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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 'w'

Waiting Period

The length of time an employee must wait from his/her date of employment or application for coverage, to the date his/her insurance is effective. See Elimination Period.


An agreement attached to a policy which exempts from coverage certain disabilities or injuries that otherwise would be covered by the policy.

Waiver of Premium

A provision in some policies to relieve the insured of premium payments falling due during a period of continuous total disability that has lasted for a specified length of time, such as three or six months.

Whole Life Insurance

Life insurance payable to a beneficiary at the death of the insured whenever that occurs. Premiums may be payable for a specified number of years (limited payment life) or for life (straight life).


The legal statement of a person's wishes concerning the disposal of his or her property after death.

Workers' Compensation

A system established under state law that provides payments, without regard to fault, to employees injured in the course and scope of their employment.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Insurance against liability imposed on certain employers to pay benefits and furnish care to employees injured, and to pay benefits to dependents of employees killed in the course of or arising out of their employment.

Written Premiums

The entire amount of premiums due in a year for all polices issued by an insurance company.

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