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Glossary of Insurance Terms - U

Glossary of terms used in insurance - U

  1. Underwriter: The company that is responsible for the risk, premiums and policies offered to the individual.
  2. Usual, Customary and Reasonable or Covered Expenses: Costs which are covered by the insurance plan. These are usually recommended by the doctors or health care providers.
  3. Universal Health Care: This is a coverage provided to all individuals in an area. It is usually funded by the state through taxation.
  4. Utilization Management: This is a procedure that assesses health care based on necessity, quality and appropriateness. For hospital cases, it may include pre admission certification; discharge planning etc. It is also a standard of quality used by NCQA to examine the reasonableness of a service. It basically examines how well a plan is responding to the needs of its members.
  5. Utilization Review: This is a review conducted to determine the appropriateness of health care services.
  6. Urgent Care: This refers to a sudden unexpected injury or illness which requires outpatient services that cannot be postponed. Prompt medical attention is needed so that future complications may be avoided. These may include conditions like skin rashes and ear infections.
  7. Uninsurable Risk: An individual or group which cannot be provided insurance because of excessive risks.
  8. Umbrella Policy: This refers to the coverage provided to losses that are over and above that provided by policies such as homeowners’ policy and auto insurance. It basically covers losses over and above the dollar amount. However, terms of overage may be wider than the underlying policies also.
  9. Unbundled Contracts: This is a type of annuity contract that provides buyers with options to choose from a range of optional features.
  10. Underinsurance: This is the outcome of buying insufficient insurance. The buyer may only receive a part of the costs incurred due to damage or destruction of property.
  11. Underwriting: This refers to the process of examining and accepting or rejecting the risks relevant to insurance. It also includes classification of risks that are accepted and deciding on premiums for them.
  12. Under Writing Income: This refers to the profit earned by the insurer after the payments of due expenses and losses. When insufficient premiums have been generated, the result is a loss in underwriting. These losses are usually set off by investment incomes.
  13. Unearned Premium: This refers to a part of the premiums that have been already paid and the coverage for which has not yet been provided. The entire amount is not considered to be earned till the expiry of the policy even if the policy has been paid for in advance.
  14. Uninsured Motorists’ Coverage: This is a part of an auto insurance coverage provided against uninsured or hit and run drivers.
  15. Unaffiliated Investments: These are the unaffiliated investments that are reflected in the display of admitted assets. They may be stocks, mortgages, bonds, cash or real estate and interest accrued thereon. They do not include investment in affiliates and real estate occupied by the company.
  16. Underwriting Expenses Incurred: These are the expenses incurred on production of net premiums earned. They include net commissions, advertising and salary costs etc.
  17. Underwriting Expense Ratio: This refers to the part of the company’s net premiums written that went towards underwriting expenses. They may include commissions to brokers and agents, taxes to states and municipalities, salaries and employee benefits and other costs due to operations. The number is derived by calculating the ratio between underwriting expenses and net premiums written. Expense ratios differ with the different lines of business.
  18. Underwriting Guide: This is a guide which provides details on underwriting practices ad specific guidance on analysis of the different kinds of applicants. It is also referred to as an underwriting manual.
  19. Universal Life Insurance: This refers to a combination of an adjustable life insurance policy that has flexible premiums.
  20. Utilization: This is a measure of the extent to which a covered group uses a specific health plan.


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