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Public Adjuster / Insurance Glossary

Actual Cash Value (ACV) – This is the fair market (actual cash) value of lost, stolen, or damaged property at the time of the loss. For example, if your car was initially worth $30,000 when you purchased it, the actual cash value of your car when it was stolen five years later would be based on what it was worth at the time of theft – not its original purchase price.

Adjuster – An insurance professional that assesses and estimates the property damage.

Claim – The notification you provide to your insurance company after suffering a loss that you believe is covered under your policy.

Company Adjuster – This type of insurance adjuster is an employee of an insurance company who assesses and estimates property damages and settles claims against the insurer.

Denial – An insurance company's refusal of a policyholder's claim.

Deductible – The portion of a loss that the insured must pay before the insurance benefits become payable. For example, if a policy has a $500 deductible, the insured pays the first $500 before the insurance company pays its benefits.

Depreciation – Property decreases in value over time due to age or wear and tear. Depreciation is this decrease in value.

Endorsement (also called a rider) – An endorsement is a change to an insurance policy adding or deleting specific coverage.

Exclusion – Insurance policies often contain exclusions which exclude specific items, damages, or causes of damage from coverage.

Independent Adjuster – An insurance adjuster that works independently for more than one insurance company. Much like a freelancer, an independent adjuster is not a regular employee of the company and is paid by the project.

Insured – The insured is the policyholder.

Insurer – The insurer is the insurance company.

Peril – A peril is the cause of a loss. For example, hailstones, hurricanes, and tornadoes are all perils that can cause insurance losses.

Policy – An insurance policy is a written insurance contract.

Policy Limit – The policy limit is the maximum amount that an insurance company will pay under an insurance policy's terms. These limits vary from one policy to another and can be in effect for the entire policy or for specific coverages.

Premium – The ongoing cost of the policy, often paid annually or monthly.

Proof of Claim – Written documentation that supports the amount or scope of a claimed loss such as medical bills, claims forms, or digital photos detailing the loss.

Proof of Loss – a sworn statement from the policyholder detailing the policyholder's knowledge and belief as to the date, time and cause of loss; the value of the property; the encumbrances on the property; the persons or entities with interest in the property (such as lenders); the amount of loss; and the amount of claim.

Rider (also called an endorsement) – A rider is a change to an insurance policy adding or deleting specific coverage.

Statute of Limitations – The time period between a loss date and the deadline for filing a lawsuit for a claim.