Insurance Terms

Actual Cash Value
ACV is computed by subtracting depreciation from replacement cost. The depreciation is usually calculated by establishing a useful life of the item determining what percentage of that life remains. This percentage multiplied by the replacement cost equals the ACV.
Claim
A demand made by the insured, or the insured’s beneficiary, for payment of the benefits as provided by the policy.
Coverage
The scope of protection provided under an insurance policy. In property insurance, coverage lists perils insured against, properties covered, locations covered, individuals insured, and the limits of indemnification.
Deductible
Amount of loss that the insured pays before the insurance kicks in.
Exclusions
Items or conditions that are not covered by the general insurance contract.
General Liability Insurance
Insurance designed to protect business owners and operators from a wide variety of liability exposures. Exposures could include liability arising from accidents resulting from the insured’s premises or operations, products sold by the insured, operations completed by the insured, and contractual liability.
Hurricane Deductible
Amount you must pay out-of-pocket before hurricane insurance will kick in. Many insurers in hurricane-prone states are selling homeowners insurance policies with percentage deductibles for storm damage, instead of the traditional dollar deductibles used for claims such as fire and theft. Percentage deductibles vary from one percent of a home’s insured value to 15 percent, depending on many factors that differ by state and insurer.
Indemnity
Restoration to the victim of a loss by payment, repair or replacement.
Insurance Adjuster
A representative of the insurer who seeks to determine the extent of the insurer’s liability for loss when a claim is submitted. Independent insurance adjusters are hired by insurance companies on an “as needed” basis and might work for several insurance companies at the same time. Independent adjusters charge insurance companies both by the hour and by miles traveled. Public adjusters work for the insured in the settlement of claims and receive a percentage of the claim as their fee.
Loss Adjustment Expenses
Expenses incurred to investigate and settle losses.
Named Perils
Perils specifically covered on insured property.
Occurrence
An event that results in an insured loss. In some lines of business, such as liability, an occurrence is distinguished from accident in that the loss doesn’t have to be sudden and fortuitous and can result from continuous or repeated exposure which results in bodily injury or property damage neither expected not intended by the insured.
Peril
The cause of a possible loss.
Policy
The written contract effecting insurance, or the certificate thereof, by whatever name called, and including all clause, riders, endorsements, and papers attached thereto and made a part thereof.
Premium
The price of insurance protection for a specified risk for a specified period of time.
Replacement Cost
The dollar amount needed to replace damaged personal property or dwelling property without deducting for depreciation but limited by the maximum dollar amount shown on the declarations page of the policy.
Total Loss
A loss of sufficient size that it can be said no value is left. The complete destruction of the property. The term also is used to mean a loss requiring the maximum amount a policy will pay.
Roofing Terms
Deck/Sheathing
The surface, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), to which roofing materials are applied.
Dormer
A small structure projecting from a sloped roof, usually with a window.
Drip Edge
An L-shaped strip (usually metal) installed along roof edges to allow water run off to drip clear of the deck, eaves and siding.
Eave
The horizontal lower edge of a sloped roof.
Felt/Underlayment
A sheet of asphalt-saturated material (often called tar paper) used as a secondary layer of protection for the roof deck.
Fire Rating
System for classifying the fire resistances of various materials. Roofing materials are rated Class A, B or C, with Class A materials having the highest resistance to fire originating outside the structure.
Flashing
Pieces of metal used to prevent the seepage of water around any intersection or projection in a roof system, such as vent pipes, chimneys, valleys and joints at vertical walls.
Penetrations
Vents, pipes, stacks, chimneys-anything that penetrates a roof deck.
Rafters
The supporting framing to which a roof deck is attached.
Rake
The inclined edge of a roof over a wall.
Ridge
The top edge of two intersecting sloping roof surfaces.
Sheathing
The boards or sheet materials that are fastened to rafters to cover a house or building.
Slope
Measured by rise in inches for each 12 inches of horizontal run: A roof with a 4-in-12 slope rises 4 inches for every foot of horizontal distance.
Square
The common measurement for roof area. One square is 100 square feet (10 by 10 feet).
Truss
Engineered components that supplement rafters in many newer homes and buildings. Trusses are designed for specific applications and cannot be cut or altered.
Valley
The angle formed at the intersection of two sloping roof surfaces.
Siding Terms
Aluminum Siding
Horizontal planks of aluminum with a baked-on enamel finish that looks like wooden lap siding.
Backerboard
A flat material used on the face of the house, between the studs and the siding, to provide a nailable surface for the siding.
Battens
Narrow strips of wood placed over joints in vertical wood plank siding to seal the joints.
Beveled Clapboards
Clapboards that are tapered rather than cut perfectly rectangular.
Board and Batten
A style in which a narrow strip of siding appears to cover the seam between two wider boards. Board and batten siding is installed vertically.
Caulking
Waterproof material used to seal joints.
Channel
The area of the accessory trim or corner post where siding or soffit panels are inserted. Channels also refer to the trim itself, and are named for the letters of the alphabet they resemble, for example J-channel and F-channel are available.
Clapboard
Overlapping, horizontal wood plank siding made from either rectangular planks or taped planks.
Composition Board
Blanks or sheets of weather resistant compressed wood fibers used as siding.
Corrugated Siding
Siding made out of aluminum or plastic derivatives having ridges and valleys and is attached to the sides of buildings.
Course
A row of panels, one panel wide, running the length of the house from one side to the other or, in the case of vertical siding, from top to bottom.
D4 Profile
Two four-inch wide horizontal traditional planks per single panel of siding.
D5 Profile
Two five-inch wide horizontal traditional planks per single panel of siding.
Double Course
An undercourse of shingles or shakes, not exposed to the weather, which is covered completely by a top course.
Double Wall Siding
Siding in which sheathing is installed and is then covered by exterior siding.
Drip Cap/Head Flashing
An accessory installed with vertical siding to ensure that water drips away from panels and does not infiltrate them; it is also used as a vertical base.
Dutchlap or Shiplap
A more decorative variation on the clapboard style where the face (or width) of the board is beveled for added dimension.
F-channel
A manufacturing component of vinyl or aluminum siding systems which have a channel that the planks fit into, used around windows and doors to make a weathertight seal.
Fascia Board
A board attached to the ends of the rafters between the roofing material and the soffit overhang. Fascia cap is the covering around that board.
Flashing
A type of sheet metal used at intersections of building components to prevent water penetration, flashings are commonly used above doors and windows in exterior walls and are used under the siding to prohibit water penetration.
Fiberboard Siding
This type of siding is made of composite wood material, and is sold under several brand names, including Masonite. Because it is not made of solid wood, it must be installed and maintained properly.
Furring/Furring Strip
A wooden or steel framing material, usually 1″ x 3″, used to provide an even nailing base. To “fur” a surface means to apply these strips.
J-channel
A manufacturing component of vinyl or aluminum siding systems, which have a curvedchannel that the planks fit into; used around windows and doors to make a weathertight seal.
Lap
The part of the roofing/siding material that overlaps a section of adjacent material.
Lap Siding
Technique for installing horizontal siding boards. Each piece of siding is ‘lapped’ over the piece below it to provide a waterproof covering for the house.
Nailing Hem (or Flange)
The section of siding or accessories where the nailing slots are located.
Panel Siding
Siding, which comes in sheets, normally 4 feet by 8 feet. Examples of panel siding include Texture 1-11. Because panel siding can be installed quickly, it can be a less expensive option than other types of siding.
Scarfed Joint
Joint used in plywood siding where edges of abutting sheets are angle cut to fit snugly and prevent water penetration.
Shake Siding
Sometimes known as shingle siding, shake siding comes in widths from about four inches to 12 inches. It is installed like lap siding, starting at the lowest row, and moving up the wall. The random widths of the shakes provide a distinctive look to the wall.
Single Coursing
Single layer of siding shingles applied with a small overlap along the edge of the course below.
Single Wall Siding
Exterior wall siding that is not applied over sheathing.
Soffit
Material used to enclose the horizontal underside of an eave, cornice, or overhang. Some soffit panels may also be used as vertical siding.
Stucco
A type of water resistant, plaster like siding material made of cement, sand and water; it may have an acrylic finish.
T 1-11
Hardboard, exterior siding that has vertical grooves made to simulate separate boards.
T3 Profile
Three three-inch wide horizontal traditional planks per single panel of siding.
Vinyl Siding
Horizontal polyvinyl chloride planks.
Wall Cladding
Another term for siding.
Wall Sheathing
Sheets of plywood or wood planking used to cover the wall framework of the house.
Weep Hole
A small hole in the bottom butt edge of the vinyl siding panel, allowing condensation to escape.
Gutter Terms
Downspout
The vertical pipe that runs down the length of your house, carrying rainwater from the gutter to the ground (or a drain).
Elbow
A pre-finished angled piece for directing the flow of water.
End Cap
The fitting or flat piece located at the end of a gutter section and closes off that section.
Fascia
A type of trim that runs horizontally along the roof’s eaves, providing a base for attaching the gutters (also called the fascia board).
Gutters
The horizontal pieces of your draining system connected to the edge of the roof that direct water away from your house.
Splash Block
Concrete or plastic surface that is put under the downspout to channel water away from your home.