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Definition of Insurance Act
In Canada, a general statute that contains most of the insurance law of a common law province, and regulates the conduct of insurers and insurance agents within the province.
This is the person who benefits from the terms of a trust, a will, an RRSP, a RRIF, a LIF, an annuity or a life insurance policy. In relation to RRSP's, RRIF's, LIF's, Annuities and of course life insurance, if the beneficiary is a spouse, parent, offspring or grand-child, they are considered to be a preferred beneficiary. If the insured has named a preferred beneficiary, the death benefit is invariably protected from creditors. There have been some court challenges of this right of protection but so far they have been unsuccessful. See "Creditor Protection" below. A beneficiary under the age of 18 must be represented by an individual guardian over the age of 18 or a public official who represents minors generally. A policy owner may, in the designation of a beneficiary, appoint someone to act as trustee for a minor. Death benefits are not subject to income taxes. If you make your beneficiary your estate, the death benefit will be included in your assets for probate. Probate filing fees are currently $14 per thousand of estate value in British Columbia and $15 per thousand of estate value in Ontario.
The creditor proof status of such things as life insurance, non-registered life insurance investments, life insurance RRSPs and life insurance RRIFs make these attractive products for high net worth individuals, professionals and business owners who may have creditor concerns. Under most circumstances the creditor proof rules of the different provincial insurance acts take priority over the federal bankruptcy rules.
Better known as CDIC, this is an organization which insures qualifying deposits and GICs at savings institutions, mainly banks and trust companys, which belong to the CDIC for amounts up to $60,000 and for terms of up to five years. Many types of deposits are not insured, such as mortgage-backed deposits, annuities of duration of more than five years, and mutual funds.
In medical insurance, the insured person and the insurer sometimes share the cost of services under a policy in a specified ratio, for example 80% by the insurer and 20% by the insured. By this means, the cost of coverage to the insured is reduced.
Also known as "Dead Janitors insurance", this is the practice, where allowed, in several U.S. states, of numerous well known large American Corporations taking out corporate owned life insurance policies on millions of their regular employees, often without the knowledge or consent of those employees. Corporations profiting from the deaths of their employees [and sometimes ex-employees] have attracted adverse publicity because ultimate death benefits are seldom, even partially passed down to surviving families.
insurance that pays you an ongoing income if you become disabled and are unable to pursue employment or business activities. There are limits to how much you can receive based on your pre-disability earnings. Rates will vary based on occupational duties and length of time in a particular industry. This kind of coverage has a waiting period before you can begin collecting benefits, usually 30, 60 or 90 days. The benefit paying period also varies from 2 years to age 65. A short waiting period will cost more that a longer waiting period. As well, a long benefit paying period will cost more than a short benefit paying period.
insurance coverage purchased by the agent/broker which provides protection against loss incurred by a client because of some negligent act, error, oversight, or omission by the agent/broker.
This is a very common form of life insurance which is found in employee benefit plans and bank mortgage insurance. In employee benefit plans the form of this insurance is usually one year renewable term insurance. The cost of this coverage is based on the average age of everyone in the group. Therefore a group of young people would have inexpensive rates and an older group would have more expensive rates.
This is a type of insurance for which the cost is distributed evenly over the premium payment period. The premium remains the same from year to year and is more than actual cost of protection in the earlier years of the policy and less than the actual cost of protection in the later years. The excess paid in the early years builds up a reserve to cover the higher cost in the later years.
Commonly sold in the form of reducing term life insurance by lending institutions, this is life insurance with a death benefit reducing to zero over a specific period of time, usually 20 to 25 years. In most instances, the cost of coverage remains level, while the death benefit continues to decline. Re-stated, the cost of this kind of insurance is actually increasing since less death benefit is paid as the outstanding mortgage balance decreases while the cost remains the same. Lending institutions are the most popular sources for this kind of coverage because it is usually sold during the purchase of a new mortgage. The untrained institution mortgage sales person often gives the impression that this is the only place mortgage insurance can be purchased but it is more efficiently purchased at a lower cost and with more flexibility, directly from traditional life insurance companies. No matter where it is purchased, the reducing term insurance death benefit reduces over a set period of years. Most consumers are up-sizing their residences, not down-sizing, so it is likely that more coverage is required as years pass, rather than less coverage.
The split dollar concept is usually associated with cash value life insurance where there is a death benefit and an accumulation of cash value. The basic premise is the sharing of the costs and benefits of a life insurance policy by two or more parties. Usually one party owns and pays for the insurance protection and the other owns and pays for the cash accumulation. There is no single way to structure a split dollar arrangement. The possible structures are limited only by the imagination of the parties involved.
Temporary insurance coverage is available at time of application for a life insurance policy if certain conditions are met. Normally, temporary coverage relates to free coverage while the insurance company which is underwriting the risk, goes through the process of deciding whether or not they will grant a contract of coverage. The qualifications for temporary coverage vary from insurance company to insurance company but generally applicants will qualify if they are between the ages of 18 and 65, have no knowledge or suspicions of ill health, have not been absent from work for more than 7 days within the prior 6 months because of sickness or injury and total coverage applied for from all sources does not exceed $500,000. Normally a cheque covering a minimum of one months premium is required to complete the conditions for this kind of coverage. The insurance company applies this deposit towards the cost of a policy at its issue date, which may be several weeks in the future.
A plan of insurance which covers the insured for only a certain period of time and not necessarily for his or her entire life. The policy pays a death benefit only if the insured dies during the term.
Sometimes, simply called YRT, this is a form of term life insurance that may be renewed annually without evidence of insurability to a stated age.
Provides additional financial security should an insured person be dismembered or lose the use of a limb as the result of an accident.
One who uses statistical information to evaluate the probability of future events and prices insurance products.
Amortization (Credit Insurance)
Refers to the reduction of debt by regular payments of interest and principal in order to pay off a loan by maturity.
Beneficiary (Credit Insurance)
The person or party designated to receive proceeds entitled by a benefit. Payment of a benefit is triggered by an event. In the case of credit insurance, the beneficiary will always be the creditor.
Borrower (Credit Insurance)
A consumer who borrows money from a lender.
Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA)
An association of most of the life and health insurance companies in Canada that conducts research and compiles information about the life and health insurance industry in Canada.
Child Insurance Rider (CIR)
insurance or insurability provided on current or future children of insured.
Commercial Business Loan (Credit Insurance)
An agreement between a creditor and a borrower, where the creditor has loaned an amount to the borrower for business purposes.
Cost of Insurance
The cost of insuring a particular individual under the policy. It is based on the amount of coverage, as well as the underwriting class, age, sex and tobacco consumption of that individual.
Creditor (Credit Insurance)
A lender or lending institution that offers financing and loans to a borrower, for the purpose of acquiring a commodity.
Critical Illness Insurance
Coverage that provides a lump-sum payment should you be diagnosed with a critical illness and survive a pre-determined period of time. There are no restrictions on how you use your benefit.
Critical Illness Insurance (Credit Insurance)
Coverage that provides a lump-sum payment should you become seriously ill with a specified illness. The payment is made to your creditors to pay off your debt owing.
Debt (Credit Insurance)
Money, goods or services that someone is obligated to pay someone else in accordance with an expressed or implied agreement. Debt may or may not be secured.
Disability Insurance (Credit Insurance)
Group insurance designed to cover monthly obligations due to a borrower being unable to work due to sickness or injury.
Life insurance or annuity product in which the cash value and benefit level fluctuate according to the performance of an equity portfolio.
insurance that is offered to individuals rather than groups.
Insurance Policy (Credit Insurance)
A policy under which the insurance company promises to pay a benefit of the person who is insured.
Job Loss Insurance (Credit Insurance)
Coverage that can pay down your debt should you become involuntarily unemployed. The payment is made to your creditors to reduce your debt owing.
Lease (Credit Insurance)
Contract granting use of real estate, equipment or other fixed assets for a specified period of time in exchange for payment. The owner or a leased property is the lessor and the user the lessee.
Lender (Credit Insurance)
Individual or firm that extends money to a borrower with the expectation of being repaid, usually with interest. Lenders create debt in the form of loans. Lenders include financial institutions, leasing companies government lending agencies and automobile dealers.
insurance that provides protection against an economic loss caused by death of the person insured.
Life Insurance (Credit Insurance)
Group Term life insurance that pays or reduces the balance due on a loan if the borrower dies before the loan is repaid.
Mortgage Life insurance (Credit Insurance)
Decreasing term life insurance that provides a death benefit amount corresponding to the decreasing amount owed on a mortgage.
Mortgage (Credit Insurance)
An agreement between a creditor and a borrower, where the creditor has loaned an amount to the borrower for purposes of purchasing a loan secured by a home.
Personal Line of credit (Credit Insurance)
A bank's commitment to make loans to a borrower up to a specified maximum during a specific period, usually one year.
Pre-existing medical condition (Credit Insurance)
A medical condition that existed before you became insured. Most policies exclude benefits if the condition is related to the event that triggers a claim if occurs within a certain period (6-12 months) after you became insured.
Premium (Credit Insurance)
Annual or monthly amounts payable, by a client, for a selected insurance coverage to insure debt obligations to their creditors are protected.
Refinancing (Credit Insurance)
Extending the maturity date or increasing the amount of existing debt or both. Also, revising a payment schedule, usually to reduce the monthly payments and often to modify interest charges.
Process in which the risk of potential loss is shared between two or more insurers.
Strike Insurance (Credit Insurance)
Coverage that can pay down your debt should you become unemployed due to a legal strike in your place of work. The payment is made to your creditors to reduce your debt owing.
Terminal Illness Insurance (Credit Insurance)
Coverage that provides a lump-sum payment should you become terminally ill. The payment is made to your creditors to pay off your debt owing.
Waiting Period (Credit Insurance)
A specific time that must pass following the onset of a covered disability before any benefits will be paid under a creditor disability policy. (Also known as an elimination period).
Certificate of Search or Abstract of Title
A document setting out instruments registered against the title to the property, e.g. deed, mortgages, etc.
CMHC or GEMICO Insurance Premium
Mortgage insurance insures the lender against loss in case of default by the borrower. Mortgage insurance is provided to the lender by CMHC or GEMICO and the premium is paid by the borrower.
Before a mortgage can be advanced, the purchaser must have arranged fire insurance. A certificate or binder from the insurance company may be required on closing.
Mortgage Critical Illness Insurance
Mortgage Critical Illness insurance is available as an enhancement to Mortgage Life insurance. It is usually underwritten by the Assurance Company. Complete details of benefits, exclusions and limitations are contained in the Certificate of insurance. It is recommended for all mortgagors. It can pay off your mortgage -- up predefined limit -- if you are diagnosed with life-threatening cancer, heart attack or stroke.
Mortgage Life Insurance
A form of reducing term insurance recommended for all mortgagors. If you die, have a terminal illness, or suffer an accident, the insurance can pay the balance owing on the mortgage. The intent is to protect survivors from the loss of their homes.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
insurance that protects mortgage lenders against default on loans by providing a way for mortgage companies to recoup the costs of foreclosure. PMI is usually required if the down payment is less than 20 percent of the sale price. Home buyers pay for the coverage in monthly installments. PMI should be terminated when the home buyer has built up 20 percent equity in the property.
insurance that protects against loss from disputes over ownership of a property. A policy may protect the mortgage lender, the home buyer, or both.
Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities act which gives civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications.
Builder's Risk Insurance
insurance coverage on a construction project during construction, including extended coverage that may be added for the contract for the customer's protections.
A contract which provides an income for a specified period of time, such as a certain number of years or for life. An annuity is like a life insurance policy in reverse. The purchaser gives the life insurance company a lump sum of money and the life insurance company pays the purchaser a regular income, usually monthly.
A signed statement of facts made by a person applying for life insurance and then used by the insurance company to decide whether or not to issue a policy. The application becomes part of the insurance contract when the policy is issued.
Back To Back Annuity
This term refers to the simultaneous issue of a life annuity with a non-guaranteed period and a guaranteed life insurance policy [usually whole life or term to 100]. The face value of the life insurance would be the same amount that was used to purchase the annuity. This combination of life annuity providing the highest payout of all types of annuities, along with a guaranteed life insurance policy allowed an uninsurable person to convert his/her RRSP into the best choice of annuity and guarantee that upon his/her death, the full value of the annuity would be paid tax free through the life insurance policy to his family members. However, in the early 1990's, the Federal tax authorities put a stop to the issuing of standard life rates to rated or uninsurable applicants. Insuring a life annuity in this manner is still an excellent way to provide guaranteed tax free funds to family members but the application for the annuity and the application for the life insurance are separate transactions and today, most likely conducted through two different insurance companies so that there is no suspicion of preferential treatment given to the life insurance application.
As the term dividend relates to a corporation's earnings, a dividend is an amount paid per share from a corporation's after tax profits. Depending on the type of share, it may or may not have the right to earn any dividends and corporations may reduce or even suspend dividend payments if they are not doing well. Some dividends are paid in the form of additional shares of the corporation. Dividends paid by Canadian corporations qualify for the dividend tax credit and are taxed at lower rates than other income.
This clause in regular life insurance policy provides for voiding the contract of insurance for up to two years from the date of issue of the coverage if the life insured has failed to disclose important information or if there has been a misrepresentation of a material fact which would have prevented the coverage from being issued in the first place. After the end of two years from issue, a misrepresentation of smoking habits or age can still void or change the policy.
In England in the 1700's it was popular to bet on the date of death of certain prominent public figures. Anyone could buy life insurance on another's life, even without their consent. Unfortunately, some died before it was their time, dispatched prematurely in order that the life insurance proceeds could be collected. In 1774, English Parliament passed a law which restricted the right to be a beneficiary on a life insurance contract to those who would suffer an economic loss when the life insured died. The law also provided that a person has an unlimited insurable interest in his own life. It is still a legal stipulation that an insurance contract is not valid unless insurable interest exists at the time the policy is issued. Life insurance companies will not, however, issue unlimited amounts of coverage to an individual. The amount of life insurance which will be approved has to approximate the loss caused by the death of the individual and must not result in a windfall for the beneficiary.
This is a telephone interview of the person applying for life insurance conducted by someone from the underwriting department of the insurance company. Some insurance companies only sporadically contact applicants and some contact every applicant. On average the interview lasts between 15 to 30 minutes. The questions asked relate to personal habits (like smoking and alcohol consumption) and finances, including income and net worth, confirmation of employment, duties and the nature of the applicant's business. In addition, there are questions about driving, sports, aviation and currently held insurance. All information obtained is strictly confidential and is submitted solely to the underwriter for review.
This refers to the termination of an insurance policy due to the owner of the policy failing to pay the premium within the grace period [Usually within 30 days after the last regular premium was required and not paid]. It is possible to re-instate the coverage with the same premium and benefits intact but the life insured will have to qualify for this coverage all over again and bring up to date all unpaid premiums.
This refers to the practice of some life insurance companies to offer policies which are lower in price because they have assumed a high probability that the policies will be cashed in by their owners for one reason or another before the death benefit becomes available. It is a bold and risky offer by the insurance company because sometimes the purchasers of these policies simply don't lapse them.
Some insurance companies include this benefit option at no cost to their policy holders. The insurer considers on a case to case basis, the need for insurance funds before death. If the insured can demonstrate a shortened life of less than two years and with some insurers one year, the insurer will consider releasing up to 50% or a maximum of $100,000 of the life insurance coverage held by the insured. Not all insurers offer this benefit for free. The need has resulted in specific stand alone living benefit/critical illness policies coming into existence. Look under "Different types of Life insurance" for further information. You might have heard of "Viatical Settlements", the practice of seriously ill people selling the rights to their life insurance policies to third parties. This practice is common in the United States but has not caught on in Canada.
In October 1996 it was announced in the international news that scientists had finally located the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. In the early 1980's, some Canadian Life insurance Companies had already started recognizing that non-smokers had a better life expectancy than smokers so commenced offering premium discounts for life insurance to new applicants who have been non-smokers for at least 12 months before applying for coverage. Today, most life insurance companies offer these discounts.
As non-smoking rates caused a major reduction in the cost of life insurance in the early 1980's, the emergence of preferred non-smoker rates in 1998 has caused another noteworthy reduction in rates. A growing number of insurance companies are offering better rates which go beyond simply looking at gender or smoking habits. Other health related factors such as physical build, lifestyle, avocation and personal and family health history indicating longer life expectancy can add up to significant cost savings to new life insurance applicants. Make certain to ask about these new preferred rates.
This subject of replacement of existing policies is covered because sometimes existing life insurance policies are unnecessarily replaced with new coverage resulting in a loss of valuable benefits. If someone suggests replacing your existing coverage, insist on having a comparison disclosure statement completed.
Sometimes called seg funds, segregated funds are the life insurance industry equivalent to a mutual fund with some differences.The term "Mutual Fund" is often used generically, to cover a wide variety of funds where the investment capital from a large number of investors is "pooled" together and invested into specific stocks, bonds, mortgages, etc.
Generally, a suicide clause in a regular life insurance policy provides for voiding the contract of insurance if the life insured commits suicide within two years of the date of issue of the coverage.
A type of life insurance or annuity first introduced by Lorenzo Tonti, a Neopolitan banker, in France in the 17th century. It consisted of a fund to which a group of persons contribute, the benefits ultimately accruing to the last survivor or to those surviving after a specified time, in equal shares. The only insurance plans available today which we are aware of that display characteristics of a tontine are some children's Registered Educational Savings Plans (RESP's). These plans generally stipulate that if the child who is covered under the plan does not use the accumulated savings to attend an accredited university, then only the principal invested is returned. All growth in the plan is held to be distributed to other plan holders who do go on to attend university.
This term relates to participating whole life insurance and the use of the dividend to reduce or completely eliminate the need for future premiums. In the 1980's life insurance company's profits from investment were exceedingly high compared to historical experience. It became common for a salesperson to show new prospective clients how quickly his or her insurance company's dividends would cover the future cost of future premiums. In some cases more emphasis was put on the value of future dividends than on the fact that future dividends were not guaranteed and could only be projected based on current earnings. Many life insurance buyers have since learned that the dividends they expected in the 80's no longer exist in the 90's and they are continuing to dig into their pockets to pay insurance premiums.
A dictionary meaning for the word viatica is "the eucharist as given to a dying person or to one in danger of death". In the context of Viatical Settlement it means the selling of one's own life insurance policy to another in exchange for an immediate percentage of the death benefit. The person or in many cases, group of persons buying the rights to the policy have high expectation of the imminent death of the previous owner. The sooner the death of the previous owner, the higher the profit. Consumer knowledge about this subject is poor and little is known about the entities that fund the companies that purchase policies. People should be very careful when considering the sale of their policy, and they should remember a sale of their life insurance means some group of strangers now owns a contract on their life. If a senior finds it difficult to pay for an insurance policy it might be a better choice to request that current beneficiaries take over the burden of paying the premium. The practice selling personal life insurance policies common in the United States and is spilling over into Canada. It would appear to have a definite conflict with Canada's historical view of 'insurable interest'.
Waiver of Premium
This is an option available to the applicant for life insurance which sets certain conditions under which an insurance policy will be kept in full force by the insurance company without the payment of premiums. Very specifically, a life insured would have to become totally disabled through injury or illness for a period of six months before the benefit kicks in. When it does, the insurance company retroactively pays premiums from the beginning of the disability until the time the insured is able to perform some form of regular activity. 'Totally disabled' is highlited here, because that is what is required to receive this benefit.
The act of changing from one type of life insurance policy to another, without having to give evidence of insurability.
A type of contract in which the amount of the benefit to be paid is based on the actual amount of financial loss determined at the time of the loss - for example, hospital expense insurance.
The party in an insurance contract that promises to pay a benefit if a specified loss occurs. Usually an insurance company.
An insurance company that accepts the risk transferred from another insurance company in a reinsurance transaction.
An attachment to an insurance policy that becomes part of the insurance contract and expands the benefits payable.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
The National Housing act (NHA) authorized Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to operate a Mortgage insurance Fund which protects NHA Approved Lenders from losses resulting from borrower default.
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