Cut through the insurance jargon

Find out the meaning of some technical insurance terms here.

Actuary

Actuaries use mathematics and statistics to evaluate the risk of something happening, how much it costs to finance that risk, and how much your premium should cost. They help insurance companies design insurance cover, and advise them on the level of financial reserves needed to meet claims.

Assessor

Also known as a loss adjuster. When you lodge your claim, the assessor who is acting for the insurer, helps approve the claim by checking the details to see if it’s valid and meets the terms and conditions of your policy. Sometimes the assessor will need to ask more questions, inspect the property, or talk to whoever else is involved in the claim, such as another driver, a neighbour, or police.

APRA

The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority is the prudential regulator of Australia’s financial services industry. It oversees insurers and other financial services businesses such as banks, life insurers and superannuation funds. It regulates these companies to make sure they manage their risks in a way that ensures they can pay policyholder claims and minimise the likelihood of financial losses. To learn more visit www.apra.gov.au.

ASIC

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission is the corporate, markets and financial services regulator. It ensures financial markets are fair and transparent, supported by confident and informed investors and consumers. It also enforces the law, including the Insurance Contracts Act 1984. ASIC’s consumer website is: www.moneysmart.gov.au.

Accidental damage

This form of insurance cover is for an unintentional one-off incident that causes damage to your property or its contents. For example, accidentally spilling red wine over your new white carpet. It doesn’t cover general wear and tear, or damage that occurs over a long time.

Agreed value

The amount for which you and your insurer agree to insure your motor vehicle. You might choose this if your vehicle is fairly new, has modifications, is in better-than-normal condition or has extras not factored into its normal market value. Agreed value policies are usually more expensive than market value policies. Deciding between them depends on your financial circumstances, the value you place on your car, the level of risk you’re willing to accept and the certainty you need, and other factors such as whether your vehicle is under finance.

Asset

An asset in insurance terms is something with monetary value that is covered by an insurance policy, such as a car or a property. Under that policy, the insurer must compensate the policyholder (in accordance with the policy’s terms and conditions) if the asset is damaged or destroyed and the policyholder makes a claim.

Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)

This is an external dispute resolution service that is not for profit and provides free, fair and impartial services to consumers and financial service providers such as insurers where they are unable to resolve their disputes. Click here for more information on resolving disputes.

Benefit

This is what you receive from your insurer when your claim is agreed and processed. You may have the damage to your property repaired, or the insurer may give you the money. It’s often called a settlement or payout.

Broker

An insurance broker is a specialist who works for you to find the most appropriate insurance products to suit your needs. Brokers know the market well, so on your behalf they get the quotes, read the fine print, negotiate deals and explain what it means for you. They’re especially useful if you are in the market for a few insurance products or have more complex requirements.

Building Code of Australia (building standards)

A nationally accepted and uniform set of technical requirements for all areas of building, which allows for variations of climate, geography and geology. For more information visit: http://www.abcb.gov.au.

Business days

The official working days of a week, excluding public holidays.

Insurance Terms and their meanings from https://understandinsurance.com.au/glossary

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