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Information about home, mortgage, insurance, homebuyer, real estate, property, buy home, home insurance, financing, home financing, home buyer, first time homebuyer, homes, homebuying, credit, condo.

 


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Home Terms Main Page

This site contains comprehensive definitions for a wide range of terms that cover topics such as home, mortgage, insurance, homebuyer, real estate, property, buy home, home insurance, financing, home financing, home buyer, first time homebuyer, homes, homebuying, credit, condo...

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Contingent Beneficiary

This is the person designated to receive the death benefit of a life insurance policy if the primary beneficiary dies before the life insured. This is a consideration when husband and wife make each other the beneficiary of their coverage. Should they both die in the same car accident or plane crash, the death benefits would go to each others estate and creditor claims could be made against them. Particularly if minor children could be survivors, then a trustee contingent beneficiary should be named.


Conversion Right

Term life insurance products are offered as non-convertible or convertible to a certain time in the future. The coversion right has a time limit, usually to the policy holder's age 60 or possibly even age 70. This right means that the policy holder has the right to convert their existing policy to another specific different plan of permanent insurance within the specified time period, without providing evidence of insurability. There is a slightly higher cost for a term policy with the conversion priviledge but it is a valuable feature should a policy holder's health change for the worst and continued insurance coverage becomes a necessity.
Most often this right is also granted to individuals covered under employee group benefit policies where individuals leaving the employee group have a limited amount of time, usually anywhere from 30 to 90 days, to convert to a specific permanent individual policy without evidence of insurability.


Insured Retirement Plan

This is a recently coined phrase describing the concept of using Universal Life Insurance to tax shelter earnings which can be used to generate tax-free income in retirement. The concept has been described by some as "the most effective tax-neutralization strategy that exists in Canada today."
In addition to life insurance, a Universal Life Policy includes a tax-sheltered cash value fund that cannot exceed the policy's face value. Deposits made into the policy are partially used to fund the life insurance and partially grow tax sheltered inside the policy. It should be pointed out that in order for this to work, you must make deposits into this kind of policy well in excess of the cost of the underlying insurance. Investment of the cash value inside the policy are commonly mutual fund type investments. Upon retirement, the policy owner can draw on the accumulated capital in his/her policy by using the policy as collateral for a series of demand loans at the bank. The loans are structured so the sum of money borrowed plus interest never exceeds 75% of the accumulated investment account. The loans are only repaid with the tax free death benefit at the death of the policy holder. Any remaining funds are paid out tax free to named beneficiaries.
Recognizing the value to policy holders of this use of Universal Life Insurance, insurance companies are reworking features of their products to allow the policy holder to ask to have the relationship of insurance to investment growth tracked so that investment growth inside the policy may be maximized. The only potential downside of this strategy is the possibility of the government changing the tax rules to prohibit using a life insurance product in this manner.


Non-Medical Limit

This is the maximum value of a policy that an insurance company will issue without the applicant taking a medical examination, although medical questions are invariably asked during the application process. When a non-medical issue is made through group insurance, in most cases, medical data is not requested at all.


Owner

This is the person who owns the insurance policy. It is usually the same person as the insured but it could be someone else who has the permission of the insured to be the owner, like a spouse, a common-law-spouse, an offspring, a parent, a corporation with insurable interest or a business partner with insurable interest. In order for someone else to be an owner of your policy, they have to have a legitimate insurable interest in you.


Accidental Death Benefit (ADB)

Coverage against accidental death usually payable in addition to base amount of coverage.



Child Insurance Rider (CIR)

Insurance or insurability provided on current or future children of insured.


Risk

Calculated chance of loss.


Amortization Period

The time over which all regular payments would pay off the mortgage. This is usually 25 years for a new mortgage, however can be greater, up to a maximum of 40 years.


Debt ratios

Also called debt-to-income ratio. It is the percentage of a person's monthly earnings used to pay off debt obligations. Lenders consider two ratios, constructed in slightly different ways. The first, called the front-end ratio, is the ratio of the monthly housing expenses -- including principal, interest, property taxes and insurance (PITI) is compared to the borrower's gross pretax monthly income. In the back-end ratio, a borrower's other debts, such as auto loans and credit cards, are also figured in. Lenders usually take both into account and set an acceptable ratio, which might be expressed as 33/39. Some lenders, and some lending qualifying agencies such as FHA, take only the back-end ratio into account.


Backing

Frame lumber installed between the wall studs to give additional support for drywall or an interior trim related item, such as handrail brackets, cabinets, and towel bars. In this way, items are screwed and mounted into solid wood rather than weak drywall that may allow the item to break loose from the wall. Carpet backing holds the pile fabric in place.


Balustrade

The rail, posts and vertical balusters along the edge of a stairway or elevated walkway.


Bonus Room

A room with no specifically designated function, unlike a living room, bedroom, or kitchen. Is not included in the initial square footage.


Eaves

The projecting overhang at the lower edge of a roof.


Square Footage, Living

The square footage in a home that is heated and/or cooled. The space occupied by two-story rooms and stairwells is counted once in the lower floor's square footage. Living square footage does not include garages, bonus rooms, or porches unless otherwise noted.


 

 

 

 

 



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