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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 'j'


Hazard covered under a Marine Cargo Insurance policy, defined as the throwing overboard of cargo when done to preserve property from loss. Coverage is not provided under this clause for goods jettisoned because of spoilage, such as foods, plants, hides, etc. (The spoilage may be covered under another clause, or another policy, which can be determined by consulting with your insurance agent). See also Cargo Insurance.

Jeweler's Block Insurance

Coverage designed to protect the insured's stock, property left with the insured for repair or other purposes, and the insured's interest in and legal liability for property on consignment from others in the jewelry trade. The policy is written on a special form. Some of the more prevalent perils covered are fire, open stock burglary, inside and outside holdup, safe burglary, theft, pilferage, kidnapping, shoplifting, window smashing, damage or loss of salesman's samples in transit, loss in transit by registered mail, water damage, sprinkler leakage, and smoke damage. See also Bailee Insurance

Joint Tenants

A form of joint property ownership with right of survivorship, i.e., in which the survivors automatically own the share of a deceased co-owner.

Joint Underwriting Association

A device used to provide insurance to those who cannot obtain insurance in the voluntary market. Certain companies (called carriers) issue policies at one rate and handle claims, but the ultimate costs are borne by all companies writing insurance in that state.

Joint-and-Several Liability

A legal principle that permits the injured party in a tort action to recover the entire amount of compensation due for injuries from any defendant who is able to pay, regardless of the degree of that party's negligence, once any liability by that defendant has been established.

Joint-and-Survivor Annuity

A contract that provides income periodically, payable during the longer lifetime of two persons. The amount payable may decrease at the death of one or the other. See Contingent Annuity Option.

Judgment Rating

Rate-making method for which each exposure is individually evaluated and the rate is determined largely by the underwriter's judgment.

Judicial Bond

Type of surety bond used for court proceedings and guaranteeing that the party bonded will fulfill certain obligations specified by law, for example, fiduciary responsibilities.

Jumbo Risk

A risk involving exceptionally high limits.

Jumping Juvenile Insurance Policy

Life insurance purchased by parents for children under a specified age. Provides permanent life insurance that increases in face value five times at age 21, with no increase in premium.

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