THE COMPANY

Reinsurance
Terms

  • Participate

    To share in the writing of a risk.

  • Participating Insurance

    A designated class of insurance that shares in the dividends declared by the primary insurer to policyholders. While mutual insurers issue participating policies mostly, and the stock insurers usually issue non-participating policies, either type of insurer may seek authorization from its domiciliary state insurance department to issue the other type of policy.

  • Participating Reinsurance

    The sharing of risks, as in quota share and surplus share reinsurance, in which the reinsured and the reinsurer participate pro rata in all losses beginning with the first dollar. See Pro Rata Reinsurance.

  • Payback Period

    A term used in rating per occurrence excess covers showing the number of years at a given premium level required to accumulate total premiums equal to the indemnity. Synonymous with Amortization Period.

  • Penalty for Unauthorized Reinsurance, Annual

    The inability of a licensed insurer to increase its Annual Statement policyholder surplus when purchasing pro rata reinsurance, which is a major reason for purchasing it, if the purchase is made from a reinsurer not licensed or approved by the domiciliary state insurance department of the insurer. Where Annual Statement credit is not allowed in the purchase of pro rata reinsurance, the licensed insurer must establish an unearned premium reserve liability on its Statement for such reinsurance, and possibly other reserves as well, which decreases the insurer's Statement policyholder surplus, hence the penalty. If excess of loss reinsurance is purchased, the penalty is the requirement that the insurer establish a reserve liability for the amount of loss recoverables, as is the case for loss recoverables from an unauthorized pro rata reinsurer. Any penalty can be reduced by the insurer's withholding funds due the reinsurer (shown in the insurer's Annual Statement as a liability, "funds held") or by the reinsurer's providing a Letter of Credit or acceptable security to the insurer. See Policyholder Surplus, Credit for Authorized Reinsurance, and Funds Held.

  • Per-Occurence Excess

    An excess of loss reinsurance where the reinsured company's loss retention and the reinsurer's limit of liability apply to the loss arising from a single occurrence, regardless of the number of risks or policies involved. May be casualty or property: if property insurance, the reinsurance would be called catastrophe excess; if casualty, which would require two or more coverages or policies to be involved in a given loss, the contract is called a clash cover.

  • Per Risk Reinsurance

    Reinsurance in which the reinsurance limit and the reinsured's loss retention apply "per risk," rather than per accident, per event, or in the aggregate.

  • PML

    The anticipated maximum property fire loss that could result, given the normal functioning of protective features (firewalls, sprinklers, a responsive fire department), as opposed to MFL (Maximum Foreseeable Loss), which would be a similar valuation, but on a worst case basis with respect to the functioning of the protective features. Underwriting decisions would typically be influenced by PML evaluations, and the amount of reinsurance ceded on a risk would normally be predicated on the PML valuation.

  • Policies

    Any of the ceding company's (or reinsured's, in excess of loss) policies, binders, contracts of insurance, or reinsurance covered by the reinsurer.

  • Policy Profile

    A study which segregates an insurer's policies into various groupings (for example, by policy limit or policy premium).

  • Policyholder

    The party in whose name an insurance policy is issued.

  • Policyholder Surplus

    1. The net worth of an insurer as reported in its Annual Statement. For a stock insurer, the sum of its surplus and capital. For a mutual insurer, its surplus.
    2. The amount by which the assets of an insurer exceed the liabilities. Another name for Surplus to Policyholders.
  • Pool

    Any joint underwriting operation of insurance or reinsurance in which the participants assume a predetermined and fixed interest in all business written. Pools are often independently managed by professionals with expertise in the classes of business undertaken, and the members share in the premiums, losses, expenses, and profits. An "association" and a "syndicate" (excluding that of Lloyd's of London) are both synonymous with a pool, and the basic principles of operation are much the same.

  • Portfolio

    A defined body of a) insurance (policies) in force (known as a premium portfolio), b) outstanding losses (known as a loss portfolio), or c) company investments (known as a investment portfolio). (The reinsurance of all existing insurance as well as new and renewal business is therefore described as a running account reinsurance with portfolio transfer or assumption.)

  • Portfolio Reinsurance

    The transfer of a portfolio of premiums or outstanding loss reserves to a reinsurer; the reinsurance of a runoff. Only policies in force (or losses outstanding) are reinsured, and no new or renewal business is included. Commonly used by an insurer when retiring from an agency, a territory, or from the insurance business entirely. Known also as Assumption Reinsurance.

  • Portfolio Return

    If the reinsurer is relieved of liability (under a pro rata reinsurance) for losses happening after termination of the treaty or at a later date, the total unearned premium reserve on business left unreinsured (less ceding commissions thereon) is normally returned to the cedent. Also known as a Return Portfolio or Return of Unearned Premium.

  • Portfolio Runoff

    Continuing to reinsure a portfolio until all ceded premium is earned, or all losses are settled, or both. While a loss runoff is usually unlimited as to time, a premium runoff can be for a specified duration.

  • Post-Judgment Interest

    Interest which accumulates after entry of the court judgment before it is paid.

  • Pre-Judgment Interest

    Interest assessed against the defendant in a lawsuit from the time of the injury (or in some instances from the time of filing suit) until the rendering of the court judgment. Commonly considered as part of the loss for insurance purposes rather than an expense, if the interest becomes part of the judgment. Prejudgment interest, allowed in many states, is designed to encourage defendants to settle quickly by allowing interest to accrue (in the event of a verdict for the plaintiff) from a point in time in advance of the verdict.

  • Prejudice

    Injury, damage or loss, especially to one's legal rights or claims.

  • Premium

    The monetary consideration in contracts of insurance and reinsurance.

  • Premium Base

    The reinsured company's premiums (written or earned) to which the reinsurance premium rate is applied to produce the reinsurance premium. Also known as Base Premium, Subject Premium, and Underlying Premium.

  • Premiums Earned

    When used as an accounting term, premiums earned describe the premiums written during a period, plus the unearned premiums at the beginning of the period, less the unearned premiums at the end of the period.

  • Primary

    An adjective applied in reinsurance to these nouns: insurer, insured, policy, and insurance - meaning respectively:

    1. the primary insurer is the insurance company which initially originates the business, i.e., the ceding company in pro rata reinsurance, or the reinsured in excess of loss reinsurance (the first insurer in the insurance-reinsurance relationship, hence primary);
    2. the primary insured is the policyholder of the primary insurer;
    3. the primary policy is the initial policy issued by the primary insurer to the primary insured;
    4. the primary insurance is the insurance covered under the primary policy issued by the primary insurer to the primary insured (sometimes called "underlying insurance").
  • Priority

    The term used in some reinsurance markets outside the U.S. to mean the retention of the primary company in a reinsurance agreement.

  • Professional Reinsurer

    A term used to designate an organization whose business is mainly reinsurance and related services, as contrasted with other insurance organizations which may operate reinsurance assuming departments in addition to their basic primary insurance business.

  • Profit Margin

    As a pricing factor (along with expenses and losses), the return the reinsurer expects from the degree of net risk taken. As with any investment, the reinsurer expects a larger return from risky than safe investments.

  • Pro Rata Reinsurance

    A generic term describing quota share and surplus share reinsurance in which the reinsurer shares a proportional part of the ceded insurance liability, premiums, and losses of the ceding company. Also known as Participating Reinsurance and Proportional Reinsurance. See Quota-Share and Surplus Share.

  • Prospective Rating Plan

    The formula in a reinsurance contract for determining the reinsurance premium for a specified period on the basis, in whole or in part, of the loss experience of a prior period (as opposed to retrospective rating, which is based on loss experience for the same period). Also known as Experience Rating. See Spread Loss Reinsurance.

  • "Protecting the Treaty"

    Used to describe any action taken by an insurer to prevent heavy losses to its treaty reinsurer, which can lead to increased reinsurance rates or decreased participation in any profit-sharing arrangements with the reinsurer. An example is the ceding of any individual risk, which is expected to produce a loss large enough to endanger the cedent's favorable treaty experience to a facultative reinsurer.

  • Provisional Premium, Rate, or Commission

    The tentative amount which is subject to subsequent adjustment.

  • Punitive Damages

    Damages awarded separately and in addition to compensatory damages, usually on account of malicious or wanton misconduct, to serve as a punishment for the wrongdoer and possibly as a deterrent to others. Sometimes referred to as exemplary damages when intended to make an example of the wrongdoer.

  • Pure Loss Cost

    The ratio of reinsured losses incurred under a reinsurance agreement to the ceding company's subject earned premium for that agreement, before loading. Also known as Burning Cost.

  • Pure Premium

    1. That part of the premium which is sufficient to pay losses and loss adjustment expenses but not other expenses.
    2. Also the premium developed by dividing losses by units of exposure, disregarding any loading for commission, taxes, and expenses,
    3. In crop-hail insurance, the ratio of incurred loss to liability, or the dollars of loss per $100 of insurance in force.
  • Pyramiding Surplus

    The consolidating of two or more insurer policyholder surpluses (net worths) by the consolidating parent insurer, as required by proper accounting, which can distort the parent's ability to write a larger premium volume than NAIC IRIS test ratios consider acceptable. The distortion is revealed by applying the IRIS test ratio to each insurer's policyholder surplus, independent of the consolidated total.