caused by an occurrence rising from (1) operations performed for the named insured by independent contractors, (2) acts or omissions of the named insured in connection with his/her general supervision of such operations. This does not include maintenance and repair at premises owned by or rented to the named insured, or structural alterations at such premises that do not involve changing the size of or moving buildings or other structures.


Don't see an insurance term listed here?  Ask Customer Service for assistance.